The Talking Lion

Monday, May 30, 2005

You pass, Washington Post. You know what you got? F+, click.

Pretty great article in Sunday's Outlook section of the WashPost (Outlook is the most consitent section of the Post, there really hasn't been a week where there wasn't at least one great article).

Here are the highlights:

Before good-government types go all weak in the knees about the Great Filibuster Compromise of 2005, they might do well to recall the Great Filibuster Compromise of 2004.

Don't remember that one? That's understandable: It didn't change anything.

That deal, which was reached last May, guaranteed up-or-down votes on 25 Bush judicial nominees in exchange for a promise that the White House wouldn't bypass the Senate by making any more of those dastardly recess appointments to the bench.

Yeah, I must have been asleep or something, becuase I did not remember this. Sigh, let us read on:

But the compromise had no real effect at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Bush simply pressed ahead last year with his intention to put his stamp on the federal judiciary, naming the same kinds of conservatives after the 2004 deal -- and after his re-election -- as he had before. Sometimes he renominated the very same people who had been turned down earlier, reviving antagonisms with Democrats.
He's that guy. He's just pulled so much shit without any consequences... can God send me one day of accountibility for this man? I mean just enough to smack the smirk off his face.
What's to stop Bush from following the same course this year? Not much. Last year's compromise is a vague memory because it failed to alter any of the dynamics between the two sides of a philosophic divide that last week brought the Senate to the brink of a standstill.
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. The problem with this latest compromise is that it effectively does nothing but let in 3 jerk-offs to the lifetime-appointment club. Bleh.

In trying to understand Bush's motivations, and his possible next moves, one other thing must be said: He does not like the way Democrats talk about his nominees...


Bush wasn't occupying the White House when John Ashcroft, then a Republican senator from Missouri, derailed Ronnie White, one of Bill Clinton's judicial nominees, with the ludicrous slur that White was "pro-criminal." Bush has convinced himself that Democrats shouldn't consider such history. But they do, as Bush learned when he nominated Kavanaugh, whose crime in Democrats' eyes is that he served on independent counsel Kenneth Starr's staff.

Free from the burden of historical memory, Bush can just get indignant. He wasn't in town during Starr's investigation, and he thinks he knows the gentlemanly, soft-spoken Kavanaugh a bit better than liberal judicial activist Ralph Neas does -- for the simple reason that Kavanaugh works at the White House and Bush sees him almost every day. It was Kavanaugh's wedding that Bush went to a year ago in Georgetown after giving that radio address on judicial activism and marriage; Kavanaugh married Bush's personal secretary.

To paraphrase the late House speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr.: These days, all politics is personal.

Good work, WashPost.

F+, click.


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