Tags: The | Senate | Deal | Filibusters: | Munich | the | Potomac

The Senate Deal on Filibusters: Munich on the Potomac

Tuesday, 24 May 2005 12:00 AM

A big front-page picture of Senator John Warner – the political accident from Virginia – holding a copy of the sellout "agreement" with the seven "moderate" Democrats brought to mind an historic "peace" agreement that turned out to be a sham, as this one obviously is. "Peace for our time," Senator?

That phrase lives on in infamy. In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain traveled to Munich to make a deal with Adolf Hitler. Upon his return, he told his fellow British citizens that he had brought them "peace for our time." It wasn't long before Hitler's real intentions were obvious. The "agreement" was shattered.

When Chamberlain went before lawmakers to explain himself, one member of Parliament told him, "In the name of God, go!"

"Mutual respect" and "trust" are words bandied about by the 14 senators (seven from each side of the aisle) who staged this coup that has rendered the Republican leadership toothless.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is laughing up his sleeve at Warner et al. He wasted no time in issuing a statement stopping barely short of declaring this a victory for his party's obstructionist filibustering in the United States Senate. In typical "Stop hitting my fist with your face" fashion, he used the occasion to criticize President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Warner's loyalty to the principles of his party is suspect. He single-handedly cost the Republicans two statewide elections in Virginia through his arrogant king-making role – in one case going so far as to put up a third-party candidate. Warner himself originally won his Senate seat after he had been defeated in the preliminaries by a better man. When the GOP nominee, Richard Obenshain was killed in a plane crash, the party reluctantly accepted Warner as the candidate in the general election.

As for McCain, well, why should anyone be surprised? He learned early on that if you want to win the adoration of the liberal media, you stray off the GOP reservations big time – as in a campaign finance "reform" bill that stifles freedom of speech and feeds ever more power into the hands of the incumbents.

It required a strong stomach to view the alleged "Republican" senators slobbering all over Senator Bob Byrd, the ex-Klansman from West Virginia, even as he uncharacteristically offered to "wait my turn" to speak of the "peace for our time" deal.

The deal did not satisfy Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who reiterated the obvious truth that the Constitution requires an up-or-down vote on all judicial nominees. But what's the man to do? Seven of his troops have said either this agreement sticks or they won't give him the majority margin he needs to invoke the constitutional option to end the Democrats' filibuster. All he got was agreement not to filibuster three judges.

There are statements by some Republicans desperately seeking consolation somehow – such as saying the agreement is in effect an admission by Democrats that nominees Brown, Owen and Pryor never should have been filibustered. Gee, that's big of them.

And what did the Democrats get? They still have the right to filibuster against judicial nominees "under extraordinary circumstances." And who gets to decide what that means? The same liberals who have given Orwellian meaning to that term all along.

All Republicans get in return is pledge of "mutual respect and trust." If the Republicans haven't learned by now that the left plays for keeps and regards agreements as something akin to "pie crusts, to be broken [an infamous Lenin analogy]," they're hopeless.

The Democrats reserve the right to filibuster the expected Supreme Court nominee(s), let alone future appellate court picks.

To add insult to injury, the agreement admonishes President Bush to heed the word "advice" in "advice and consent." The Gang of 14 even has the bald-faced impudence to suggest to the president that he "consult with members of the Senate – both Democratic and Republican – prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for confirmation."

Count on it: Absent such "consultation," any good judge will be deemed an "extraordinary" circumstance.

Hello? That's not what the Constitution says. The way it works is the president gets to nominate the judges. The Senate gets to vote yes or no. That's it! End of story. This is not an agreement. It's an insult.

This is what "moderate" Republicanism is all about, as reflected by Christie Whitman in what has to go down as the silliest political book of the year. (See "Related Articles" below.) There is no Republican so widely adored by the media as the cheerful loser whose policies cause a stampede of the electorate to the Democrats.

It happens time and time again. It is one of the surest signs of insanity – i.e., doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

If the Republicans don't get their act together and pick up the pieces from this disaster, a credible third party may be in the making. Conservatives of all stripes could make a beeline for the exit door.

They thought their ballots really counted for something in the victorious elections of 2002 and 2004. If they can't get victories on the floor of Senate even after attaining victory at the ballot box, they may abandon the Republican Party and tell the Whitmans, the Warners and the McCains they can have the damn thing.

But before they go that route, one last try: Next time the seven GOP back-stabbers return to the voters for re-election, a principled primary opponent should run on the slogan "In the name of God, go!"


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A big front-page picture of Senator John Warner - the political accident from Virginia - holding a copy of the sellout "agreement" with the seven "moderate" Democrats brought to mind an historic "peace" agreement that turned out to be a sham, as this one obviously is....
Tuesday, 24 May 2005 12:00 AM
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