Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Freedom of Democrats to Disagree

Senator Feinstin argues that the "Freedom to disagree" means that a minority of Senators get to obstruct the Senate's constitutional advise and consent role. She writes:
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I evaluate each judicial nominee on a case-by-case basis and thoroughly examine his or her writings, opinions, statements, temperament and character. Over the years, we have had heated debates over judicial nominees. That debate, however, ensures that the Senate confirms the best-qualified candidates. I am deeply troubled when our legitimate differences over an individual's qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench are reduced to inflammatory rhetoric. I am even more concerned when rhetoric turns into open discussions about turning the Senate into a body where might makes right.
Here, the Senate is ready and willing to confirm many nominees to the judiciary. So why aren't they? The answer is because Democrat Senators like Diane Feinstein are preventing an up or down vote on these nominees. Since when does the minority speak for the Senate? Never. Because the Senator has had these "heated debates" about the quality of judicial nominees, then there ought to be a resolution. May the best arguments win. If a nominee is so "extreme" or otherwise unqualified then let the Senator PERSUADE her colleagues of that. If she is right, then a bipartisan majority will vote against confirmation. At the end of the day, however, Senator Feinstein only has one vote, and her "right" and obligation is to exercise that vote. Her ultimate recourse in the debate about a nominee is to vote that person down. If a majority of her colleagues in the Senate vote to confirm, then the Senate has confirmed the nominee. If they don't then her arguments must have been persuasive. That's how representative democracy works, and that is how the Senate has worked since its inception until the Democrats started filibustering nominees. If the voters don't like who is confirmed, they can vote the bums out of office who confirmed them. Blaming Republicans for desiring a vote is ridiculous and anti-American.

Senator Feinstein does not want that vote to occur because she knows she will lose. If her arguments had any credence and persuasiveness, then she wouldn't have to block the votes.

So, what does freedom to disagree mean to the Senator, MY Senator? Apparently, it means that Democrats have the freedom to disagree with Republicans and that freedom should be preserved at all costs. On the other hand, Republicans aren't permitted to exercise that freedom because Democrats are so pure and righteous and would never do anything for partisan advantage, but rather for the "good of the people." Give me a break. When Feinstein stays that she fears that the Senate might turn "into a body where might makes right," she is stating that she fears that the Senate will be governed by the majority. She didn't have that view when she was in the majority, but never we mind that. Republicans were put in charge of the Senate. Senator, you need to understand that.

She is afraid of voting, as are all the Democrats. Ultimately, this entire judicial debate is about voting and elections. The Democrats don't want there to be votes on these nominees so they block them. They don't want votes on abortion, gay rights, affirmative action, freedom of religion and speech, and the right to bear arms, or the proper scope of government power. The Democrats don't want votes on all of these things because they know that they'll lose. And the only way to ensure that these items do not get voted on is for the Courts to enshrine the liberal Democrat agenda into untouchable "precedent" and "rights" that their opponents cannot legislate around. Abortion is the prime example of this. When is that last time this critical and very important political issue was voted on? Not since 1972 when the Supreme Court ruled that this type of policy question was untouchable as it was found in the spectrum of light and dark between the shadows somewhere in a Constitutional right to privacy, that they themselves invented. Now, we argue and battle it out in the political arena over tangential issues like parental notification, but the ultimate question, the one of policy is untouchable. We are thus denied a vote.

Democrats are afraid that conservative judges will enshrine a conservative agenda into untouchable precedent, thereby completely eliminating any realistic hope of enacting the liberal agenda through the courts. But how is this different then a liberal court enshrining their agenda into law? Its not, so the Senator must be against these nominees because she knows she won't like the outcome of their decisions. For example, what happens if Roe v. Wade is overturned? The question goes to the states to vote on their preference, through referendums or via elected representatives. That's democracy, that's voting. That's the people expressing their will. Elections mean things, and as Senator Feinstein has demonstrated, her fear is of such things. Majority rules, not the other way around. This isn't about Senate comity or procedures and rules. This is about democracy, and its about time we started voting and accepting the consequences. That is how the system is designed to work. It doesn't work when the minority is allowed to dictate policy to the majority. I want my votes to mean something. I want my votes to be counted. I want the Senate to do its job and vote, either way on these judicial nominees. Just allow a vote. Senator, I am your constituent. Do your job and vote.