Saturday, January 28, 2006

Should the GOP join in a Dem filibuster of Alito?

Here's a radical thought: the Dems want to fillibuster, so the GOP should let them.

Under this strategery, several GOP Senators should join in solely for the purpose of doing away with a judicial filibuster. When the cloture vote fails, the GOP can mobilize the nuclear option and enact the rule change. This move would have several benefits.

First, it would do away with the judicial filibuster for good. This benefit is important because, while the G14 deal diverts a real filibuster on a SCOTUS nominee for this Congress only, if the GOP loses some seats in the '06 Senate races, they may lose their ability to go nuclear and enact a rule change. A new G14 deal would then be impossible because there wouldn't be enough GOP votes for a rule change and thus the G14 Dems would have no incentive to be a part of any deal.

Secondly, the John Kerrys and Hillary Rotten Clintons of the Senate, i.e., those liberal senators calling for a filibuster of Alito only when they know it won't matter, would be put in a position whereby their cloture votes really matter. If the GOP tries to join the filbuster just to kill it, these Dems might counter by voting for cloture, and thus irking their base.

Obviously, the most important benefit of a rule change to do away with judicial filibusters is that it allows President Bush to nominate true conservatives to the Supreme Court (as well as the appellate courts) without worry about politics playing a concern. If a Ginsburg or Stevens retires or dies after '06 but before '08, there would be no stopping any judicial nominees so long as the GOP maintains the Senate.

Certainly there could be negative effects from such a maneuver, such as losing the support for Alito by RINO's and blue dogs, but why dwell on the negative.

Anyway, after saying all that, this won't happen. BUT IT SHOULD!