Former Senator Bob Dole speaks up on the Nuclear Option (TM Trent Lott):
…I hope changing the Senate’s rules won’t be necessary, but Senator Frist will be fully justified in doing so if he believes he has exhausted every effort at compromise. Of course, there is an easier solution to the impasse: Democrats can stop playing their obstruction game and let President Bush’s judicial nominees receive what they are entitled to: an up-or-down vote on the floor of the world’s greatest deliberative body.
Mr. Dole can be forgiven if he’s forgotten the fact that the Republicans have effectively blocked the Democrats from any form of participation in the process of advise and consent on any of Bush’s nominees since before the election — after all, he was in the Senate when they actually allowed the minority to speak up, and all he knows now is what Liddy tells him. So it’s no surprise that he’s shocked, shocked that the Democrats are resorting to the only arrows left in their quiver. He’s conveniently forgetting the fact that the Democrats have offered some signs of compromise to the Republicans — who cannot accept them without the risk of setting off several thermonuclear devices in the hallowed halls of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. And he’s also forgetting the fact that the filibuster was used to great effect by the Republicans in 1968 to block the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas by President Johnson to be the Chief Justice. It’s not a surprise, however; Mr. Dole practically invented the concept of IOKIYAR — It’s OK If You’re A Republican — when he was the Senate Majority Leader and presidential candidate in 1996, and asked with actual wonder (if not just a tad of disingenuousness) “Where’s the outrage?” at the Clinton Administration when it was the Republicans who nearly brought the country to its knees over a blowjob in the Oval Office. (Oops. Bad pun.)
Mr. Dole would do well to remember that the Senate can only be “the world’s greatest deliberative body” if both sides are allowed to participate. If not, they’re just a bunch of overpaid cheerleaders.