Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Three Little Words

Some thoughts on the nuclear option (copyright (c) Trent Lott):

  • It’s not about Judges Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owen. They’re the trial balloons (pun intended) that set the stage for the nomination of the new Chief Justice to replace Rehnquist: Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas or someone just as odious. So no matter what compromises were offered by moderate Democrats like Ben Nelson of Nebraska in order to avoid the banning of the filibuster, the Republicans weren’t going to take them because the federal judge appointments are small potatoes. It’s about those three little words: The Supreme Court.
  • It’s about absolute power. Listening to Grover Norquist on NPR this morning, he compared the defeat of the Democrats on this issue to neutering a pet. If that doesn’t tell you what kind of ruthless people we’re dealing with, you have not been paying attention, and it tells you exactly what they plan to do to their opponents, so watch your goodies.
  • On the other hand, if this goes through and the Republicans gain virtual control over the U.S. Senate, they will be unable to blame anything that goes wrong on the Democrats. Since the right-wing mantra has always been to exploit their culture of victimhood at the hands of the media, the liberals, the queers, and activist judges, they will have deprived themselve of all their targets. Not only that, they will have handed the their opponents the best campaign issue since Bill Clinton offered Monica Lewinsky a cigar. It will make it very easy to tar any Republican nominee to any elective office as a tool of the right-wing nutsery, hand the next election to the Democrats on a silver platter, and Bill Frist can kiss his presidential ambitions goodbye.

    The Republicans know exactly what they want, they know exactly what to do to get it, and they will use the Klingon approach — take no prisoners — to get it. The problem they don’t see coming at them is that being on top makes them a very big target. Pride goeth…