Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Linda Chavez - Not So Good at Math but Good at Other Things

Let's get the Math out of the way first. Ms. Chavez starts the second paragraph of this weeks article with this line. "In unprecedented fashion, the Democrats have been able to hold up one-third of the president's nominees for Appeals Court vacancies." President Bush has nominated 57 judges. Five were held in the Republican dominated committee. Another 10 were filibustered, and 42 were nominated. So the Democrats blocked 10 out of 52, which is 19.2%. If you add in those five held up in the Republican Dominated Judicial Committee you get 26.3% held up, still well under 33.3%.

I don't blame Ms. Chavez though, she's got to find a way to make these few rejected judges sound ominous, so fudging the numbers a little is to be expected.

Anyway, Ms. Chavez has a pretty sharp idea; she suggests rather than eliminating the Filibuster (which is what the Crybaby option would, in effect, accomplish), they instead force the Democrats to actually filibuster. She thinks this will not turn the American people against the nominees, but will make Democrats look like punks. I'm not sure about that; enough people have seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to know that filibusters are a tactic of the good guys.

That said, she has this wise observation on changing the rules.
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Republicans would make a mistake getting rid of the filibuster. Republicans won't be in the majority forever, and they may rue the day when they deprived themselves of the ability to block a candidate to some future Supreme Court. Worse, they may end up making themselves look like the heavies instead of forcing the Democrats to take center stage as the real fanatics. Let the filibuster stay -- and force the Democrats to actually use it.
We'll have to see what happens, but the Republicans do seem pretty determined not to compromise.

No comments: