I got an email from Howard Dean today that made me laugh out loud. Here are some highlights, with my comments:
The Republican Senate leaders have decided to fundamentally alter the role of Congress — they want to give George Bush unprecedented power to manipulate the legislative branch and the courts.
Actually, the power to “manipulate” the courts, by appointing judges, is given to the President in Article II of the Constitution. It’s unclear what Mad Howard means by “manipulating” the legislative branch.
Today Harry Reid and the Democratic Senators asked us, the American people, to help them preserve the right of our elected representatives to speak their mind on the floor of the U.S. Senate. We have to act. Sign this petition, which we will deliver to every U.S. Senator, asking them to protect the right to free speech in the Senate.
This is where I started giggling. Democratic Senators’ right to freedom of speech is threatened! Robert Byrd will be silenced! We can only wish. Actually, all President Bush wants is that when the Senators get done talking, they take a vote. “Freedom of speech,” if you’re a Democrat, means filibustering so that no vote ever takes place.
Here are the facts: George Bush has appointed judges to lifetime positions at a better rate than any president in nearly three decades. More than 95% of his nominees have been approved. Only ten nominees have been refused — all because they are unqualified and out of the mainstream.
There is method to the madness of Mad Howard. The Dems agree to bring President Bush’s District Court nominees to a vote, and that is where the large majority of judicial appointments are, as there are far more trial judges than appellate judges. But they filibuster, and thereby prevent a vote from ever taking place, when President Bush nominates a conservative to the Court of Appeals, which is intermediate between the trial courts and the Supreme Court. In fact, not a single one of President Bush’s judicial nominees has been “refused.” All ten of the judges referred to by Mad Howard would have been confirmed in a vote of the full Senate, which is why the Democrats used the filibuster to prevent a vote from taking place. And the evidence for the proposition that President Bush’s nominees are “unqualified” is…what? Not a single one has been deemed unqualified by the liberal American Bar Association or any other semi-reputable source.
Back when filibusters were being used by ex-Klansmen to prevent liberal legislation from coming to the floor, they were universally denounced by the mainstream media. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. So the Senate rule that liberals fulminated against for decades has become sacrosanct. Let’s hope the Senate Republicans are not intimidated by the liberals’ charade.