The Senate Democrats–minus only Exalted Cyclops Byrd, who “felt so strongly about the issue he is sending his own letter”–have written to President Bush, suggesting that the way to avoid controversy over his upcoming Supreme Court nomination is to “consult” with the minority beforehand to be sure of appointing someone acceptable to the party that lost the last election. Ted Kennedy put it best:
“It doesn’t take much to get our consent,” Kennedy said. “All the president has to do is seek out his preferred non-ideological choices, ask us about them, and listen to our answers.”
Sure, that’s right–as long as President Bush “listens to the Democrats’ answers,” he’ll have no trouble getting his nominee confirmed. Or, rather, getting their nominee confirmed.
This hitherto-unknown procedure could be termed a “constructive filibuster.” The Democrats would get to block Bush’s nominees without undergoing the trouble and embarrassment of blocking them in public. We have sometimes questioned the Bush administration’s political sagacity, but I think it’s safe to assume that they are nowhere near that dumb.