Friday, February 25, 2005

Advise and Consent in the Senate

Hugh Hewitt raises the question of GOP Senate leadership: "Grant or McClellan" in his latest Vox Bloguli.

Right now Harry Reid has threatened to shut down the Senate. To quote a certain San Fransisco Police Inspector: "Go ahead... make my day." This would be, as Hugh pointed out, the greatest gift the Democrats could give to the GOP.

So why am I worried?

The Senate GOP has traditionally been an amiable bunch of gentlemen playing a gentleman's game of debate. The idea of changing a long standing Senate rule--the one by which a fillibuster of a judicial nominee facing an up-or-down floor vote can be ended with only 51 votes instead of 60--is going to be tough for them. The very fact that they refer to this as "the nuclear option" shows just how reluctant they are to do anything.

I am worried that they will go the way of McClellan--endlessly planning and never taking action. Judicial nominees will continue to be bottled, the GOP leadership will remain nonconfrontational... and there it will sit until at least the mid-term elections.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so. Frist is just too... "nice".

The GOP should be thinking "60 in '06". I'm not ready to part with any long green toward that end, though, until I see at least a little movement from the leadership. Bringing the judicial nominee issue to the forefront would get me off my wallet in a hurry.

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