Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Compromise and Backlash

Well a group of 14 Senators were able to hammer out a compromise that allows the Senate to avoid (at least temporarily) taking a vote to end the filibuster option on judicial nominees. Seven Democratic Senators vowed to allow 3 of Bush's nominees to come to a vote on the Senate floor (i.e. be approved) and to only use the filibuster option in cases of the most extreme need. Apparently William Pryor Jr., one of the nominees that will be approved wasn't extreme enough - which makes one wonder, exactly what kind of nominee would be extreme enough. William Pryor has repeated made it clear that he believes that democracy, the Constitution and our political system require that all political issues be decided by either a majority vote, or by a vote of the representatives chosen by the majority. In other words, Mr. Pryor believes that "majority rule" is the only legitimate form of decision making in this country. If the majority votes to deny marriage rights to gays and lesbians, then so be it. If the majority votes to make abortion illegal, so be it. If the majority votes to make it legal to lynch African Americans, then so be it. According to Pryor, this principle of governance outweighs all others, and the courts have no business intervening. I guess that isn't too extreme for the Senators who went along with this compromise, because William Pryor is now going to be approved for a life-long seat on a Federal Appeals court.

In exchange, seven Republican Senators vowed not to vote for overturning the filibuster option. I don't know what that means. Does that vow mean they will never ever vote to overturn the filibuster? What if the seven Democrats join in in a filibuster on a nominee that the Republicans don't agree is "extreme" enough to justify it. Will they then go ahead and vote down the filibuster option? I mean, the situation IS going to arise. It's going to arise when Bush finally gets to nominate a Supreme Court justice. Because I think pretty much everyone in this country knows that Bush is going to nominate a far right-wing, fundamentalist Christian conservative to the court - someone whose record makes it clear that they are not just willing, but chomping at the bit to overturn Roe V. Wade, to allow prayer in schools, to roll back civil rights and civil liberties, to allow this country to become a fundamentalist Christian Theocracy. And the Democrats are going to filibuster the nomination. What then?

Don't think that's the direction this country is headed in? Take a look at the reaction to this so-called compromise by the far right:

Conservatives, Angered by Compromise, Vow Retribution at the Polls

By Mike Glover Associated Press Writer
Published: May 25, 2005

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Conservatives who had warned Republicans about compromising on President Bush's judicial nominees delivered another message the day after the deal: Those who betrayed us will pay a political price.
Furious with the outcome, conservative leaders promised to energize their rank-and-file for the next elections while warning some of the centrist Republicans who harbor presidential aspirations to forget about 2008.

"A complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans," said James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a Colorado-based conservative Christian group, who promised that voters will remember "both Democrats and Republicans who betrayed their trust."

The talk of retribution was particularly keen in Iowa, where the state's precinct caucuses launch the presidential nomination process and can make or break White House hopefuls.

"They won't get any help from us - none," Norman Pawlewski of the Iowa Christian Coalition said of the seven Republicans who helped negotiate the compromise. "We busted our hump to get a president who would appoint judges who would be more just. Republican senators betrayed us."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, "There will be repercussions."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a possible presidential candidate in 2008, was under intense pressure to ensure that each of Bush's nominees received an up-or-down vote. Conservatives made it clear that anything less was unacceptable.

While Dobson credited Frist for "courageously fighting to defend the vital principle of basic fairness," other conservatives weren't as forgiving.

"He let them do this," Pawlewski said. "He's the leader of the Senate. If he is so weak ... he can't control his own troops, then he's not much of a leader."

These people expect to get what they want. They have an agenda, and if their demands are not met, they will lash out at those who stand in their way. This is war folks - make no mistakes about it. There are powerful organizations out there, getting more powerful by the day, that want to take over this country. They want a "Christian" nation. Frankly they don't want a democracy. No more than fundamentalist Muslims, want democracy in the Middle East. These people want a theocratic state - and a theocracy is by definition NOT democratic. I'd wager to say that most Americans do not want a Christian Theocracy as their government, and yet the American voter is electing officials who are moving our country in exactly that direction. So the big question to me is, why?


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