Paul From Minneapolis

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Filibuster Compromise: ?

I have been asked to state my opinion on the filibuster compromise.

I don’t have much of an opinion.

It doesn’t seem like it’s disastrous for Republicans or Democrats, so I guess that’s my opinion. Somewhere I read that this “kicks the can down the road,” and that seems right. I can’t see how this would actually prevent the Republicans from changing the rules later if they believe the Democrats violate their pledge only to filibuster in the case of “extreme” judges.

Speaking of which, I’m fairly convinced that the Democrats have engaged in typical left-style bullshit (exaggerating evil on the right) in describing as “extreme” the three judges they have. From what I’ve read they seem like they’re just conservative, and perfectly respectable in how they arrive at their decisions.

The Democrats can never say what their real problem is, which is that having lost so many recent elections, and control of the presidency most of the time, they're watching the judiciary becoming quite conservative. They don’t want that to keep happening, so they would like to come up with a way to slow the process down.

Even though they have indeed lost all these elections, I’m not sure there’s isn’t some larger legitimacy in that wish, in the habitual losing party working to prevent the semi-permanent party in power from cementing their views in place via the judicial system. Judges stay put for a long time. I’ve moved right, relative to the workaday Democrats anyway, but I’m not sure it’s great to have the right side so firmly in control.

But the Democrats can’t say that’s what they’re doing. Because it means the party’s principal message to the public boils down to: “Nooo! It’s not fairrrrr!”