MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Obstructing Bolton

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The Democrats in the Senate have continued their pattern of obstruction by filibustering the Bolton nomination a second time. Fifty-one Republicans and three Democrats voted for cloture while thirty-seven Democrats and lone Republican weeper George Voinovich of Ohio opposed. Eight senators were basically MIA.

Now ol’ Joe Biden, the plagiarizer from the 92 election, has announced he’ll be running for the big chair (again) in 2008 if he thinks he can win. The man has grit you know. But before he can do that he needs some more documents on the Bolton nomination from the Administration. Because, you know, he’s not sure. About what? How he’s going to vote? If Neil Kinnock will be available to write more speeches for him? Who does Biden think he’s fooling?

Joe Biden has already registered his vote on Bolton – nay – in committee. He’ll vote against cloture on the filibuster, and he’ll vote nay on the floor. There isn’t the slightest doubt on where Joe Biden stands on the Bolton nomination – he is unequivocally opposed. So he says he needs more information, and this has now become a matter of principle.

Piffle.

There is no principle at stake here – this is a fishing expedition. The request for additional information only came after it was clear that the nomination would get out of the committee. It’s a tactic to stall and obstruct. Just like the filibuster itself. And should the White House send the info, what then? Will Joe pronounce himself satisfied and then graciously end the filibuster? Not very likely. Either he or another obstructionist will decide that more data is needed, or that something in the data received is so ‘disturbing’ that Voinovich will weep and the nomination cannot possibly be permitted to proceed.

Cynical? Not at all. Just an understanding of how the Democrats continue to rule the senate from their minority position, and how the will of the people means nothing to them. The only thing that matters is their own power and their hatred of GWB. And so long as the Republicans in the senate allow this charade, it will go on. Frankly, it’s time for Frist to step aside and let someone actually lead in the senate.

Meanwhile, a word about the filibuster. Supposedly a tool to protect the interests of the minority, the filibuster has a fairly icky history. It’s been used to support lynching, oppose civil rights, as a parliamentary parlor trick for news coverage, and as a tool to block judges called “extreme” but who have now been confirmed with significant support of those previously filibustering.

The word filibuster does not appear in the Constitution. It does not have the dignity of statute. It is a rule, adopted by a body, as part of its internal workings. It can be discarded just as easily. For those who might be tempted to talk about the rights of the minority in the senate, I say the tyranny of the minority is every bit as repugnant as the tyranny of the majority. And lynching. And civil rights. The filibuster ought to go as well.

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Written by martinipundit

June 21, 2005 at 10:05 am

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