Friday, April 22, 2005

Filibuster Showdown

It looks like the now-nearly-suicidal Republicans have renominated two extremists for the bench who were blocked by filibuster in Bush's first term.

This may set the stage for Bill Frist (R - kills cats) to try and kill the filibuster.

I was struck by this sentence:

Lawmakers have been told the filibuster battle may now be seen less as a stand for principle -- that Democrats are abusing the rules by preventing up-or-down votes on judicial nominees -- and more part of a larger GOP strategy to bring the federal judiciary to heel. Complaints by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and other Republican lawmakers about federal judges in the aftermath of the Terri Schiavo case have dramatically changed the framework for the Senate debate.

I don't know if the Republicans have quite figured out what has happened: The Democrats - thanks in large part to Harry Reid - have taken control of the narrative. The Republicans have been in control of the narrative for so long that they may not quite get that they aren't controlling it.

The Democrats have figured it out: they have artfully woven Terri Schiavo, Tom Delay, the filibuster, and the extreme attacks of judges into a single public story - the Republicans abuse power.

And I think trying to ram through two more extremists plays right into that narrative.

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