Gray Flannel Dwarf

5/18/2005

So, what is it, then?

A while back, I saw a bumpersticker that read something to the effect of, “What exactly is it that Conservatives conserve?” As it was a green bumpersticker, I’m guessing its focus was a jab about natural resources.

It made me think a little harder, though, in everything that’s going on these days.

I’ve been through a bunch of these things before, but to recap:

  • The GOP has traditionally been a party advocating strict government spending and small government. That ain’t happening.
  • The GOP has traditionally been a party advocating personal privacy issues. That ain’t happening.
  • The GOP has traditionally been a party opposing US involvement in foreign affairs. That certainly ain’t happening.

So, these bring me to my current thought. “Conservative”. I remember, when I was a kid, I asked my parents the same sort of question… I wondered why “Conservatives” didn’t seem to be the ones who were interested in the environment. When I was that age, the name, at least, seemed to imply this.

Of course, we all know that “Conservatives” are so-called because they purportedly want to “conserve” tradition, conserve values. In this case, I guess we can add another bullet to the list above, with regards to today’s GOP:

  • The GOP has traditionally been a party which advocates maintaining traditions and existing American values. So why are they attempting to change 200 years of Senate tradition in one fell swoop today, and over the next couple of weeks?

Ahem. Per today’s Washington Post:


Republicans hold 55 of the seats in the chamber, and until now they have needed 60 votes to end debate and force a vote. But Republicans believe they have figured out how to use the chamber’s rules so that only a simple majority — 51 votes — is required to force an up-or-down vote.

To get there, Republicans will have to evade a requirement that they have a two-thirds vote — 67 of 100 senators — to change the chamber’s rules. Republicans will argue that they are attempting to set a precedent, not change the Senate rules, to disallow the use of filibusters as a delaying tactic on judicial nominations. And by doing so, they say, they are returning to a more traditional concept of majority rule.

This, despite the fact that the purpose of the Senate was precisely designed to be a self-moderating and deliberative body! The Senate was put into place because small states wanted protection against tyranny of the large, and until recently, the Senate has always donned the mantle of deliberation. Leave the playground politics and squables to the House, but let the Senate be the voice of reason. Well, that’s they way it’s traditionally been, anyway. So much for that.

And it’s been such a lie, from the beginning, the things they’ve said. “Filibustering judicial nominees goes against Senate tradition of giving candidates up or down votes.” Frist spoke of the Dems trying to “break with more than 200 years of Senate tradition.” Bullshit. The GOP-packed committee kept over 60 Clinton nominees from getting an up or down vote… they didn’t need to filibuster, they just wouldn’t let them out of committee. Clinton nominations… whatever — I don’t care whose they were. The issue is the same, and in reality, whether a appointee is buried in committee, or filibustered on the floor, neither one more than the other can be accused of violating the Senate’s duty to “advise and consent” on Presidential appointees.

What’s more, the GOP has filibustered judicial candidates itself! Again, from the WaPo, this time from an article dated January 31st, 2005:

But the majority leader protests too much. Not only have filibusters been attempted against judicial nominees in the past, but Frist himself has even voted for one. In 2000, after Senate conservatives had held up Bill Clinton’s nomination of Richard Paez to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit for four years, Frist joined in an unsuccessful attempt to filibuster Paez — a judge who was favored by a clear majority of the Senate and who won confirmation after the filibuster was broken by a vote of 59 to 39.

So indeed, at this point what are the conservatives trying to conserve? Assholes.


cswiii @ 10:20 am