Friday, February 25, 2005

Snarlin' Arlen Backsliding

Arlen Specter appears to be backsliding...he seems less than enthusiastic about pushing President Bush's renominated slate through the Judiciary Committee and is mumbling ambivalently about the nuclear option. The Corner has it covered.

From WaPo:

He said he is not sure Republicans have enough votes in the full Senate to confirm appellate court nominee William G. Myers III, but he will formally restart the contest by conducting a committee hearing Tuesday.
Speaking of the impasse over judges, Specter said that "if you trace it back historically, both parties are at fault." A Democratic-controlled Senate held up many of President Ronald Reagan's nominees, he said, and a GOP-controlled Senate used stalling tactics to block many of President Bill Clinton's nominees. "We exacerbated the problem," Specter said.

WHAT??!! Horse MANURE. See here.

More recently, he said, Democrats used filibusters and Bush made interim appointments of federal judges during congressional recesses, "which is a little unheard-of when the Senate has made a rejection of nominees. So each side ratcheted it up, ratcheted it up, ratcheted it up, until you have a situation today where . . . no one wants to back down and no one wants to lose face."

Specter said he does not know whether Frist can muster 51 votes to deploy the "nuclear option" -- which would not be subject to a filibuster -- and declined to say how he would vote. "I'm going to exercise every last ounce of my energy to solve this problem without the nuclear option," he said. "If we have a nuclear option, the Senate will be in turmoil and the Judiciary Committee will be hell."

Let's remember that the 'nuclear option' that the Dems have tried to label a possible rule change applies only changing the number of votes necessary to a majority from a supermajority to bring the confirmation matter to the full Senate. This is not a constitutional change but a Senate procedural one.

With friends like Snarlin' Arlen who needs Tom Daschle?

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