Hugh Hewitt blasts the Seven Republican Dwarfs who signed the judicial filibuster-stalling memorandum of understanding on Monday. Hewitt isn't only a right-winger, he's also a law prof. And he's not a Buchananite -- Hewitt supported keeping the seniority system in place that allowed Arlen Specter to ascend to the chairmanship of the Senate Judicial Committee. Here is part of his analysis of the fallout from the deal:
Other than the war, there is no issue of greater consequence to GOP activists than the courts, and this includes all GOP activists, not just faith-based conservatives. The sub-parties of national defense and free enterprise inside the GOP know all too well that the courts control many issues, from interpretations of the president's war powers, to the reach of federal regulation over the interstate-commerce clause and tort excesses, to judicial decrees on same-sex marriage and the use of international law to declare state death penalty statutes null and void.
The disfigured filibuster is a constitutional horror, and only the left's babblers pretend otherwise. Writing in a super-majority to the advice and consent clause of Article Two, Section 2 is simple willfulness by a deeply distressed political party, a naked power grab which should have been struck down immediately upon its introduction in 2003, and one which gains false credibility with every day it's left alive.
He's right about the importance of this to the base. Read through our postings: neither I nor Wongdoer is a member of the "Religious Right" -- we're both basically small-government libertarian-lite conservatives who believe the United States should be strong at home and abroad. The judicial nomination fiasco from 2001-02 is the reason that I contributed money to four Republican Senatorial candidates (Talent, Cornyn, Thune, Coleman), all of whom have been principled on this issue and most issues of importance to me and all of whom have been leaders in the Senate.
The Democrats' filibustering obstructionism is also the reason that Thune beat Daschle, and a main reason that Martinez won in Florida, Burr beat Bowles in NC and both Vitter and Isakson won in the deep South. The Seven Republican Dwarfs (Graham, McCain, Snowe, Collins, Chaffee, Warner, DeWine) all sold out the President, the Constitution and their integrity. Will there be a price? Hewitt says yes and points to Rhode Island, where Republicans want to mount a primary challenge to Chaffee; to Ohio, where DeWine's son may lose the primary for an open Congressional seat after DeWine's own cave-in; to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (the PAC that coordinates campaign contributions), which is getting more negative responses from the grass roots than ever because it seeks reelection of sitting Senators, not upstarts like Pat Toomey (against Specter).
More from Hewitt:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee finds itself receiving returned fundraising appeals with "not a dime more" scrawled on their letters. The brainchild of blogger Ed Morrissey, "not a dime more" conveys the refusal to send money to an organization pledged to the reelection efforts of Chaffee and Maine's Olympia Snowe. Of course cutting off the NRSC hurts all incumbents, but principled senators like Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum and Missouri's Jim Talent can go directly to donors via the web. It's the weak horses that like to fundraise as a field.
As for McCain, his Presidential stock is in the toilet, unless he switches parties. As Mark Steyn noted in his interview on the Hewitt radio show:
I think it was damaging for John McCain. John McCain will never be president. Now you talk about his home state. His home state is, in fact, the newsroom of the New York Times. He has tremendous appeal among key demographics of columnists, journalists, editors, news anchors, network reporters, the secretary in the research department standing by the photocopier. But among Republican primary voters, he has very minimal appeal, and insofar as this deal does anything, it only weakens his appeal to Republicans.