If it were not for his fondness for tax cuts, and his pursuit, however flawed, of the ongoing war on terror, I can't for the life of me think of a good reason to vote for George Bush this November. OK .. The Poodle?s name on the ballot would be a fairly good reason .. though I'm not sure reason enough.
You've probably heard by now, but George Bush has once again managed the nearly impossible physical feat of handing his head to the Democrats ... again. He gave up; ran for the hills; threw in the towel; bailed. Tragically, didn't really get anything of real value for his craven surrender. He gave the Democrats almost a complete victory.
The issue this time is the nomination and confirmation process for federal judges. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants to the president the authority to appoint federal judges ?with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.? Every legal scholar not employed by Harvard of the Senate Judiciary Committee will tell you that a majority vote in the Senate would constitute ?consent.? The president makes his choice; the nomination goes to the Senate, and the Senate votes. If a majority votes for confirmation, we have a new federal judge.
That was then, this is now. When the Democrats lost control of the Senate in the 2002 elections they decided that a simple majority vote would no longer be good enough to confirm a judicial appointee. Over the years leftists have depended on judicial activism and fiat to enact much of their agenda. The future of their anti-individualist, big-government designs depend largely on the left?s ability to keep Constitutionally oriented judges off the federal bench. Since they didn?t have a Senate majority, they needed a new rule. To keep constitutionalists off the bench Daschle and Company decided to change the Constitution to require a super-majority for a judicial confirmation. Sixty votes. No less.
Does Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 provide for a super majority in any Senate proceedings? Yes, but just one; the ratification of treaties. So there goes your argument that there is nothing wrong with requiring 60 votes to confirm a judicial nomination.
For two years now Daschle and Company have been preventing votes on the floor of the Senate for confirmation of many of Bush's judicial nominees. Never before in our history has a minority party prevented confirmation votes on judicial nominees that had the necessary majority vote waiting for them.
Never. The Democrats were showing a crass level of complete disrespect for the Constitution of the United States and for years of Senate tradition. We shouldn't be surprised, though. When it comes to reacquiring their Senate power, it is clear that neither the Constitution nor the successful conclusion to our war against terrorism and the restructuring of Iraq can be allowed to stand in the way.
As it turns out, the Constitution gives the president a bit of an out when the Senate is acting up like this. Move on to Clause 3. The president can make recess appointments. This Bush did with two judicial nominees that the Democrats had filibustered, Pryor and Pickering. You must know that this didn't sit too well with Daschle and Company. How dare the President of the United States use a constitutional procedure to prevent them from blocking a confirmation vote? Their response? They proceeded to bring virtually all presidential nominations, even the ones they liked, to a complete standstill.
Let's review here. I?m not trying to waste space, but there may be Democrats reading this column. In government schools, we must be careful not to leave them behind when we get into even the most moderately complicated situations. We will call this "back up and repeat essential points" as the "No Liberal Left Behind? style of writing.
A. The Democrats modify the Constitution by requiring a super-majority vote for the confirmation of certain judicial nominees.
B. The president responds by using the perfect constitutionally legitimate exercise of making a recess appointment.
C. The Democrats, outraged at the president's legal use of his Constitutional authority, bring nearly all Senate business to a halt in retaliation.
D. The president promises to stop any further recess appointments during this term if the Senators will only do the job they were elected to do.
This is leadership? When George W. Bush was sworn in he swore an oath to ?preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.? Just how are you preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution when you promise to stop using a constitutionally legitimate procedure to prevent political opponents from defying the Constitution.. and for this we get a quick confirmation of about 27 judicial nominees whom the Democrats didn?t object to in the first place? Wow! What a deal!
Senate Democrats must be getting a real chuckle out of this in their private gatherings. Time after time they have rolled George Bush. Protectionist trade rules for the steel industry, obscene spending increases for hopeless government schools, even the left?s current political showpiece of the 9/11 Commission hearings.