Is this Round One in the fight that could lead the GOP to pull the trigger on the “nuclear option?” Democrats have threatened to shut the government down if the Republicans do the unthinkable and kill the fillibuster rule in the Senate, which is the Democrats’ only means of stopping President Bush’s relentless efforts to pack the federal judiciary with rightwing idealogues. Republicans are in bad odor with the public right now because of their blatant demogoguery in the Schiavo matter. If Democrats can connect the dots between GOP duplicity and politicization in the Schiavo case and the politics behind killing the fillibuster, we may just have a fight on our hands.
Congressional Democrats on Tuesday said Republican criticism of the federal courts following Terri Schiavo’s death showed an “arrogancy of power” that is leading to a Senate confrontation over filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees.
“If they don’t get what they want, they attack whoever’s around,” said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada. “Now they’re after the courts, and I think it goes back to this arrogancy of power.”
Democrats are focusing on comments by two Texas Republicans, Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record) and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who gets no vote on judicial nominations since they are the purview of the Senate.
“The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior,” DeLay said after Schiavo died last week.
Cornyn, while criticizing a different judicial decision, wondered Monday if frustration against perceived political decisions by judges “builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence, certainly without any justification.”
” I think it’s an arrogancy of power,” Reid said.
He might add that the GOP histrionics over the Democrats’ stalling of judicial nominations is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Bush nominated over 200 judges in his first term and all but 10 were confirmed by the Senate. That’s hardly a”obstructionism,” by any standard.