Thursday, May 19, 2005

filibuster flip-floppery

In the march toward pure democracy, the rhetoric and acrimony abounds. Both sides of the isle are no doubt posturing in preparation for 2006, and indeed 2008. Call me cynical, but I’m convinced that if the majority and minority were reversed, this power play would likely still occur. These pseudo-statesmen would sell their children for a few extra voting constituents. The various political journals tend to advocate for their team, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by National Review’s current stance. In fact, Jonah Goldberg deigned to point out a partisan 180 on the use of filibuster, with respect to Federal Judges.
Let's stir the pot nice and early. I'm not sure I understand NR's reversal on filibusters. In a December editorial -- titled "Let them Filibuster" -- the magazine said:
So we sympathize with those Republicans who have been proposing to change the Senate rules to make it easier to confirm nominees who have majority support. Nevertheless, we think the idea is a mistake.

And yesterday we said:

For Republicans to leave the filibusters in place now after months of demanding a change would be ignominious. The same pundits who are saying that the majority party should not insist on its prerogatives would turn around and say that the majority party is responsible and should be held accountable for everything the government does. More important, a surrender would tell everyone — conservative voters, Democratic senators and interest groups, and the White House — that Republican senators were irresolute in their support for judicial conservatism. It would thus set back the urgent cause of a reformation of the federal judiciary.

Here's what I don't get: Is NR's argument that ending the filibuster would be bad but now that GOP prestige is on the line it's necessary?
I say good for Goldberg. It’s refreshing to hear that hypocrisy can be revealed, even by those on one’s own side of the fence, much less by one’s employer. It makes it difficult to accuse W.F. Buckley & Co. of censorship. I may not always agree with NRO, but I respect them. Incidentally, my position on the matter remains unchanged.