high noon in crazyland

Senator Adopt-a-cat, Bill Frist, came out today saying that the showdown over the filibuster is going to happen shortly. He says he has the votes to send the United States careening into single-party Christian theocracy, but others suspect that he doesn’t. (He would have called for the vote by now if he had.) Acting like he might know something (I hope) Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says with confidence, if you’re unwilling to work with us on finding a solution, then bring it on. Here’s a quote from Reid’s speech:

But I want to be clear: we are prepared for a vote on the nuclear option. Democrats will join responsible Republicans in a vote to uphold the constitutional principle of checks and balances.

While it looks like some Republicans, like John McCain, are going to be strong enough to stand up to Frist on this, most aren’t talking. (McCain has indicated on-the-record that he would not vote to change the 200 year old rules of the Senate in order to push though Bush’s unacceptable judicial nominees.)

My sense is that Frist had to pull the trigger and call for a vote because he felt the momentum wasn’t shifting in his favor, as he’d hoped that it would. As was the case with the Social Security debate, it appears that the more the public hears about the administration’s plan here, the less palatable they find it. When people consider that Bush, for instance, is getting through as many, if not more, judicial appointments as his predecessors, it’s hard for them to accept that the rules of the Senate, which have gotten us this far, need to be scrapped. And then, when you add to this the fact that the Bush’s rejected nominees are so clearly outside the mainstream, it just makes people all the more dubious… And, fortunately, public attention on this issue has been growing.

Speaking of public attention, on college campuses across the nation, students have been holding multi-day public filibusters in support of the time-honored right of the minority party in the Senate. I believe it started in April at Carlton College, with their Filibuster for the Filibuster. And, recently, students at Princeton got national attention when they followed suit, filibustering for over 100 hours straight in front of the university’s Frist Campus Center, a building constructed with funds from the Senator’s family. And, hoping to encourage similar demonstrations, groups like Campus Progress, are stepping in to provide the information and the tools.

(note: If you were at all interested in my ill-fated attempt to build a wiki site on the subject of the administration’s bid for the Judiciary, you should check out those Campus Progress links. They’re pretty much doing the same things that I’d set out to do (compiling information about opportunities for action, chronicling news coverage, etc) only with a lot more in the way of resources and skills. Check it out, even if you’re not a student.)

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 12, 2005 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    As if Frist wasn’t evil enough in my eyes, the fact that he adopted cats from shelters to experiment on them is beyond reprehensible in my eyes.

    And the more I see and hear of John McCain the more depressed I get that he didn’t win the Republican nomination way back when. He wavered during the election, so that made me a little less happy, but he’s come back strong as a thinking man, not a puppet.

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