Of course it's not about revenge Sen. Lott

He’s out for blood

Basically, Sen. Lott’s holding up the nomination of a qualified candidate out of revenge for the Dems on the Senate Judiciary Cmte rejecting his good buddy Chuck Pickering. Here’s what Lott says:

However, the article points out the current chairman of the FCC, Michael Powell, is a year younger than Adelstein. Not only that, but Adelstein has support from Pres. Bush, people in industries the FCC covers and 14 years experience in the Senate as a Legislative Aide. Lott must have pretty crappy LAs because the ones I know know pretty much everything possible about their respective areas, in Adelstein’s case, you guessed it, telecommunications.

So, Sen. Lott, when do you issue the retraction and admit this is revenge?

Probably about the time the Dems acknowledge that the only reason they torpedoed Pickering is because they could and wanted to show the president they would.

When the Democrats admit that they sunk Pickering’s nomination out of revenge for Republicans stalling Clinton’s nominees.

Of course, the Republicans stalled those nominees partially out of revenge for what the Democrats had done to Republican nominees in the Reagan-Bush era. Which was done out of revenge for what Republicans had done during Nixon and Eishenhower’s terms, which was revenge for what was done in FDR and Truman’s terms, which was revenge for Hoover, Coolidge, and Harding, which was revenge for Wilson, re: TR and Taft, re: Cleveland, Harrison, Corrupt Bargain, founding of the parties.

In other words- it’s politics for nominations to be stopped. And it’s politics for each side to claim managamous motives while really just dirty-dealing. And believing that it’ll actually ever get better or that either side will be honest is equivalent to hoping for the Cubs to sweep the Series.

Generally true, John - but the practice was carried to such extremes under the Honorable Mr. Lott that even Chief Justice Rehnquist, as stiff-backed a GOP conservative as you’ll find, had to request that he knock it off. Say what you will about Leahy’s and Daschle’s work; they are at least holding hearings and letting nominees come up for votes, and have approved dozens of Bush nominees already in the last year without comment from the right-wing yammerers. As I recall, the Republicans’ individual record for stalling Clinton nominees was in excess of 4 years.

OK, so it’s a matter of degree, but so is most of politics. There truly is an imbalance in the federal courts’ composition here that has to be corrected before compensatory tactics can be ended. That is the overall goal we citizens have, isn’t it?

Lott himself isn’t doing his party’s reputation any favors either with this crap, or with his favorite tactic of running attack ads in South Dakota, apparently with the goal of getting Daschle defeated. I particularly enjoyed the one with Daschle and Saddam’s pictures side by side, with the slogan going something like “Daschle’s refusal to let us drill for oil in the Arctic is making us buy it from Saddam.”

Note that this is the GOP’s chosen leader in the Senate too - if the party overall isn’t that totally in the grip of assholes, why is Lott still getting re-elected by its membership?

John Corrado said:

Nonsense–the Cubs theoretically couldsweep the series.

ElvisL1ves said:

Leave it to Elvie to take a swing at painting the Rs as evil bastards and the Ds as protectors of the public good for doing the exact same thing–“compensatory tactics” indeed. Spare me the hypocrisy–on both sides.

Pot, meet kettle;
kettle, meet pot;
Lott, meet Daschle;
Daschle, meet Lott.

Pickering was torpedoed by the Democrats because he had a long history of publicly putting forward his racist views. Republicans and Pickering denied that Pickering was a racist, Democrats decided for themselves that he was and rejected his nomination. In view of this man’s long history of public racism, no self respecting Democrat could vote for him.

The fact that Republicans could says quite a bit about Republicans. The fact that Republicans decided to target a Southern Democrat Senator to try to get the final vote merely indicates that Republicans think that it is safer to be a closet racist in the South than anywhere else. They are probably right about that.

During Sen. Orrin Hatch’s tenure as Chair of the Judicairy Committee during the Clinton Administration, Hatch would routinly refuse to schedule votes on Clinton appointees whose politics he did not like. His sole reasoning was that they were “too liberal”. He did not even have the guts to have the whole committee vote because he knew that many Republicans would not go along with him. This was the same technique that Sen. Helms used to defeat Clinton’s appointment of Republican Governor William Weld to be Ambassador to Mexico. Helms disapproved of this appointment and knew the committee would overwhelmingly confirm him, so he avoided putting it on the agenda, thereby killing it. And Weld was hardly a liberal.

In short, this is politics, and at least the Democrats had the guts to put it to a vote, something Republicans don’t approve. :o

MysterEcks, while there’s no denying that there’s an ample supply of hypocrisy in Washington, dismissing any and all activity there on the basis that it’s “the exact same thing” is to ignore facts. DP White has made a good summary of the history there, expanding on my brief one. I’d like to ask you if you have any example to offer of Daschle and Leahy simply burying a nomination, without a vote, without even hearings, the way Lott and Hatch did routinely to Clinton appointees. Any?

No, Bush’s appointees to federal seats have all gotten hearings and votes, in what for the Senate is an expeditious manner, and so far all but Pickering have even been approved. That meets any reasonable interpretation of the Constitutional requirement for the Senate to “advise and consent” - which includes rejecting for cause, occasionally. By contrast, the Lott/Hatch/Republican stalling does not even meet a reasonable interpretation of responsible conduct in a democratic republic. Now refute that any way you can.

Lott’s a whiner, and you’re an enabler. Hatch at least knows to keep his mouth shut about it.

You’re barking up the wrong tree, Elvie. I’m not objecting to the Ds screwing with Bush’s judicial nominees, any more than I objected to the R’s doing the same to the Clinton nominees–and I’m perfectly happy with Pickering going down. I’m a big fan of divided government for just this reason–it cuts down on the nomination of true-believing idiots from both the left and right, and forces administrations of both parties to pick more moderate nominees who can survive the process.

As for the forms used by Lott versus Daschle, I really don’t give a shit as long as it’s done within the rules. Let me see Mister Daschle and the Democratics in the Senate back rule changes to strip some of the power from the party leadership and the committee chairmen–their own, in this case–and then I’ll consider rethinking whether the Ds are somehow more sincere than the Rs. Until then, I’m going to consider them just as bad, and you a spreader of horseshit for trying to claim otherwise.

(Thanks for labeling me an “enabler” for Lott, though–I must have more political power than I thought.)


This thread was about the parties’ comparative responses to the other parties’ nominees that had to be considered by the Senate.

Power of the party leadership?? WTF does that have to do with this frickin’ Pit thread??

Other than the GOP apparently was abusing it, and the Dems weren’t using it at all, in the matter at hand. So somehow Daschle has to give up a bunch of power in order to make things right. Boy howdy, doesn’t that make sense. You sure you aren’t Dilbert’s boss?

RTFirefly said:

And here I didn’t think you’d notice.

Try paying attention here. We have the comparative responses to the other party’s nominees, which is basically the same in both cases…and Elvie trying to claim that the Democrats are purer of heart and motive than the Republicans…and me disputing that…and Elvie & Company in response claiming the form of Republican obstruction he cites–which is essentially the leadership burying nominations so they never see the Seate floor–is somehow more evil than the way the Democrats obstruct, which is to kill off nominations in committee so they never see the Senate floor (as in the case of Pickering)…and I respond that such a view is a load of partisan horseshit, and that I will believe that Elvie’s party is somehow more sincere than the Rs when I see the Ds strip off leadership and committee chair power so that these matters get to the Senate floor despite the desires of the leadership.

Did you follow that, or would you prefer I use smaller words?

As I clearly stated in my post, the effect would be “then I’ll consider rethinking whether the Ds are somehow more sincere than the Rs.” Perhaps you should confine your attempts at posturing to what I actually say, rather than what I don’t.

I’m sure I’m a guy who detests hypocrisy from any side, even one that I’m theoretically on. Blind partisanship is nothing more than an excuse to turn your brain off and not be bothered to think for yourself–you can frame everything as “us versus them” and be done with it. That’s not fighting ignorance; that’s perpetuating it.

Just thinking here.

Could the President have known the Dems were gonna flex their muscle and shoot down his nominee? Could he have countered by holding back his real choice and offering up a sacrificial lamb? Then he offers up his real choice knowing that the Dems would look pretty bad if they shot THIS guy down?

I have no idea who Pickering is. I’m just channeling Sam Seaborne in West Wing.

MysterEcks, do you really think there’s no difference between holding votes and not holding them, or having hearings and not having them? That’s what you’re asserting in this desperate attempt to support your claim that both parties are “exactly the same”.

Nice touch at the end about deploring hypocrisy and blind partisanship. Crocodile tears, though.

Let’s see: the Democrats approve a considerable number of Bush nominees to the Federal bench, and in an open committee vote, block one nominee that’s too far to the right for their tastes.

But during the previous administration, the GOP blocked Clinton’s judicial nominations by the cartload, keeping how many - dozens? hundreds? of nominees from even coming up for a vote in committee. And many of these were done, quite openly and admittedly on the part of GOP leaders, because they felt the nominees were too liberal.

You’re right, it’s exactly the same in both cases. And the speck in Tom Daschle’s eye is the precise equivalent of the log in your own.

And since I’ve run into few posters here who manage to see things as one-sidedly as you, regardless of the evidence, I think I’ll let you speak to the mirror from now on.

The only question is, will you ever listen when your reflection moves its lips, or will you just assume that its words are meant only for the guys on the other side of the fence?

Do you have a cite for this? I’ve read that the ACLU specifically stated that it was not accusing him of racism.

By the way, it’s worth adding that the Judiciary Committee received a personal appeal from the President to “let the full Senate decide the issue,” according to the Washington Post.

This is known as “reporting without recommendation,” and it has happened only four times with judiciary nominees in the last thirty years. I suspect the reason why the President asked for this is because he thought he had a chance to swing the Democrat in the Hood, Zell Miller, his way, which would have allowed for a rare tie-breaker by the Vice President.

Now I ask you conservatives: what would you think if Uncle Bill Clinton asked a Republican-controlled committee to report a nominee without recommendation, because he had a racist in his pocket out there on the Senate floor?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Before I tell y’all to piss up a rope, I would also point out that there were 67 circuit court vacancies when Bush stole the job. Why? Because your assholes made it loud and clear that nobody was going to get by them while Clinton was in. Bush has already received over one-third (7) of the confirmations that Clinton wrangled (19) in eight years. (Source: Washington Times)

So when my assholes find a bad apple and unceremoniously toss him, why don’t you crybabies out there, including Mr. Lott, kindly fuck the hell off? My assholes are at least participating in the process of compromise, which is something your assholes demonstrably have not done.

Now piss up a rope!

Why do the local NAACP leaders support Pickering if he’s a racist? Robert Byrd was once a member of the KKK, should he resign?

spooje said:

It’s the sort of thing I’d like to think–that Bush doesn’t reallywant to foist far-righties on the federal courts–but I doubt it. For one thing, the Ds only hold a plurality in the Senate–their ability to kill nominations is tenuous, and I’d think they’d save tactics such as fillibustering for Supreme Court nominations.

ElvisL1ves said:

Try “not getting to the Senate floor for a vote and not getting to the Senate floor for a vote,” which is in fact the practical result. As I said before, I don’t find the tactics matter a whole lot, especially since it’s a comparison between a party that had a majority with one that currently only has a plurality. You can only act like a 600-pound gorrila if you have the power to do so, and the Ds don’t.

I’m glad you think so, since I wasn’t talking about the Senate Democrats–as I said before, I like divided government. I was talking about YOU, Elvie, and I’ll happily stand by that opinion.

RTFirefly said:

Should the Democrats hold the Senate for six years of Bush Administrations, your comparisons will begin to make some sense.

Uh huh…and we’re supposed to pretend that having a plurality plus one independent actually gives them the same power to maneuver as a majority had? 'Fraid not.

And while I just love this stuff about “open committees,” killing a nomination in a committee vote accomplishes the exact same thing as killing it without a committee vote–both prevent it from getting to the Senate floor, which is the whole point.

Yep…which brings us back to my point about stripping some of the power from the leadership if all this is considered ultimately undesirable. But, of course, only some of us are willing apply the same standards to both sides, rather than pretend one party is morally superior to the other.

I like this–the pot is accusing me of being a cooking utensil. Well, Mr. Pot, you will notice which one of us is in here defending his dear old party and which of us is saying his own is no better (though no worse) than the other.

That would be one way for me to avoid posturing partisan horseshit. Alas, I suspect you’ll continue to post it, whether directed at me or not.

Sofa King said:

According to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy there are currently 31 circuit court vacancies, plus seven having been filled with Bush nominees, so there can’t have been more than 38 vacancies when Bush took office.

Maybe you should read your own citation again. From the linked story:

In reality, Clinton had 65 nominations to the circuit courts approved by the Senate, with 46 (65 minus19) confirmed after the Republicans gained control. So I guess you can be less than a third as aggravated as you thought you were.

I’d ask how many inches long that rope was…but I think I’d want somebody else to measure it.

Oh, and while I was perusing that linked Washington Timesarticle, I noticed this:

In other words, insofar as they can manage it, it’s payback time…which will be met by Lott and the Republicans with payback for the payback…which will provoke payback for the payback for the payback… If I recall correctly, this is where we came in.

What? You checked my facts, and both the Washington Times and I were wrong?

What do I look like, G. Gordon Liddy?

I’m not going to sugar-coat this. My side is asserting its right to participate in the debate on who is being selected to interpret this nation’s laws. This administration has been completely unwilling to compromise on virtually any subject. If repeatedly tossing the President’s nominees out the window is the only way for Democrats to participate, then I will applaud their efforts.

“Mr. Lott’s revenge” will be virtually indistinguishable from the way the Republican Party has conducted itself in Congress for the past seven years. This time, they’re getting to take a bite of the same shit sandwich they’ve been serving up for everyone else.