Thursday, February 06, 2003
Not Filly-busting, Donkey-busting-The Democrats are about to throw Brer Elephant into the briar patch and filibuster the Estrada nomination. Some of the usual liberal suspects are getting limbered up for a talkathon, but not everyone is.
But two Democratic senators -- John Breaux of Louisiana and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota -- have approached GOP Senate Judiciary Committee staff aides and requested information about Estrada that they can use to defend a potential vote in favor of his nomination. Breaux's state has one of the largest concentrations of Hondurans in the United States. Republicans say they are prepared to debate Estrada's nomination "as long as it takes, for days, weeks, if necessary," one source told Fox News. "This is going to be an unprecedented fight over a nominee," the source said.We're about to have an honest-to-goodness filibuster; a PoliSci major's second favorite erotic fantacy, coming in just behind an open convention. Go for it, gentlemen. we might have the opportunity to spring the plan I mentioned in November.
I've yet to see someone do this-if you've got a 58-42 vote and the public is 65-35 in your favor on this issue, let them filibuster; not the gentleman's filibuster where they don't bring up a bill without 60 votes, but an honest-to-goodness, 24/7, Robert Byrd reciting the entirety of Robert's Rules of Order at 3AM filibuster. Let them cancel Book TV on C-SPAN2 for a couple of weeks while the Senate is in continuous session. Let the leftist sound bites from the Democratic obstructionists flow over the airwaves, as well as the GOP message that this is a popular bill that has bipartisan support. Let the telephone switchboards light up in protest. Let thoughtful neolibs (no, that's not an oxymoron) point out the error in their ways. Let the blogfire fly.By insisting on a full-fledged filibuster, you put the heat on the more moderate Democrats to allow for a vote or look obstructionist. I think this is one that will have 65-35 support (I can't be sure, since Estrada's only known by the political geeks right now) once this becomes an issue and might extend to 75-25 when the question is phrased "Is it worth shutting down the Senate to stop the nomination?" Has it been ten months since I first blogged on him? That's a symptom of Democratic obstructions right there.
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