Wednesday, February 26, 2003

More on Estrada

Today's Tribune runs an editorial about Democratic obstruction of the Estrada nomination, but concludes that any obstruction is payback, well within the rules of politics as currently practiced:

President Bush and Senate Republicans are waxing righteously indignant over Democrats' obstructing the confirmation of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

And yes, it's a terrible thing. Democrats should abandon their procedural antics and let Estrada's nomination go to the Senate floor.

But first let us acknowledge the stench of hypocrisy hanging thick in the Senate chamber. It was just a few years ago that Democrats were screaming bloody murder over Republicans' obstructing many of President Clinton's judicial nominees.

U.S. Sen Jon Kyl's press secretary has tried to convince us that Democrats' tactics this time are somehow different and more heinous because they're threatening a filibuster. Our view is that whether the tool of choice is a crowbar or monkey wrench, the resultant jamming of the procedural gears is essentially the same.

* * *
So here we are, locked in stalemate. What to do?

The right thing would be for Democrats to get out of the way and let the full Senate vote on the nomination. Indeed, every president's judicial nominees should be handled so forthrightly.

Of course, this being politics, what is right may very well have to take a back seat. President Bush may be forced to find somebody else. It won't be the first time that's happened.

And, if it comes to that, Bush and his GOP cohorts in the Senate will have no right to point fingers.

Usually, libertarians are the undocumented workers of the VRWC--imported to do the jobs that are too distasteful, or don't pay enough, for real Republicans, then ignored or worse when it's time to divide up the booty. It's nice when they turn on their usual employers, and we need to encourage them when they do so.

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