Bush Nominates Same Judges. Again.
One of Bush’s campaign issues in 2000 was “too much bickering” in Washington, and he pledged repeatedly to “change the tone.” He changed it for the worse. Bipartisan feuding and mutual animosity have probably been the worst ever during these last four years. And there’s at least one indication that the mutual hostility is off to a roaring start for Bush’s 2nd term.
Bush is planning to re-nominate at least 20 of the federal judge candidates whom he nominated during his first term but were stalled in the Senate. Republicans used this same tactic frequently during Clinton’s presidency, but now they’re shocked – shocked! – by the judicial vacancies, the backlog of cases and the intolerable delays caused by this reprehensible tactic.
Republicans are also reading way too much into Bush’s 51% “mandate.” Republican spinmeisters want us to believe that Bush’s election victory represents a sweeping endorsement of all of his plans and goals during the past 4 years. But the majority of voters disagree with Bush on the environment, abortion, the budget deficit and tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of the population. Karl Rove did an incredibly shrewd job of keeping these issues off the public radar, and pushing terrorism and wartime security (don’t change horses in the middle of a stream) and gay marriage to the center of the stage. It was a very shrewd and effective tactic – congratulations. But that’s why Bush won. His victory was not a ringing endorsement of all of his policies. If you succeed in getting someone to go out with you by using every smooth salesmanship tactic in the book, putting up a smooth front, exaggerating your good points and hiding your faults, you don’t then turn around and tell everyone “she loves me for who I am.”
That’s pretty much what Republicans have been doing. They’re insisting that Democrats voted themselves out of office by filibustering against Bush’s judicial nominees. Since last November 2nd, Republicans seem to be framing almost every issue with “Tom Daschle got voted out of office and Bush got re-elected; therefore…”
If Bush wants to re-nominate the same rednecks to the federal bench, or tries to appoint Torquemada (Alberto Gonzales) as Attorney General (or any other fox-guarding-the-henhouse type of cabinet member), the Democrats need to get out there and filibuster.