Patterico's Pontifications


Defeating Judicial Filibusters: The “Conventional Warfare Option”

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 1:18 pm

Republicans, frustrated with Democrat obstructionism of President Bush’s judicial nominees, have publicly discussed a “nuclear option” for ending filibusters. The option under consideration would use a parliamentary maneuver to accomplish a rules change eliminating the power to filibuster judicial nominees.

The “nuclear option” faces major obstacles, not the least of which is its unfortunate name. The American public is understandably loath to resort to a “nuclear” solution to any problem, unless it is demonstrated to be the absolute last resort, to be employed only in the most dire circumstances.

The obvious question arises: is there some way to win this war without resort to the parliamentary equivalent of nuclear weaponry? In short, is there a “conventional warfare option” for ending filibusters of judicial nominees?

I believe there is.

A Proposal for Principled Republicans: Let Patterico Buy You a Free Hugh Hewitt Book

Filed under: Books,Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 1:04 pm

Attention, Spoons. Attention, Kathryn Jean Lopez. Attention, Angry Clam and Kevin Murphy.

This post is for you — and for me, because I am like you. We are the Republicans who put principle above party, and conviction above compromise. Hugh Hewitt, in his latest book, is speaking to us. Hugh’s message: majorities matter. He says that winning majorities means sacrificing a blind allegiance to idealism, in favor of a political philosophy of principled pragmatism — with the emphasis on pragmatism.

I’m not saying that Hugh is right — but I think we should hear him out. He is a leading conservative voice and a very smart man. His ideas deserve consideration.

So I have a proposal for all of you.

If you haven’t read Hugh’s book already, I will buy it for you. Leave a comment on this post saying you accept my proposal, and e-mail me with your home address, and I will shoot you a copy right away. It’s on me — but there’s a catch. I have two conditions:

  • Read it with an open mind. Much of what Hugh has to say will cause you to react viscerally and negatively. I know — I had the same experience. Resist the urge to discount his advice out of hand. Listen to his arguments. Take them seriously.
  • Agree to discuss the book publicly, on my blog and on yours. Let’s get a discussion going. We may end up — all of us — deciding that Hugh is all wet. If that is the end result, so be it. But let’s talk about it first, and invite our readers to take part in the discussion.

In addition to the above-named bloggers, I will also make this offer available to up to five Patterico readers, in my discretion. My target audience is people like myself and like the bloggers I list above: people who believe strongly in core Republican precepts, who would rather stand on their convictions than watch the party compromise those principles. You must agree to the above conditions — keep an open mind, and agree to discuss the book publicly. If you’re interested, leave a comment and explain how you are a member of the target audience.

I plan to start the ball rolling today with a post reviewing the book and giving my initial reaction. [UPDATE: Here it is, a little late.]

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