Patterico's Pontifications


Professor Bainbridge Gloats Early

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 10:04 am

Professor Bainbridge is gloating early. Not only have Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and William Pryor been confirmed, but so have Richard Griffin and David McKeague. For Professor Bainbridge, that means the capitulation on the nuclear option is an unqualified success:

As a proud charter member of the Coalition of the Chillin’ – i.e., conservatives who supported the filibuster deal (or at least didn’t think the world ended when it was signed) – I’m pleased to see that we were right. Steven Taylor assesses the latest confirmation votes:

So, for those inclined to keep “score”: the compromise from the “Gang of 14″ earlier in the month has now netted 5 confirmations. This fact should blunt the cries of the not-so-chillin’ that, in fact, the compromise did not represent “defeat” for the majority at the hands of a small cabal of traitorous Republicans. Indeed, if anyone wants to gripe about defeat at this point, it should be the minority.

It’s a great post; do go read the whole thing.

As for me, I await an engraved apology from all of my fellow conservatives who told me I had gone soft by supporting the deal. But I’m not holding my breath.

What Bainbridge seems to forget is that, had the nuclear option been successfully deployed, these judges would have been confirmed anyway — and the filibuster would be dead as a tool to obstruct judicial nominees. It’s fine to be happy about having five judges confirmed. But it strikes me as odd to gloat about it when the price is the survival of the filibuster — especially when the alternative is having five judges confirmed anyway, and the filibuster gone.

Of course, maybe the conservatives would have lost a vote on the nuclear option. That’s really the only rational argument in favor of the deal. But, although the good Professor has made many arguments in favor of the deal, that argument is not one of them. (I have already responded to the arguments Professor Bainbridge did make, in this post.)

We’ll revisit this issue at a later date, Professor — most likely when one of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees has been successfully filibustered. I have no doubt that, by the time President Bush’s term is up, the Professor will owe me and fellow conservatives multiple engraved apologies.

I won’t hold my breath.

10 Responses to “Professor Bainbridge Gloats Early”

  1. Bainbridge is off his meds again. The article you linked to has the Dems not only reserving the “right” to filibuster Supreme Court nominees, they’re all but promising to:

    “These judges were bitter medicine, but I believe the Senate and our caucus is better for it,” said Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat. “We preserved the right of extended debate and filibuster, and when and if a Supreme Court vacancy occurs, we have preserved our rights, if a controversial person is named, to exercise our traditional authorities in the Senate.”

    Xrlq (717f9d)

  2. If the Democrats filibuster a future Supreme Court nominee, and they surely will, the nuclear option will be available to counter them.

    Stu707 (b13883)

  3. With all respect, this story has yet to be finished, and neither side can claim to have been proven correct in their predictions till it is. Wildcards include:

    1. Could the R’s have successfully managed the nuclear option in the first place, given the McCain crew in their midst?

    2. Will the Dems try to filibuster future nominees? (Yeah, probably, but that leads to the next coupla points)

    3. Can the Dems score political pts with the filibuster, given that their passage of the recent nominees put the lie to their claim that these nominees were dangerously extreme?

    4. Will the R’s invoke the nuclear option anyway if the Dems stretch the definition of “extraordinary circumstances” beyond its meaning?

    Long way to go on this one. If it had been solely up to me, Patterico, I’d’a gone nuclear months ago to get it over with before the Dems could crank up their MSM propaganda machine. I think you wouldda done the same.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the deal struck is proven either good or bad yet. If I had to bet, I’d bet on option 4 ultimately making the whole deal no more than a brief interregnum in the original battle. And if it does go that way, it’ll be that much tougher on the McCain’ers, the 2nd time around, to do anything but support the nuclear option.

    But we’ll see.

    ras (f9de13)

  4. Don’t sweat it Xrlq and Patterico.

    We will win The Wine for Winner Challenge:

    Bainbridge has been listening to the Lefties over at UCLA too long. Any small change seems like a monumental victory over there.

    Flap (bef92f)

  5. I will wait until the rest of the nominated judges are voted on before declaring victory.

    Davod (51e146)

  6. I knew the majority of senate dems wanted to back off the filibusters because they understood it would lead to, for all practical purposes, the annihilation of the senate democrats in next year’s election and the creation of a filibuster-proof GOP majority of 60+.

    This is in fact why I opposed the deal, we should have allowed the dems to destroy themselves.

    This they are likely to do anyway, however. For, in case anyone in these parts has failed to notice, the senate dems are lead by total idiots, and so if I were the good professor Bainbridge I would not count on collecting my bets before the 2006 national elections, when a number of these morons including the old Klansman himself will be sent packing for home.

    BTW, did anyone know that Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act for 14 hours before his own party shut him down?

    ttyler5 (77d0e0)

  7. […] f the best choices that President Bush could make for the Supreme Court.” Patterico also believes it’s “too early to gloat” about The Deal. […]

    Confirm Them » Sunday Stuff (e203ab)

  8. Although it might not come engraved, there is no evidence that the good Professor Bainbridge won’t eat crow when and if necessary. OK, it might not be, like, actually engraved, but he’ll cave if he has to. Also, if the Dems filibuster a Supreme Court nominee for no good reason, the Republicans can repeal the filibuster then.

    TigerHawk (cc0358)

  9. Fair enough.

    Patterico (756436)

  10. As a long-time conservative, I’m really not all that troubled by Professor Bainbridge’s position. Politics is the art of the possible, and 5 long-stalled nominees are now safely home. I think it’s very possible Frist would have lost the filibuster vote, and after that we would have gotten nothing. Even if he won, MSM would have portrayed this as a stunning, anti-constitutional power grabs by the Reps, which could have hurt in 2006. The way things are unfolding now, if the Democrats try to filibuster a SC nominee, Frist and Co. will be on much more solid ground in going nuclear.

    We all want the same thing, nominees getting voted on, and conservatives being placed on the bench. And I think that’s how all of this will play out.

    Robert (e8cc0d)

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