Patterico's Pontifications


The Senate is having a Busy Day (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 9:52 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Testing the fragile agreement of the Gang of 14, today the Senate confirmed Judge Leslie Southwick to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by a 59-38 vote:

The Senate today confirmed Judge Leslie Southwick to the federal appeals court in Mississippi despite complaints by some Democrats that decisions he supported were racially insensitive and inappropriate for a region still shadowed by civil rights struggles. The 59-38 vote on confirmation was sealed after the nomination survived its main obstacle, a test tally moments earlier. Majority Democrats pressured by labor unions and other constituencies did not have the votes to filibuster, or block, Southwick’s confirmation.

The Congressional Black Caucus warned that there would be consequences for Democrats at the ballot box. “We regard this as a test,” said District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Supporters of Southwick’s nomination said the vote should only have been about his qualifications, not the history of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. “If he was up for any other circuit, there would be no hesitancy,” said Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

The nomination tested a fragile agreement in the Senate to block President Bush’s judicial nominations only in “extraordinary” circumstances. Some Democratic opponents said Southwick’s writings, combined with the troubled racial history of the circuit, met this amorphous standard. But Democrats did not have the votes to sustain a filibuster.”

Apparently the Senate has raised the bar for Southern conservative judicial nominees. Not only must they be competent, intelligent and ethical, they also have to shoulder the burdens of the “troubled racist history” of the South since the Civil War.

Finally, Senator Reid’s website notes the DREAM Act is up next:

“Upon conclusion of the Senate’s action on the Southwick nomination, the Senate will resume legislative session. There will be up to 20 minutes of debate equally divided between the two Leaders or their designees prior to a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 2205, the DREAM Act.”

I don’t think the Senate likes Southerners today.

Update: Cloture vote on the DREAM Act failed. Michelle Malkin has the whole story. Thanks to chaos and Lord Nazh for the update in the comments here and on another thread.


12 Responses to “The Senate is having a Busy Day (Updated)”

  1. DREAM also went down, 52-44.

    I wonder how many “disaffected conservatives” will recant their passionate denunciations of the GOP after, once again, the party did exactly what they wanted. Don’t hold your breath.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  2. Not just race — glbt issues as well.

    This is why I have so little respect for the law, Patterico. it’s all about power. Sheer, naked, unadulterated power. And nothing else.

    David Ehrenstein (b743cb)

  3. So who is he insenitive to anyway i guess he must rejects afferrmative action and OBE and other liberal ideas

    krazy kagu (a6e311)

  4. Apparently the Senate has raised the bar for Southern conservative judicial nominees. Not only must they be competent, intelligent and ethical, they also have to shoulder the burdens of the “troubled racist history” of the South since the Civil War.

    Well said. Years and years of politically profiting victimization still going strong. Derelict, counterproductive and wholly despicable.

    But, in the immortal words of Ron White, “You can’t fix stupid.”

    Deborah (5ac5e3)

  5. It’s not stupidity.

    It’s Machiavellian political strategy, and I mean that as a compliment.

    The Democratic Party knows that its money comes from people who are significantly farther to the Left than the masses who vote for Democrats in elections. They know that the political kingmakers of their party demand character assassination of conservatives and that since the masses largely do not pay attention to the proceedings of Congress and largely tune out the never-ending stream of speeches, denunciations, press releases, press conferences, etc., that they can almost be as disrespectful and generally rude as they want without the common people getting turned off by their lack of manners.

    Tarring a Republican judicial appointee with the past of the American South is not something that is going to turn off the American voter to the Democratic Party or politics in general. It is only when the parties have overreached with their childish behavior, bringing it into every issue, from Iraq to SCHIP to immigration, that we see a backlash from the general populace.

    The 2008 election is not 2008, it’s 1968. Except that this time Richard Nixon is a woman. I guess you could call that social progress, couldn’t you?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  6. These reverse racists are motivated by hate; they want chaos, are nihilists.

    They are getting nothing from these invaders.**
    It’s purely a loathing of their own roots.

    **These low-lives will rape, pillage and murder
    Durbin’s family same as they will do to anyone else.

    King Pandeen (87ec7f)

  7. chaos, I could not possibly agree more with your expansion, for which I thank you.

    Deborah (5ac5e3)

  8. The dems are on a no hitter streak with no end in sight.

    The moonbat left is pulling their hair out in dismay and from some of the postings over there they are hinting the morning conference calls are saying the dems know they don’t have a prayer to get any of this by the Senate and they are only hitting them again and again to build up political capital for the next election cycle.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  9. You’re welcome, Deborah.

    The dems are on a no hitter streak with no end in sight.

    They are in a tough position. They do not want to be seen as heavy-handed and uncompromising as they said the Republicans were, they do not want to be seen as do-nothing, and yet they cannot compromise on any issue lest the Party finds itself savaged by the nutroots and abandoned by its bankrollers. This is why the GOP has, in my opinion, been so much smarter than the Democrats: aside from the “Religious Right,” the Republican Party goes after funding from business, which is interested in making money, not ideological agendas. This is why despite the myth of the “Religious Right” or “Christianists” dominating the GOP that is so prevalent on the Left, GOP policies have generally only paid lip-service to fundamentalist Christian demands. The Republicans know who is a more stable source of funding.

    The modern Democratic Party has been very myopic in how they raise funds. Fanatical ideological factions with narrow agendas as your main bankrollers? Not a good idea if you find yourself in a situation like today, where compromise is a must for political progress.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  10. Chaos – The Dems are the party of identity/ideology politics. The problem is that they’ve got too many mouths to feed to please everyone and it prevents them from getting anything done or coming up with a platform acceptable to a broad American public. The old saw, “if liberals told you what they really thought, no one would vote for them” is the phenomenom I believe we are seeing generating the infighting on the left today. The nutroots genuinely believe they have broad appeal and unfortunately politicians listen to them because they make noise and bring money.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  11. Oh, and did not know about it. Thanks for the information …

    Andy (0b70a8)

  12. “Chaos – The Dems are the party of identity/ideology politics. “

    And the Republicans aren’t?

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

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