Confrontation on Filibusters: Once Again the Republicans’ Fault
According to the L.A. Times, when Republicans reject Democrat offers to compromise on the filibuster, that shows an eagerness for confrontation on the part of Republicans. And when Democrats reject Republican offers to compromise, that shows an eagerness for confrontation on the part of . . . Republicans.
Yesterday, the paper ran an article about the Republican rejection of the Democrats’ silly non-starter of a compromise offer, which contemplated confirming three judges in return for an unlimited Democrat veto over all future Bush appointees. That laughable “offer” was portrayed yesterday as a genuine effort to compromise and avoid confrontation:
Senate Republicans on Tuesday rebuffed a Democratic overture aimed at ending a confrontation over federal judges, saying that any agreement must include a pledge not to filibuster future nominees — especially Supreme Court nominees.
(More on yesterday’s article in my post from yesterday.)
Today Bill Frist has made his own offer. It is an effective response to the left’s nonsensical claims that efforts to shut down the filibuster are an effort to shut down “debate.” To demonstrate the insincerity of that Democrat argument, Frist has offered Democrats 100 hours to debate judicial nominees, on condition that the nominees get an up-or-down vote at the end of the debate.
If the filibuster controversy were truly about debate, this compromise offer would be accepted.
Naturally, it was rejected.
The rejection shows clearly that this controversy isn’t about preserving the right to debate — it’s about blocking nominees, pure and simple. If this is a non-starter of an offer, that’s because one the Democrats’ prime arguments in favor of the filibuster — the need for robust debate in the Senate — is completely disingenuous.
So how is Frist’s compromise offer portrayed in the L.A. Times? Simple: Frist is choreographing a confrontation:
In a piece of parliamentary choreography that moves the Senate closer to confrontation, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) offered today to give Democrats 100 hours to debate judicial nominees on the condition that they permit a vote on each nominee at the end of the debate.
So: Republicans reject a Democrat compromise offer — that’s Republicans seeking confrontation. Democrats reject a Republican compromise offer — that’s still Republicans seeking confrontation.
To the L.A. Times, it doesn’t matter which side makes a compromise offer, which side rejects it, or what the actual merits of each offer might be. In each case, the theme is always the same: any confrontation is the Republicans’ fault.
P.S. Today’s Times story looks like a first draft. The extended entry will memorialize the content in case it changes.