Democrat Members of the House and Senate staged an opposition rally in Washington D.C. on Wednesday with their friends at MoveOn.Org. You remember MoveOn? They were the group endorsing "Screaming Howard" Dean in the 2004 Presidential election, running adds likening George Bush to Hitler, and mainlining the wealth of billionaire Socialist George Soros in his effort to buy the outcome of a free election. They are the champions of fringe Left ideology in this nation and the Democrat party, including so-called 'centrist' Hillary Rodham-Clinton, is their political concubine... payed for with special interest contribution and clad in tawdry rhetoric to perform the duty of solicitation. On the podium were the usual suspects and peddlers of propogandistic half-truths - Byrd, Boxer, Durbin, Reid, Leahy - with one pleasant surprise in the form of Senator Clinton speaking openly and candidly for the record.
"...this is not a good thing to do. To upend the way the Senate has operated, just because you can for sheer political power? For partisan advantage? To basically end minority rights? To go ahead and consign Mr. Smith Goes To Washington to the dustbin of history? they know that what goes around comes around. And this cannot be good for either party, just as it is not good for the institution of the Senate or our country."
"... You know, some of the impetus behind this unfortunately is coming from some of the newer Republican members who don't yet see that there's a Constitutional, profound reason for us to have a difference between the way the House of Representatives is run, and the way the Senate is run. Now, some people say well, the Senate can be frustrating. Well, I know that. I know that from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, how frustrating it can be, obviously."
Obviously... the junior Senator of New York is, herself, confused about profound Constitutional reasoning. Or perhaps she simply resents being taught a profound lesson by newly elected legislators actually representing their home States.
The Claremont Institute has a comprehensive analysis of Constitutional reasoning in this matter. Mrs. Clinton might chance a review of the facts before assuming authority on an issue she obviously knows so little about... or presumes in her persistent condescension, that We know so little about.
Article II of the Constitution provides that the President "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint...Judges of the supreme Court [and such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish]."4 As the text of the provision makes explicitly clear, the power to choose nominees — to "nominate" — is vested solely in the President,5 and the President also has the primary role to "appoint," albeit with the advice and consent of the Senate. The text of the clause itself thus demonstrates that the role envisioned for the Senate was a much more limited one that is currently being claimed.
We are afterall talking about the nomination process which is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Executive branch. If Democrat Senators, in conjunction with their advise and consent authority, do not approve of a President's nomination then they should in good conscience, vote against that nominee's appointment. That is their right and responsibility afforded by the Constitution. By abusing the procedural tool of the filibuster to block nominees from a vote, a handful of Senators have seized the power of both nomination and appointment processes, in fact holding the Executive branch hostage to their agenda. Spurious Constitutional genuflecting notwithstanding, it is clear that what Senator Clinton and her minority colleagues want is a Super authority over Executive priority in defiance of original Constitutional intent. It is something that has never existed in American history in the matter of judicial appointments nor should it.
Over at RadioBlogger, Duane has posted the transcripts of the speeches from Wednesday and has included a sound clip of the insufferable Barbara Boxer rendering the entire masquerade meaningless by dropping her mask.
"Why would we give lifetime appointments to people who earn up to $200,000 a year, with absolutely a great retirement system, and all the things all Americans wish for, with absolutely no check and balance except that one confirmation vote. So we're saying we think you ought to get nine votes over the 51 required. That isn't too much to ask for such a super important position. There ought to be a super vote. Don't you think so? It's the only check and balance on these people. They're in for life. They don't stand for election like we do, which is scary."Mrs. Boxer... granted you may not be capable of comprehending this given an historic assessment of your intellect, but what members of MoveOn think regarding a Super Majority qualification for the approval of Presidential judicial appointments is virtually irrelevent. As a popular matter, that would be the subject of an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States requiring debate, vote, and national ratification. If that is what you intend to propose, then your procedural options are certainly outlined accordingly. But, to pilfer such authority, not specifically authorized by the Constitution, by means of abuse of the filibuster in order to exercise the despotism of a fringe minority in the Legislative Branch, both subverts the intent of the Constitution and truly upends the balance of power outlined therein. It is you Mrs. Boxer and Mrs. Rodham-Clinton, and your Senate Democrat colleagues who are subverting Constitutional authority and attempting to forever alter the nature of checks and balances in favor of minority tyranny in one chamber of Congress.
Despite the attempted masquerade, the gigs up!
(Edited for metaphorical clarity 03.18.05:14:02)