Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Winning It for Us 

I have to say that I wasn't exactly bowled over by the nuclear option avoidance deal that fourteen Republicans and Democrats came to. It seemed like too little a loss for the other side, not enough of a win for the Democrats. Yes, it seems like (once again) the Democrats have caved in on an issue. Or maybe not; the Republicans certainly seem to think they've lost, as this quote from Focus on the Family's James Dobson, reported at The Unequivocal Notion:
This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats. Only three of President Bush’s nominees will be given the courtesy of an up-or-down vote, and it's business as usual for all the rest. The rules that blocked conservative nominees remain in effect, and nothing of significance has changed. Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist would never have served on the U. S. Supreme Court if this agreement had been in place during their confirmations. The unconstitutional filibuster survives in the arsenal of Senate liberals.
There are so many things wrong with what Dobson says that I have to wonder where the hell he studied civics, if at all -- and I'd bet a dime he couldn't pass the test given to every immigrant seeking citizenship.

For starters, the filibuster was in place when Thomas, Scalia and Rehnquist were confirmed. And yet, somehow, they're serving on the Supreme Court right now. (Did he even listen to what he was saying there?)

As for "unconstitutional filibuster" -- you mean the same one that the Senate was given leave to create by the Constitution itself? The same one that's been around for several hundred years? And someone should remind Dobson that any senator can use the filibuster, conservative, liberal, moderate. It's not some secret stealth rule that can only be used by Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton.

But Dobson is a total asshat, as he's made apparent every time he's opened his mouth. This is the same man, after all, who decried Spongebob Squarepants as gay. In fact, he's so stupid that he's actually given out a meme that, with any luck, will echo through the Mighty Wurlitzer and be repeated by the 101st Fighting Keyboarders: "a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats".

I like that. And we have to push it from our side as well, whether it's true or not. Truth to tell, I'd guess that half the electorate (or much much more) has no idea what a filibuster is, why it is, and why this fight was so important. But they can understand the phrase "a great victory for united Democrats." We have to take charge of the spin here, and pitch this in terms of, "Even such a noted conservative as Focus on the Family's James Dobson is calling this..."

A great victory for united Democrats.

Like I said above, I don't buy that, but we can turn this compromise into a win if we keep the meme going, if we control the spin, if we get conservatives to parrot Dobson on our behalf.

A great victory for united Democrats.

A great victory for united Democrats.

A great victory for united Democrats.

It's about time we start playing the Republican Humpty-Dumpty game -- saying a thing makes it true. This is too much of a nice wedge issue to let go, and we can slap it right between the far right wingnut fundies and the more rational branch of the Republican party, pry the pieces apart and sweep up the remains in the midterm elections.

A great victory for united Democrats -- if we play it that way.

Good point - I didn't even notice the fact that Dobson's observation about the 3 conservative justices is actually totally insane.
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