Moral Contradictions

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Integrity is dead.

Today on the Senate floor: (via Think Progress)

SEN. SCHUMER: Isn’t it correct that on March 8, 2000, my colleague [Sen. Frist] voted to uphold the filibuster of Judge Richard Paez?

SEN. FRIST: The president, the um, in response, uh, the Paez nomination - we’ll come back and discuss this further. … Actually I’d like to, and it really brings to what I believe - a point - and it really brings to, oddly, a point, what is the issue. The issue is we have leadership-led partisan filibusters that have, um, obstructed, not one nominee, but two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, in a routine way.

So, as Think Progress points out, did Sen. Frist just undercut his whole argument? If filibusters and denial of cloture are so unconstitutional, then why did he participate in this particular instance? Why did other Republicans use their minority muscle back in 1994 and 1995 to deny President Clinton his nominees?

If President Bush is allowed "to pick his team" and the Senate is just there to "advise and consent", I'd like an explanation of how the current filibuster fight does not provide a stark contradiction to past actions by top GOP Senators. Was President Clinton not qualified to pick his team? Was the Senate in the mid 1990s and 2000 over-reaching its Constitutional authority?

Are answers to these questions too much to ask?


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