Mickey Kaus On a Roll | Main | Update to Zombie Renaissance Post
December 20, 2004

Novak: Frist Gettin' Serious About Goin' Nuclear

'Bout time:

Ever since Frist publicly embraced the nuclear option, he has been accused of abusing the Senate's cherished tradition of extended debate. In truth, during six years as majority leader, Democrat Robert C. Byrd four times detonated the nuclear option to rewrite Senate rules.

Thus, Frist would set no precedent, would not contradict past Republican behavior and would not strip the GOP of protection as a future Senate minority. The question is whether Republican senators will flinch from the only maneuver open to confirm Bush's judges.

Alas, yes, that has always been the question, and that question remains regrettably open to debate.

Frist drew a line in the sand Nov. 11 in addressing the conservative Federalist Society: ''One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end.'' The way he indicated was a rules change -- the nuclear option.

That generated speculation that, when the new Senate convenes Jan. 4, the Republican leadership will propose a rules change. Reid, the Senate's reigning master of parliamentary tactics, has promised to ''screw things up'' by bringing the chamber's activities to a standstill. Frist would only tell me he wants ''a full set of options, ready and available.'' However, Senate sources believe Frist will bide his time on opening day and wait to make a point of order to change the rules.

This is precisely what Byrd did as majority leader, as explained in an article by Martin Gold and Dimple Gupta to be published in the January issue of the Harvard Journal on Law and Public Policy. They write that Byrd ''developed four precedents that allowed a simple majority to change Senate procedures governing debate without altering the text of any standing rule.'' In each case, Byrd successfully overcame dilatory tactics by the Republican minority.

Let's stop calling it the nuclear option, which sounds pretty scary, and start calling it the Robert Byrd Option.

The man likes to put his fucking name on everything in West Virginia anyhow; I'm sure he wouldn't mind having a rule-change named after him too.

And the cost to the public for this particular bit of Byrd-branding? Nada.


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:04 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Berserker-Dragonheads Divison: "Maybe pot use as a yute can inhibit the developmen ..."

Lizzy[/i]: ">>On the subject of J-Law.... Why so many movies? ..."

Moron Robbie - Take a Wakanda Wild Side With the Black Pander [/i] [/b]: "On the subject of J-Law.... Why so many movies? ..."

Cuthbert the Witless: "258 There's probably an illegal foreign invader l ..."

Planned Parenthood: "277 Children should be seen not heard. Posted ..."

[/i][/b]andycanuck[/s][/u]: "[b]...a hand-cranked generator and asked if anyone ..."

Donna and V. (sans ampersands at the present time): "Eh, Texas just executed a dude who murdered his tw ..."

CLINT FLICKER: "Children should be seen not heard. *** "Do y ..."

GOP: "You just know we will betray you on your 2A and 4A ..."

CLINT FLICKER: "Isn't using a shotgun to hunt slugs a bit of overk ..."

Rose: "Some schools actually place a sign in a class room ..."

Soothie: " Children should be seen not heard. ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64