Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Mighty Barrister is impressed by McCain

He talks about it here. Quoting from Drudge, McCain says:
During the campaign, President Bush said he will appoint judges who will strictly interpret the constitution... thinking anything else is either amnesia or ignorance... elections have consequences... whomever he nominates deserves an up or down vote and no filibuster... and an up or down vote is what we will have.
I'll agree with him that these are strong words. That's the problem. They're words. Where's the action.

McCain joined six republicans and seven moderated Democrats in the dubbed "Gang of Fourteen" to hammer out a midnight compromise on Federal judicial nominees. Fair enough. Personally, I think the Senate's rules are their business, and if they want to reduce the clouter ration to avoid repeated abuse of the filibuster, that's there perogative. Of course, as a maverick moderate that looks to sweep the Swingers, McCain had a golden opportunity to strut his stuff. He prudently saw that Democrats could play the same game on Republicans once they took office. He politically gambled that joining the moderates painted some distance from the Republican Kool-aiders without permenantly alienating his base. Thus, at a mild risk in the primary season, he could hang a serious knotch on his handle as the man who brokered peace in the Senate and still saw the President's nomination get an up-or-down vote.

Then the Dems started to back-pedal from the deal. First, there was Bolton. Next, the rumblings from Senatory Chuck Schumer (Grrr!) that Griswald would be the litmus test of new candidates, and that ideology certainly qualified as an "extraordinary" reason to filibuster. McCain needs to make sure he's not duped on the deal he struck a few months ago. Will he pull the trigger and vote to end a filibuster, should one take place? If he does, is it a principled decision made from conviction or a political manuever made from necessity? That's the problem I still have with McCain. He played the Catholic card during the 2000 primary season, and I haven't seen any action from him that hasn't seemed opportunistic. Hopefully, he'll prove me wrong.