RUSH: Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, refused to budge yesterday on his demand that Democrats forego filibusters against all of President Bush’s past or present appeals court nominations. Here’s just a little bit of what he said.
FRIST: In the spirit of civility and with sincere hope for a solution, I make an offer. This offer will ensure up or down votes on judicial nominees after fair, open, and some might say exhaustive debate. It’s a compromise that holds to constitutional principles.
RUSH: Now you got to keep in mind that the root of this proposal is the Democrats filibuster basis has been, “Why, you’re cutting off the precious time-honored debate. Why, ending the filibuster will deprive us of the opportunity to debate. Limited the debate. We got to have limitless debate. We got to be able to debate this.” Meanwhile they’re debating nobody, because their names are not even sent to the floor. There is no debate. So Frist’s proposal is designed to focus on the fact there is no debate. So you want debate? Fine. We’ll give you one hundred hours a judge. What can you not say about somebody in a hundred hours? A hundred hours is more than anybody needs to debate anything. “Frist’s offer to allow senators to retain the right to filibuster district court nominees is part of an arrangement in which confirmation votes would be guaranteed on the nation’s highest judgeships after a hundred hours of debate. No filibuster on the appellate judges or Supreme Court nominees, but you could filibuster district court judges all you wanted. The Senate’s top Republican also said under his plan, senators would no longer be able to block nominees in the judiciary committee. He said judicial nominees are being denied. Justice is being denied. The solution is simple. Allow senators to do their jobs and vote.” Dingy Harry didn’t like the idea.
REID: I don’t mean to demean the proposal because I’m going to take a close look at it and see if there’s any way we can work with it, but I would say for a lack of a better description, it’s a big wet kiss to the far right, Mr. President. It just is not appropriate. The rules are the rules. This is unacceptable for a number of reasons. First, this is a slow-motion nuclear option.
RUSH: Are they not exposed? They have been totally exposed because remember now what they said they wanted the filibuster for was debate. We’ve got to have debate. If you stop the filibuster, you’re stopping our ability to debate. Okay. Frist says, “Look, a hundred hours of debate, every judge, a hundred hours. Take it away. We just want to vote.” I think this is a tactical move. You know, some people are saying that this is far too complicated for people to understand. I disagree with that. I don’t think anything is too complicated. That’s what we do here is make the complex understandable. The simplest way to explain this to people is the Democrats are not allowing votes. They talk about counting every vote out in Ohio and in Florida. They’re not allowing one vote on these nominees on the floor of the Senate. They talk about Senate rules. Where is the Senate rule that denies nominees a vote? Okay. So what are they afraid of? They’re afraid of votes. Because they know they will lose the votes. That’s why they want the filibuster. So do this: Either make them go with this plan, which is exposing them as the frauds that they are, because Dingy Harry said, “After a hundred hours of debate, the rights of the minority are extinguished.” What? After 100 hours of debate? You haven’t had ten minutes of debate on any of these nominees yet on the Senate floor because they haven’t come out of committee without your threat of a filibuster. There hasn’t been one dime’s worth of debate yet. He’s been offered a hundred hours of debate and he says, “Well, after a hundred hours, the rights of the minority are extinguished. This has never been about the lengths of the debate. This is about checks and balances.” Oh, it’s about checks and balances now? They’re changing what it’s about?
Folks, it’s never been about checks and balances. It’s always been about debate. They were just offered a hundred hours of debate yesterday and then a vote. They don’t want the vote. What this has done is exposed their real intent, to block the nominees. They only have 45 votes in the Senate, and they’re asking that those 45 votes — actually, they’re asking for 40. They want 40 votes in the Senate, a 100 member body; they want 40 votes to be able to defeat the nominee, and they talk about rules. Now, folks, is that hard to understand? It’s not hard to understand. We all know, 50-50 presidential election, the majority rules. In the popular vote, you determine the winner by who gets the most votes, even if it’s by one-tenth of one percent. In other words, if in a presidential race, the loser gets 40% of the race, he doesn’t win. The Democrats want 40 votes to be able to block a nominee, because it’s going to take 60 to stop their filibuster, which they’re not even being required to do. They’re not even being made to filibuster. They ought to be set up there and said, okay, you want to talk, talk. You want to debate, debate. The floor is yours. But when you surrender it, this filibuster is over. That’s how filibusters work. Filibusters mean that huge-lunged, huge-bladdered senators run to the floor of the Senate and just talk. And they can talk about anything. Doesn’t matter. But when they start to filibuster, they hold the floor. They’ve got to hold the floor and it has to be a quorum for a filibuster to work. If there’s not a quorum, you can’t do a filibuster. If they stop talking, if they give up the floor, the filibuster is over. Or if somebody comes up with 60 votes to break it, it’s over. They don’t want these votes to be taken because they’ll lose. They’re afraid of these people’s deeply held personal beliefs.
A couple more sound bites here. This is from Barbara Boxer. First sound bite, here’s Barbara Boxer, I guess this is yesterday on the Fox News Channel with the lovely info babe, Martha McCallum, interviewing Barbara Boxer and it’s just funny. The question is this: “You’ve been listening to this debate, Senator Boxer. This is sort of a moment when we have seen both sides lay out where they stand. Do you think there’s room for compromise between these two positions?” This is on the judges.
BOXER: What Harry Reid offered was a sincere negotiation. The press didn’t know about it. It was presented to the membership just before he presented it to Frist. We said, “Well take a few of these judges. We don’t want to, but we’re willing to do that if you back off of this nuclear option, and add a few other factors along with it.” I think what Bill Frist offered us is really nothing. The Republicans are throwing a fit, and if my child, you know, started stamping his foot and saying, “Mommy, I want a hundred percent,” I’d say, “You know, that’s a little arrogant. Go to your room.”
RUSH: You would not! You have never punished a child like that, I will bet you. No liberal ever has. The kid wants 100%; you probably gave the kid 120% and asked the government to pay for it. That would be my guess. But besides that, who is it that’s been throwing a fit here since 2000? Did the president throw a fit last night? Has Bill Frist been throwing any fits? Haven’t seen any Frist fits. I haven’t seen a fit from any Republican. Fits are being thrown by all the Democrats. And then the next question was, “I have a number of quotes from other Democrats. For example, Tom Harkin, ‘The president, nominee, and all Americans deserve an up-or-down vote.’ ‘The filibuster rules are not constitutional,’ said Tom Daschle. Why the change of heart now, Ms. Boxer?”
BOXER: When I came to the Senate as a freshman in 1993, I was very impatient and wanted everything done. And I thought that I knew everything, and I wanted it my way. And I did vote to end the filibuster. I was absolutely wrong. I was brand-new in the Senate. I didn’t understand what I do understand now, and what our founders taught us, that the house is the cup. It gets hot. And the Senate is the saucer, where things cool down.
RUSH: Oh, I’m so sick and tired of that clich?. If I hear that that clich? one more time I’m going to quit talking about what I’m talking about at the time. This is ridiculous. We’ve got quotes from Leahy. These nominees, I don’t care who they are, when they are, all deserve an up-and-down vote on the floor of the Senate. Daschle said it. Senator Boxer voted to end the filibuster. “Hold on. That was a terrible mistake. Youthful exuberance. Irrational demand, irrational desires borne of youth.” She wanted a hundred percent. You tell me back 12 years ago she wanted a hundred percent, that she’s going to discipline a kid of hers that wanted a hundred percent? So this is exposing them left and right, and this deal that came from David Broder’s piece, “Well, we’ve give you two to three of your nominees, but not the others. They’re so extreme.” And I’ve told you why they offered that deal. They just want to preserve the filibuster, and if they can find a couple moderate Republicans, then that’s fine with them. It’s these seven that they’re scared to death of, folks. The president calls it their judicial philosophy and that’s right, but they’re afraid of who these people are. You know, people say it’s a litmus test, you’ve got a litmus test for your nominees. Now the litmus test is on the left, and if you have a nominee that comes up and is not pro Roe v. Wade or pro-abortion, that nominee, as far as the Democrats are concerned, doesn’t stand a prayer, just like a fetus.