Monday, May 23, 2005

True Conservatives Oppose Nuclear Option
True Conservatives Oppose Nuclear Option

On the eve of the Senate majority’s crass political ploy to overturn 217 years of tradition and rules that have maintained a balance of power, here’s a rundown of traditional conservatives/interest groups who are urging Bill Frist to employ some common sense:

Former Republican Sen. Bill Armstrong: “Nobody ever accused Bill Armstrong of being an ideological squish. Or a liberal. Maybe that’s why it’s so noteworthy that the former two-term United States Senator from Colorado – who was about as conservative as any Member during his 18 years in Congress – says that he is ‘deeply skeptical’ about the Republican effort to eliminate the filibuster during the process of confirming judges.” [Roll Call, 4/25/05]

Former Republican Sens. Jim McClure of Idaho and Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming: “At this point, no one knows how the ‘nuclear option’ drama will play out, but we would respectfully offer to senators, both Republican and Democratic, a bit of back-country wisdom: When you find a bear in your cabin, it’s not smart to try to burn him out.” [Op-Ed, WSJ, 3/15/05]

Former Republican Sen. Dave Durenberger: “Today’s rules allow a screening of judges by the Senate. Most presidential nominees are confirmed, but there are always a few instances where the nominee is unable to obtain the Senate’s approval. We think this process has been good for the judiciary and good for the country. This Senate rule has led to a stronger, less partisan, truly independent court.” [Durenberger and Mondale Op-Ed, Star Tribune, 5/5/05]

National Right to Work and Gun Owners of America: “Two groups normally allied with Republicans have bolted from the party’s effort to ban judicial filibusters – the first major defections from a conservative push to prevent Senate Democrats from blocking President Bush’s judicial nominees.” The National Right to Work Committee, “a 2.2 million-member group critical of unions,” and the Gun Owners of America, “with 300,000 members, say they fear eliminating judicial filibusters could eventually lead to doing away with filibusters altogether.” [AP, 4/13/05]

Corporate Lobbyists/Business Leaders: “Worried that their agenda will come to a screeching halt, business leaders are urging Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) not to exercise a bold parliamentary tactic known as the ‘nuclear option’ on judicial nominees. [The Hill, 4/5/05]