The Nuclear Hypocrisy of Dana Milbank
Today, Dana Milbank has an article up on the Washington Post’s Washington Sketch blog where he basically skewers a number of Senate Republicans for employing the filibuster against President Obama’s Lefty fringe judicial picks.
The story goes something like this; given the GOP’s attempt (the so-called “Nuclear Option”) to end the filibuster for Presidential nominations during the leadership of the hapless Frist, certain GOP Senators, like Alabama’s Jeff Sessions and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell are being hypocritical by voting against cloture on President Obama’s nomination of the Left-Wing extremist and disciple of result-oriented jurisprudence that is David Hamilton to 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Of course, this is using that special self-serving Leftard definition of hypocrisy that seeks to apply standards to others that they would never apply to themselves. In what is an eye-opening demonstration of misdirection by omission Milbank wrote this;
… Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who warned four years ago that “if the filibuster becomes an institutional response where 40 senators driven by special interest groups declare war on nominees in the future, the consequence will be that the judiciary will be destroyed over time.”
On Tuesday, Graham voted to institutionalize the filibuster.
Dana Milbank is not particularly known for honesty or fairness where politics is concerned – after all, he works for the Washington Post. However even he must have found it hard to keep a straight face in trying to make the argument that the Democrats had not already institutionalized judicial filibuster in the eight long years that a Republican President was in the White House.
Let’s be honest here; Republicans are playing by the rules the Democrats set in their years in the minority and Milbank is naturally being willfully dishonest in pretending that this represents a turn-about in Republican’s position on the filibuster. Republicans fought to end it and were only thwarted thanks to John McCain’s usual selfish hankering for some media love – this did not constitute some win-or-lose promise to never filibuster a Democratic President’s nominations.
Ultimately, the Democrats won that fight. Now they are whining that Republicans are refusing to pretend that it never happened and forgo taking advantage of a weapon the Democrats made a part of the rules and gladly used for the past eight years. In other words, to meet Milbank’s definition of “consistency”, since Republicans oppose judicial filibusters against nominees of both parties’ Presidents, Republicans are supposed to settle for ending judicial filibusters against Democratic Presidential nominees while Democrats are free to engage at will against Republican nominees.
Imagine if the Eastern Conference in the NBA agitated for baskets from within the key to count for 1 point. The Western Conference says no, they want the status quo and for baskets within the key to continue to count for 2 points.
There’s a big fight and a big meeting and eventually the Western Conference wins; baskets within the key will continue to be counted as 2 points.
Now, would it not be ridiculous for Western Conference teams to start insisting that Easter Conference team baskets be counted as 1 point because otherwise it would be “hypocrisy” given the Eastern Conference’s past position on the issue? Would Eastern Conference teams not be incandescently stupid to accept such a “deal” in the name of “consistency?”
I would hope that not even the Stupid Party (even with our “comity” and “Bipartisanship” obsessed Senate coterie of “moderates”) is stupid enough to go along with a deal that says Republican Presidents need 60 votes to confirm their judges while as Jeff Sessions put it, Republicans must “… acquiesce into a philosophy that says that Democratic presidents can get their judges confirmed with 50 votes.”
Turnabout is fair play.