Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Filibuster Follies

Well its been awhile since my last posting...It now seems more certain then ever that the so called "moral values" voter, whatever that means, is making a power play unlike we have ever seen in recent times. This "Taliban" wing of the republican party has decided that the Judiciary is the last stronghold of those who oppose them, as silly as that sounds to more secular people.

Its being played out this week in our Nations Capital with battles over the Filibuster as well as Stem Cell Research.

It amazes me that in this climate of uncertainty, the Republicans have decided that a few right wing Judges are more important then the looming civil war in Iraq, the health care crisis, social security reform and other pressing issues. This stands as testament to how far the religious right has come in so short a period.

The Republicans have been able to get over 90% of all judicial nominees through, which is good for any president, but that is not enough for them. With the flimsy excuse of not being able to get an up or down vote on these nominees, the far right is trying to make sure that no matter how extreme or partisan the nominee they can ram them through. This is more then just a power play, its also about Majority leader Frist. He has partly tied his 2008 prospects to winning this fight, so he stands out as the big loser in the compromise that followed. The extreme right has also decided that they are the big losers in this, although I do not agree with their assessment at this point. Its too early to say in my opinion what the net effect on them will be. They certainly invested a lot of time and money in this fight, and so if you look at it from how much effort they put in, to what they actually got? Then they would appear to be losers in this.

So who wins in this fight? Well its not clear yet which side won. If the agreement holds then the Senate as an institution stands to be the big winner. The pressure from outside groups though will be intense going forward, especially when the next Supreme Court Justice is nominated. So its far from clear that this group of moderate Senators can hold the center together for long. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts going forward.

The other interesting news this this week is Stem Cell Research. Coming on the heels of the dramatic news of breakthrough in South Korea it makes me wonder if we will be having to fly to other countries in the future to get our cures. As a person with Diabetes, I know that I would go where the cure is, regardless of US law on the subject. Why should I suffer because of what the evangelical believe?

It also looks like President Bush will use his first veto to make sure that this country lags behind in this important field. It makes me very sad to see that....Many things I see these days coming out of Capital make me sad. I just hope that the rest of the country starts to wake up soon.

More to come my friends.....