Tuesday, May 24, 2005

real reason for judicial "compromise"

All the puindits thought the senate was headded towards armagedon, so of course a compromise was reached minutes before Frist was about to begin the show.

The activists on both sides think this was a terrible cave in by their party's senators, but I really think that document isn't worth the paper on which it is written. It is filled with self-defined phrases and hollow promises on both sides. I would like nothing better than to have the whole Senate vote down Owens and Brown.

So why did this "compromise" happen? Was it James Dobson's pressure, the strong arm of George W. Bush/Dick Cheney, People for the American Way? In my view, it was none of the above. It was big business.

With religious conservatives pet peeve consuming weeks of the Senate calendar and Democrtats threatening to shut down/slow down everything but appropreations, the business community was worried about bills important to them dying a slow death. CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), Asbestos tort reform, Immigration reform, Social Security "reform," health care reform for small businesses, pension "reform," and a whole host of other bills are primed to be passed in the senate under the normal rules and procedures. But if a lone Democrat objected to a uninamimous consent rule, the whole place grinds to a halt.

One look at the US Chamber of Commerce site shows that judicial appointments are no where to be seen. They already have plenty of pro-business GOP-appointed judges on the bench. In fact, about 80% of the current federal bench was appointed by a Republican president.

To me, this whole incident just shows who is really in charge of the GOP. They may do big show events for social conservatives, denying Plan B for over the counter use, talking about a "culture of life," gay marriage constitutional amendment, Terri Schavio, Stem Cells, and Judical Nominees, etc. but given their complete control of the government and large majority of the judiciary, why haven't they overturned Roe, passed the constitutional amdendment, banned all stem cell research, etc? It is because business pays the bills. Social conservatives may provide the votes, but the real money is in being a business lackey.

All those Senators in the "mushy middle" who signed on to that judicial "compromise" I bet also voted for cloture on the bankrupcy bill. I bet many of them are also signed on to many of business' legislative priorities, like free trade, asbestos reform, immigration reform, health care reform, and pension reform. I haven't done the research, but I would love someone to prove my thesis wrong; but I bet they can't.

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