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Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night

The Washington Post reports Frist said Friday he will launch the nuclear option next week by forcing a vote on either Priscilla Owen or Janice Rogers Brown.

Here are the stages:

first, a "test vote" to demonstrate there is majority support for the nominee but not the 60 needed to break a filibuster; second, a vote on a non-debatable motion to table the objections Democrats would raise to a ruling by the presiding officer -- Vice President Cheney -- that a simple majority vote is sufficient for confirmation;
and, if the first two hurdles are cleared, a vote on the nominee herself.

It appears talks are ongoing between Sens. Harry Reid and Bill Frist. In fact, Reid will be having dinner at Frist's house Sunday night. But I'm not liking what I'm reading about possible settlements:

One potential agreement would guarantee that two of the nominees would be confirmed and the other five would be granted votes with no assurance of the outcome. Democrats are insisting that in exchange for clearing the way for two of the judges to be confirmed, Frist would have to promise not to seek to change the filibuster rule on judicial nominees through 2006. Under the negotiations, Republicans could choose which two nominees would be cleared.

Whoa. Wait a minute. Under this plan, Republicans would get to pick the two to be confirmed. This is not acceptable. They will pick the two worst judges, the two whom the Democrats most likely would succeed in blocking if they exercised the right to filibuster. Not good enough. Don't do it, Senator Reid.

Unfortunately, it sounds like Sen. Reid has already agreed to this.

The reasoning, of course, is that Democrats will agree to Bush's worst judicial picks now in order to preserve the right to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee later. But the agreement would only extend through 2006. Except for Chief Justice Rehnquist, all the other Supreme Court Justices probably could be persuaded to hold out till 2007.

This agreement presupposes that the Dems would lose the nuclear option. I don't agree. I think the Republicans are fearful that the next time the White House goes Democratic, without the filibuster option, they will be stuck with the Democrats' choice for a Supreme Court Justice.

Add to this the fact that the public is against changing the filibuster rules and Frist right now is short some votes. I would rather see the Democrats hold their ground than settle. The risk-reward ratio is too great.

The McCain-Nelson compromise is flawed for similar reasons:

In a related negotiation, both leaders are monitoring an effort led by two moderate senators, Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), to amass five other Democrats and five other Republicans who would assure that the two nominees are approved. Nelson, McCain and the 10 other senators are participating in ongoing talks, people on both sides of the negotiations said.

There are at least three nominees who are flat-out not acceptable: Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Meyers. The Dems already lost this week on the fourth, William Pryor. Without a compromise, and with a filibuster right, the Dems could block them like they did last time.

Let the Democrats choose which two extremists will be confirmed, and I'll modify my position. Otherwise, I'm in favor of bringing the nuclear option to the people, through their elected officials.

Bottom line: The proposals now under consideration cross the line from compromise into capitulation.

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  • Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#1)
    by jarober on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    A few questions: 1) Please point to th epart of the constitution that demands a super-majority for judge approval 2) What do yo think of requiring a super majority for tax increases? I'd bet good money that the public cares a lot more about that than about filibusters of judges

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#2)
    by nolo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    A tax increase can be kicked out by the next majority vote. A federal judge is there for life unless you can get the votes for impeachment. And tell me where in the constitution it says exactly *how* the Senate's supposed to advise and consent.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    1) Please point to the part of the constitution that demands a super-majority for judge approval Two pieces here - I hope you have the patience: 1) Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, ... 2) The two-thirds requirement was retained to limit debate on measures changing the Senate's standing rules. The [R]'s will breat the rules to change the rules. 2) What do yo think of requiring a super majority for tax increases? - sounds good, how about the same to send us into massive deficits?

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    Reid better bring a taster.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    Please point to th epart of the constitution that demands a super-majority for judge approval
    It's right next to the part that says only Republican presidents get to have their nominees for judicial positions brought to a vote.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#6)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    rea - Actually it follows the part that says he who wins the election deserves a "advise and consent." You have hope though. Frist may just be dumb enough to do a deal with Dirty Harry. If so he can kiss his Presidential ambitions good bye. The Repub base will shed him like leaves in the fall.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    The whole situation stinks. Why is Reid talking deal with Frist when the Repubs are dead in the water on this? Public Opinion is on the Dems' side...why the hell are they cutting deals? Frist is indeed toast if he settles, but he's not running again, so his Presidential aspirations will dictate his move..which means he's probably going to do it and take the whole Senate over the cliff on this...

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    So, Slim Jim, were you similarly incensed when the Republicans failed to bring scores of Clinton's appointments up for the advise and consent that he "deserved? It's a simple yes or no question. You inability to maintain the same position when it works against your political leanings indicate that you are simply an unprincipled political hack. So, yes or no, should Clinton's appointments have gotten the advise and consent they deserved?

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    btw, my position on these appointments: do everything within the rules, including filibuster, to prevent lifetime appointment of federal judges who do not have judicial temperment and a strong commitment to the civil rights reserved to us by the Constitution. Imagine a Supreme Court full of Scalia and Thomas clones. Nuff said.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    I no longer have any interest whatsoever in who may be potential presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, I have abandoned them both. The handwriting is on the wall for both parties, which, in reality, are one in the same. I will vote for the Green candidate again. If I am going to vote for a loser, it might as well be a real one. I voted for David Cobb, a useless idiot from the Green Party in the 2004 election. It was rigged from the getgo, so what does it matter? Just call me cynical. There is no other choice in the matter. Republicans wouldn't know what a Democrat looks like if they didn't occupy half of the Congress. A pox on both their houses. I will never vote for a Republican or Democrat again. No matter what they say, they're in it for themselves and could care less about the average schmuck belly-aching about what is wrong with the US gubmint. It's over. enough And, yeah, I would bring along a taste tester, too.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    CA, you probably already know this but ppj will is going to respond with non-sensical drivel since you have called him out with a very good question. Unfortunately his partisanship is too much of an obstacle for him to overcome. drronchee, I am slowly moving in the same direction as you. But I still hold out some hope for the Democrats, if they would just start listening to the people of this country more and stop being bothered with which corporation they can buddy up to next. As for Reid he needs to back off the compromise issue, because Repuglicans can't care less about it. They believe in one party RULE and nothing else. Just look at ppj, Kool Aid drinker extraordinaire.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#12)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    “2) The two-thirds requirement was retained to limit debate on measures changing the Senate's standing rules.” Here is an interesting discussion outlining how the rule may be ‘changed’ without invoking the supermajority needed for a rule change. “2) What do yo think of requiring a super majority for tax increases? - sounds good, how about the same to send us into massive deficits?” Don’t tease me.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    Don't worry, folks, there are worse things than a one-party state. Look at Canada...their conservatives have been at war since "red tory" P.M. Mulroney eviscerated the Conservative party by acting like a centrist liberal...now, the West has their Reform/Con Party, the province of Quebec has their speparatist Bloc Quebebois (pronounced "Kaybek-wah") Party, and the rest of the country votes along liberal lines and the Liberal Party has reigned for about 31 of the last forty years... So if you're a con, stay in America, everything is being stolen from others to make you happy. If you're more liberal-minded, try the 51st state. That's why they're going to de-criminalize marijuana, extend same-sex marriage rights to gays, eat more Canadian bacon and basically go about their lives without wondering what others are doing behind closed doors. Oh, and in Canada, you can't be made to recite the Lord's Prayer in class if you don't wish to...and handguns are illegal... So those of you who shudder at the thought of a conservate holocaust in America, you'd better fight damned hard because the conservatives play to win...ask the native Indians...

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    As a native, Blag, I agree whole-heartedly with your last statement. Unfortunately I don't think Reid was hipped to this.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    This what Reid and the others obviously don't get- the fact that Frist is ready to talk turkey means he's out of ammo...so why throw your hands up now? If the cons' were in the opposition, Frist would be eating by himself 'cause no conservative would budge knowing that public support is behind them. The libs? Once again, they're preparing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The libs knock someone down, they help him up and get a knife in the back every time. The cons knock someone down, they "Fallujah" him with two to the head...when are libs going to wake up and realize that cultural war IS war, and you don't want to be on the losing side...

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    Oh to be a fly on the wall at that meal. Can you imagine a more uptight table? Maybe they could also discuss the wonderful job of spreading freedom we've done with our "ally" Uzbehkistan. Pass the monkey brains, will you Bill? In fact, why don't you put them in your ear, maybe they'll make you smarter.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    The Manhattan indians played for keeps, too. War broke out with the Native Americans after the Governor Kieft indiscriminately and arbitrarily sentenced some to death. The Manhattan Indians managed to kill all of the settlers. The arrival of Governor Peter Stuyvesant changed Muscoota forever. Governor Stuyvesant built a town in Muscoota and named it "Nieuw Haarlem". With the arrival of the English in 1664 Nieuw Haarlem's name was changed to "Harlem" General George A. Custer also had a bad day on June 25,1876.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    2) What do yo think of requiring a super majority for tax increases? -
    Filibusters can be applied to any Senate bill not just judges - correct?

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    Oh, and senate rules have never required more than a majority to be changed.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    As a Canadian, I have to add some pertinent facts to Blahdaddy's comment above. (1) In Canada, you can be jailed for saying things that are deemed politically incorrect. (2) In Canada, there is socialized medicine - which means everyone pays for medical care through taxes. The consequence? We have a doctor shortage crisis and long wait times for any kind of treatment (example: an elderly friend of mine was on a list for nearly a year before receiving treatment for advanced myaloma). (3) In Canada, the government can (and did) break into the house of a journalist to find her sources of information. (4) In Canada, peaceful protesters of a despotic political visitor were attacked with rubber bullets and pepper spray by the police. (5) In Canada, the ruling party (officially and aptly named the "Liberal Party") is involved in a massive scandal due to a years-long program of offering government contracts to political allies, taking a cut of the proceeds, and using said cut to fund their own reelection. Yes, Canada is indeed a liberal and progressive nation. Come here if you don't like the conservative U.S. But be forewarned - those of us in Canada who love our country are joining the political battle to regain Canada's honor. We are young, well educated, and determined. We will eventually succeed, and then I suppose you might have to move to China to be in a comfortably liberal state.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    In response to "Grad Student" (1) In the United States, thanks to the Patriot Act, you can be jailed with no right to counsel for saying things that are deemed politically incorrect. (2) In the U.S., there is privatized medicine - where we have some of the best healthcare and drugs in the world, as long as you were lucky enough or entitled enough to get access to it. The rest make do with healthcare somewhere south of Canada's standards and/or have no access at all. (3) In the United States, a Conservative Journalist that outed the identity and endangered the life of an undercover spy went Scott Free thanks to his coziness with the ruling party. In the United States, we enjoy having political operatives posing as journalists. In the United States, our government has encouraged the consolidation of all media outlets into one Corporate monolith allied with Conservative/Military interests. (4) In the United States, peaceful protesters of George Bush (also a despot), the WTO, and countless other Corporatist fundraisers/meetings were attacked with rubber bullets and pepper spray by the police. (5) In the United States, the public has no recourse to hold accountable a ruling party that has furthered massive lies in order to provide government contracts (oil, recontruction, etc.) to political allies (Corporatists) - receiving massive campaign contributions from the same companies that benefited as such. Yes, the United States is indeed a conservative-run nation. Come here if you don't like Canada, Australia, the U.K., France, Germany, Norway, et.al. But be forewarned - those of us in the United States who were told from birth that our nation was the International standard bearer of freedom, justice, and opportunity are now completely shut out of the political process and have no recourse to stop War Corporatism, Rampant Materialism, and would-be fascists from ruining our nation. We are young, some of us are lucky enough to have afforded a good education, and we are now completely frustrated. We will eventually fail, and then I suppose we'll have no choice but to migrate to Europe to avoid incarceration/oppression for our beliefs.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#22)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    “In the United States, the public has no recourse to hold accountable a ruling party that has furthered massive lies” More with this stolen election garbage; do I really need to once again post a link to the OSCE’s report? I’m not happy with the result either but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I hold a minority opinion. Face it TS, most folks wanted the guy/party you hate. The problem isn’t a dysfunctional democracy; it’s centralized power. Get a grip.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    You get a grip, PW. I wasn't referring to a "stolen election". I was referring to the lies about WMD in Iraq as the red herring to pursue PNAC/Neocon War Corporatism. Your comment was either a jump to a conclusion on your part or an intentional strawman. Since you brought it up, I don't believe that the most previous election was "stolen" beyond the status quo gerrymandering and nominal level of partisan electioneering that has been inherent to our system going back to the days of Jim Crow. Our system is not structured to effectively deal with statistical dead heats in a manner that closes the door to dissention. I do believe that the 2000 election produced an artificial result, but not 2004. I am perfectly willing to accept a minority opinion. I am also perfectly willing to accept that the majority of Americans are anywhere from deceived to downright selfish and even evil. But War Corporatism is the foundation for Iraq, no evidence has ever arisen to dissuade me from that opinion, and those were the lies I was referring to above.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    I guess I should add that the lack of ability to hold accountable I refer to is the media (not just news) bias that allows government (and Corporatist elements) to engineer our culture. There is no "equal" time, no pretense of civil discourse, no representation of a variety of cultural viewpoints - there is only Corporatist Materialism, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the office and at home. Our nation has completely sold it's soul to materialism. Thousands of Evangelicals agree with me, just that they believe Materialism should be replaced with a surrender to Theocracy.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#25)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    TS: That was one of the most honest and right-on deconstructions of what has happened to our country that I have ever seen. We have long foreclosed on our right to lay claim to a free nation. Perhaps it was always a myth. In all fairness, there's no accident in the fact that "free," in the "Star Spangled Banner," is virtually impossile to actually hit in song. Who could have forseen, though, the extent to which we would recently go, to make the goal even more unreachable? I used to be angry with those who don't vote. Now I'm beginning to seriously suspect that they may be the most politically wise among us. Less blood on their hands at any rate.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    And to "Tampa Student", respondeo: You make many claims, some of which are clearly paranoid. I will respond to the more intelligent ones. (1) My understanding is that you can be held under the Pat. Act for engaging in terrorist activity. While this is clearly a dangerous ambiguity, it's also not intended to target those who merely speak their mind without plotting physical harm. In Canada, physical harm is a non-issue - under the "Hate Crimes" legislation, one could be jailed merely for expressing opinions. (2) I've actually lived in the US and experienced the medical care there. It's much better than the Canadian system. I also have a sister who lives below the poverty line in Texas. Her medical care is better than that available to all of us in Canada....except our Prime Minister, who has his own private (and illegal) clinic. (3) If your media is forming a giant conservative comglomerate...then why did the vast majority of news organizations endorse Kerry in the last election? At the time you people were trumpeting that as evidence that the ones 'in the know' were rooting for your candidate. But now, suddenly, the whole media is against you? (4) I'm referring to the APEC conference, Nov 25, 1997 in BC. The facts are freely available if you google "pepper spray" and "APEC". Our Prime Minister at the time (also a Liberal) was quoted jovially chuckling "for me, pepper, I put it on my plate" after several people had been hospitalized. To what similar incident in the US are you referring? (5) I assure you, if in the US any proof were brought forward that the Bush administration had arranged to take envelopes stuffed with cash from political cronies at Haliburton during rendezvous in shady restaurants, there would be impeachment hearings. Trust me, the wild conspiracy theories of Paul Krugman et al are nothing compared to the mob tactics used by the Canadian Liberal party. You're probably going to protest that "Bushco" does the same thing, but the key word here is proven. Lots of nutbars make wild claims about the Bush Administration...in progressive Canada the attorney general uncovered a plot and publicized it, and even the government now acknowledges it. Proven, grand scale, corruption - you have no similar situation, and if you did you would be crowing about it. And one final point, my pessimistic friend, what makes you think you're 'shut out of the political process'? You admit that you can still vote, and the votes are counted, yet you consider yourself shut out? Oddly enough, I suspect you and I would generally agree on the way a society ought to be run: free speech, free elections, separation of corporation and state, good medical care for all regardless of personal wealth, etc. Where we differ is in (a) the means we choose to achieve those ends (you: big government, me: free citizens), and (b) the hope that I have and you don't, that freedom can be won - albeit at a price. As Sean Connery says in the role of King Arthur..."May God give us the wisdom to see the right, the courage to bring it about, and the strength to make it endure".

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#27)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    TS- “Your comment was either a jump to a conclusion on your part or an intentional strawman.” I guess I did … “the public has no recourse to hold accountable a ruling party” … but it does seem that the most obvious way to hold elected office holders accountable is to not vote for them again. Unless you are talking about criminal charges, in which case I wish you luck finding anything more than conspiracy and circumstance. grad student- I’m glad to see classical liberalism isn’t dead in Canada. Best of luck.

    Re: Reid to Dine at Frist's Home Sunday Night (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:05 PM EST
    "Where we differ is in (a) the means we choose to achieve those ends (you: big government, me: free citizens)." Do not ascribe your definitional assumptions to my ideology. My complete vision of "Big Government" has never been detailed anywhere on the Internet. You infer that since I am anti-Corporatism that I am somehow a totalitarian or Communist. "I wish you luck finding anything more than conspiracy and circumstance." No, I'm quite sure that I won't. Biased polling, biased media, gerrymandered districts, voter intimidation are all stuff I just made up. The "enemies of big government" have spent 200 billion worth of tax dollars in a humanitarian effort and I can't prove otherwise in that case either. "but the key word here is proven." Its the government that both of you apologize for that is fast and loose with "standards of proof". Yeah, I'll wait around for Alberto Gonzales to crack the case for us. "...then why did the vast majority of news organizations endorse Kerry in the last election?" Yep. I've seen stats showing Clear Channel donated overwhelmingly to Democrats. Nevermind that they spent hundreds of times that amount in airtime spent indicting the character of Liberals - something that I don't have to rely on third-hand information to confirm. But here is an example of the unreliable sources that you find reliable contradicting your own statement: here