Thursday, November 3

"GANG OF 14" CONTENT TO TANTALIZE

The so-called "Gang of 14" in the United States Senate -- 7 Democrats and 7 Republican who term themselves moderates and centrists -- emerged from their meeting today on the Alito nomination prepared to continue to tantalize, play their power broker roles, and use the press for their respective aims. Long live this Super-Senate.

Senators Graham (R-SC) and DeWine (R-OH), their newfound religion on full display, reaffirmed their anti-filibuster position, suggesting they'd have no reluctance to use the "constitutional option," if necessary, to thwart Senate democrats, should they opt to be obstructionists and filibuster. Encouraging is that conservative voters have apparently gotten the message to these two, so this time around they come across as less compliant and with far more cartilage in their backbones. Ah, the wonders of modern science.

Senator McCain (RINO-AZ) continued his statesmanlike posturing, hosting the meeting in his Senate offices and saying that he is "favorably disposed" toward the SCOTUS nominee, but that the Senate Judiciary Committee must still do its work -- surely an enlightening, diplomatic comment that will help less intelligent Americans understand this august, terribly complex process. McCain, eyeing a White House bid in 2008, obviously wants to appear peacemaker. After all, the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate wouldn't want the Reid-led minority party -- they of inimitable moral propriety and etiquette -- to take offense at any perceived signals that it was prepared to wield its leverage.

Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) emerged from the meeting trying his best to one-up McCain in taking the high road, saying that its much too early in the process for there to be any talk of filibusters or constitutional options or that nuanced phrase of all pregnant phrases, "extraordinary circumstances." Of course, one might ask why a meeting of Senate gang-bangers was needed this early in the process other than to wax important, but that might be construed as an offensive interrogative!

Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska suggested that it would be anathema at this early juncture for either side to intone the "filibuster" chant and he just plain doesn't want the word said aloud. Thank God for Ben Nelson's principled leadership and discretion.

Remember how fortunate we are that these good men came together the first go-around for it now could take 60 votes, rather than the simple majority vote of 51, as was the original intent of the confirmation process, to get Samuel Alito into Sandra Day O'Conner's vacated seat on the bench.

Good to know is that, in the final analysis, and whether or not certain Democrats (e.g., the Schumers and Clintons and Boxers and Reids and Kennedys of the world) think Alito measures up as a capable jurist unswayed by manifest political ideologies, the same Dems who voted against the much-esteemed John Roberts will do the same thing to Alito, and regardless of the solemnity attached to the process. George Soros and the big-money captains will be the ones actually directing the votes, not the responses, deemed good or bad, of Samuel Alito to the questions posed by Senate Judiciary Committee members.

The "Gang of 14" meeting today is as much a political charade as the votes eventually cast for or against Samuel Alito by the Democrats will be. What burns me is that 7 GOP members are playing the game with them.