We have a pissing contest about to start in the US Senate between arrogant Republicans and uppity Democrats over judicial nominees.
Now during the Clinton Regime, Republicans used the committees to block Clinton's judicial picks and the Democrats were screaming bloody murder over that. But now that we're in the middle of the Bush Imperium, it's the Democrats that are using what they have to block judicial nominees.
Hey, I agree with the idea that all nominees deserve a straight up-or-down vote. But then again, all laws also deserve to be likewise voted on their merits, not tacked onto some spending bill where they can't be removed and nobody has the nerve to pass. Senate Majority Leader Bill "Quick" Frist really has no moral high ground to take on this issue.
Yet at the same time, I'm a little pissed off about how lackadaisical things are in the Senate. There really hasn't been a filibuster in a while. It's all a matter of "procedure". It takes 60 Senators to end debate on a subject, but not having that 60 doesn't mean the debate continues. They just table the matter until a later date.
So if the Republicans really want to bring this pissing contest to an end, they don't have to eliminate the filibuster to do it. After all, they won't be in charge forever, and they may need that little power themselves. What they need to do is make a modest rule change to eliminate tabling that debate.
In other words, force the Democrats to engage in a REAL filibuster!
If the Democrats want to talk, then TALK! Talk away! Strap on some Depends, slip on some comfortable shoes, and stock up on coffee if you have to. Keep on talking for days on in if you can. But don't you dare stop, because if you do, then the debate will be over and the Senators will vote right then and there.
Hey, it's not like these guys don't know HOW to talk! They could talk their mothers out of their life savings! (How do you think they ended up with Social Security in the first place?) I just have to wonder how many of them would have the strength to keep on talking for days on in. You think Teddy Kennedy or "The Banshee" would ever have the fortitude to go at it for that long? I think most of them would collapse after a couple of hours.
So there! Problem solved! The filibuster is not only saved, but also restored to the political weapon of last resort that it was meant to be.
That's a far better "nuclear option" than anything those self-righteous Republicans can come up with!