In the last few years the Republicans and the Democrats seem to be exchanging playbooks whenever they change the majority.
The GOP wasn’t very eager to approve Bill Clinton’s judges They often raised the Democrats treatment of Judge Bork as the example of how the Dems started the whole thing.
But then George Bush was elected and began appointing judges and suddenly the Dems saw no need to hurry and the GOP was all for giving the President what he wanted and doing so quickly.
Then Barack Obama was elected and the two parties flipped sides again. The Dems demand “prompt action” and the GOP insists on the importance of careful Senate scrutiny. The arguments never changed. What changed was which side of the aisle they were coming from.
I repeat. They just traded playbooks.
During the last election two states had very similar items on their ballots regarding the establishment of non-partisan re-districting panels. California’s had been submitted by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ohio’s was proposed by Democrats. The arguments for and against – as they developed in each state – were very similar. It’s just the California Democrats used Ohio Republican arguments against the bill. Or was it Ohio that copied California. Not important. Both ballot measures lost. But somewhere along the way both parties lost some credibility too.
The important question about perverting the authority to confirm judges is NOT who started it. Rather it is who is going to stop it. The public is pretty down on the Congress right now – fed up with petty politics. Yet spokesmen for both parties are happy to explain why all this bickering is going to work for them. Well, both can’t be right. I suspect, in fact, both are wrong.
What we need is at least one person on either side to stand up and call for an end to all this blocking below the belt, the clipping and facemask violations, and – of course – the personal fouls. And they each need a new play book.