My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Symposium Topic, Continued

Hugh has been running an online symposium for the last few days on the topic of "Why I Vote For Geiorge W. Bush/What's Wrong With John Kerry" Tonight I'm going to extend the topic to the Colorado Senate race, and over the next few days to the other races of interest this cycle.

Why I'm Voting for Pete Coors

One of the most important powers granted to the Senate, under Article II, is to Advise and Consent on matters of appointments. For the last four years we have watched an unprecedented abuse by the minority party in the Senate of Senate procedures to prevent the Senate from fulfilling this power, especially with respect to judicial appointments. To be more clear (for those who haven't been paying attention): at no time in our history has the Senate been prevented from voting on nominees to the Federal Appelate Courts by means of the Senatorial filibuster--until the last three years. No less than 11 (and I think the number is actually thirteen) judges appointed by President Bush have been held up without a vote in the Senate because Senate Democrats have held ranks and prevented a vote on the nominees. This is because of a quirk in Senate rules which requires a supermajority of 60 Senators to vote to end debate on a topic or nominee. Without this vote, known as cloture, the Senate cannot vote on the appointment. In other words, it cannot do its job. Among those prevented from being voted on: Miguel Estrada, an Hispanic immigrant with an impeccable judicial record; Janice Rogers Brown, an African-American judge from California who has quite a compelling personal story; and William Pryor, a former Arkansas AG who was blocked based on his devout Catholicism.

The only way to break this Senate blockade is to increase the Republican majority in the Senate. At current, the GOP has 51 Senators, compared to 48 Dems and one Dem-leaning Independent; an increase of three or four Senators is required to both increase the likelihood of a cloture vote, as well as sending the message to the Senate Dems to end their blockade and allow these judges to be voted on. If they're bad judges, defeat them; otherwise, do your job and fill the federal bench.

I know--not saying much yet about Pete Coors and his personal qualities. In truth, that is less important to me than the strategic positioning of a GOP majority in the Senate.

Personally, I think Pete Coors will be a strong voice for conservative judges in the Senate. I also think that his tendency will be to back the vigorous and proactive use of American force abroad to further the goals of American security. In addition, we're talking about a man who has run a major company and who understands the importance of meeting a budget and creating the conditions that encourage job growth. All of these work in his favor. But in truth, these conditions would apply to many who could be GOP candidates for the Senate. . .

And that's the point. This seat must remain GOP, because, as I wrote last night, the first principles of my life are most actively applied at the Judicial confirmation level and at the national security level. These are two fronts upon which the Senate exerts considerable pressure, and why it is so important to elect Republicans to this body.

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