Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Great Editorial

It's hard to read every newspaper every day. In fact, it's impossible. When I sift through the news in the morning I tend to look at the majors: New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, Washington Times, and Christian Science Monitor. Sometimes I breeze through the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and a few others. Thanks to the wonderful thing that is Google News, however, if a story I'm interested in has been covered by another paper, or in a particularly interesting way, I at least have the potential to discover it, even if it's a few hours after the fact.

Case in point: this editorial, from today's Albuquerque Tribune, "Senate finally found its (common) senses." I include the entire editorial here, since it's more than worth reading in full:

"Compromise, the hallmark of democracy, is alive and well, thanks to the U.S. Senate and its handling of the Bush administration's nominees to the federal judiciary.

After witnessing 4 years of vicious partisan, ideological warfare, it was refreshing to see the Senate find a way to put the public's, rather than a party's, interests first.

In a compromise engineered last week by 14 moderates - seven Republicans and seven Democrats, led by Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia - the Senate backed away from the so-called "nuclear option," in which the Republican majority threatened to end filibustering on judicial nominations and Democrats vowed to stop all Senate business with parliamentary traffic jams.

First, these senators showed that, in spite of the national partisan rancor, political compromise is still viable in the American republic.

Second, they preserved the honored and time-tested Senate provision allowing minority filibusters, based solely on the discretion of a senator.

Third, they showed that even some of President Bush's judicial nominees considered by Democrats to be so extreme and out of touch with the Constitution can get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. Indeed, the very next day, the Senate split along party lines to approve Bush's nominee, Priscilla Owen, as an appellate court judge.

That this deal outraged both the far right and far left probably is strong evidence it was a reasonable, fair and worthy compromise. The compromise should be embraced by the vast majority of Americans, who recognize that presidents are entitled to nominate whom they want and that senators should be able to object and even filibuster in extreme circumstances. Over time and changes in administrations, the American federal judiciary typically ends up well-balanced politically and usually well-focused on the law, not politics.

The compromise then was the essence of political courage, leadership and statesmanship. The only thing that could have made it better would have been the involvement of both of New Mexico's senators - who, to be fair, have been busy trying to hammer out their own compromise on a national energy policy and plan.

Senators, representatives - even the president - seem to have forgotten that once elected they represent all the people, not just those who agree with them or voted for them."

I could not agree more.


At 9:42 PM, Blogger Andrei Berman said...

wall street journal isn't one of the biggies? Its editorial page is probably more important than any other, save for the NYT.

At 9:50 PM, Blogger JBD said...

If the WSJ was free, I'd read it. I don't believe in paying for editorials.

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting background story on the compromise. Notice that one of the very few moderates was not part of the deal?

Specter, according to Fox News was the last man standing. The republicans had 49 votes and the dems had their 45 plus 5 republicans committed. Specter was the question mark.

According to Fox DeWine and Graham were dispatched by Frist.

The links, quotes, and video can be found here.

At 11:33 PM, Blogger KurtP said...

ummmm, "Second, they preserved the honored and time-tested Senate provision allowing minority filibusters, based solely on the discretion of a senator.

The Dems have been a mjority for about 40 of the last 60 years. Exept for lately, when have the Dems been worried about the minority ability to stop legislation?


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