Today, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) used the Democratic Party's weekly radio address as a vehicle to blame President Bush for the impasse in the senate over his judicial nominees, and urged Bush to condemn Republicans who have criticised the Democrats for their baseless obstructionism. (Link)
Ironically, this fight was sparked by Schumer himself, who advocated that the new Democratic Majority in the Senate in 2001 apply purely ideological "litmus tests" upon Bush's nominees, something that had never before been done. It's true that ideology has always played a part in the nomination and approval process, but what Schumer was pushing was far beyond the Bork case, in 1986; he was advocating rejecting nominees for their views regardless of their qualifications; ideology was the only issue that mattered, and a highly qualified nominee with the wrong political views was to be jettisoned by the majority without a second thought.
Without naming any, Schumer criticized "small groups ... trying to undermine the age-old checks and balances that the Founding Fathers placed at the center of the Constitution."
He must be talking about the 45 men and women in the senate who consistently refuse to end debate on Bush's nominees. He might want to talk to Harry Reid about that, since Reid is the ringleader of those shenanigans.
After all, he can't possibly be referring to anything else, since the constitution does not provide for the concept of a filibuster, in which a small group of people can undermine the checks and balances. The senate is supposed to vote for the nominees, not submit to the will of the minority.
"I am making a heartfelt plea to you, Mr. President. When you came to Washington, you said you wanted to change the climate in D.C.," Schumer said. "Those stating these abhorrent views count themselves as your political allies. One word from you will bring a halt to these un-American statements. That would be a way to strengthen democracy here at home."
Schumer has never bothered to condemn any of the barking moonbats who support his party, and the rhetoric coming from them has been far more vicious and hateful than what Bush's supporters have voiced. When the senate Minority Leader refers to the president as a "loser" in a public appearance (to a group of high school students, no less), it becomes apparent that the change in tone needs to come from the left side of the aisle, not the right side.
The senator referred generally to some activists comparing judges to the Ku Klux Klan and terrorists.
Republicans have also complained about some of the Democratic language in the judges debate. The GOP and some Jewish groups criticized Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record), a West Virginia Democrat, for alluding to the rise of Adolf Hitler in a speech about Republican efforts to end judicial filibusters.
How about it, Chuckles? Where's the outrage? When are you going to denounce the extremist? Of course, he's a senator, rather than some screaming wingnut from a pressure group; I assume that you only want criticism of groups that don't actually have any real power.
One would think that the Senate Democrats should realize that by pushing the GOP into the position of killing filibusters on Circuit Court nominees, they are also killing the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, and it's highly likely that Rehnquist and O'Conner are planning to retire soon. Additionally, Stevens is in his mid-eighties; he might very well die in office, and without a filibuster, the Dems will NOT be able to prevent Bush from appointing someone whose judicial views are quite different from those of Stevens, which will alter the court in a fashion they will not like.