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May 27, 2005
The Comity Comedy Continues

Captain's Quarters would like to give the Captain Louis Renault award to the Seven Dwarves -- those Republican Senators who sold out the Constitution in the name of Senate "comity" and trust, who found out last night exactly how much value those commodities have on the other side of the aisle. After last night's filibuster of the confirmation of John Bolton left the US without an ambassador to the UN for another few weeks, these titans of insight expressed their shock that Democrats acted out of partisanship again:

The vote against cutting off debate over the confirmation of John R. Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations, just as Congress was recessing for Memorial Day, left Republicans fuming and showed there is still some distance to travel to reach the new spirit of Senate comity that some believed was represented in the judicial pact announced Monday. ...

Its authors had said repeatedly that it was a testament to the ability of senators to trust one another. In the aftermath of the Bolton vote, some Republicans were asserting that Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, had been misled by his Democratic counterpart, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. Mr. Reid, they said, had assured Dr. Frist there were sufficient votes to cut off debate and move toward a floor vote on Mr. Bolton. ...

Aides to Mr. Reid said he had provided no such assurances and, in fact, had warned Dr. Frist a few hours earlier that the effort to force a confirmation vote on Mr. Bolton could fall short. "I am disappointed that tonight we were unable to have a vote on Bolton," Mr. Reid said. "But it is not the fault of the Democratic caucus. We're not here to filibuster Bolton, we're here to get information." But it was not lost on Republicans that only a few hours before the Bolton vote, Mr. Reid delivered a tough speech at the National Press Club, where he assailed Republicans for pandering to the right wing and described the Senate agreement on judges as a potential "new beginning" for consensus in the Senate.

In fact, of the seven Democrats that picked the GOP's pockets on Monday, only three voted for cloture, less than half of the Left half of the New Comity Troupe. Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, and Mark Pryor -- all from red states -- voted to give Bolton a shot at confirmation. The other four voted for filibustering, using the flimsy excuse that the State Department hadn't supplied top-secret NSA transcripts to the same body which just two weeks ago had its leadership making public characterizations of highly-classified documents in order to smear a judicial nominee.

This resulted in these Renault moments for Senators who assured the public three days earlier, in an orgy of self-congratulation, that their acquiescence on minority extortion on interbranch affairs had ushered in a new era of bipartisanship:

clrlogo.jpg"It is unfortunate," conceded Senator Mike DeWine, Republican of Ohio and a prominent member of the so-called Gang of 14 who drew up the judicial compromise. "It is too bad. But the deal was on judges, not anything else." ...

"In this atmosphere of trust, you have to take people's word," said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, as he left the Senate chamber. ...

"This is what is disappointing," said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and another one of the Gang of 14. "The spirit of the deal was that we can do better if we all try."

For these three, and the other four who enabled them, the Not One Dime Campaign at CQ makes them our first recipients of the CLR Award. Rest assured that this will be the only donation we will be making to their campaigns in the future.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 27, 2005 7:54 AM

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