Thursday, March 10, 2005
Why am I not surprised?: Texas Sen. John Cornyn has a letter to the editor in today's New York Times that exposes that the editorial page's opposition to changing the filibuster rule all depends on who is trying to do it.
To the Editor:
"The Senate on the Brink" (editorial, March 6) supports the "historic role of the filibuster," which is a curious position for a newspaper that 10 years ago said filibusters were "the tool of the sore loser" and should be eliminated ("Time to Retire the Filibuster," editorial, Jan. 1, 1995).
Federal judicial appointments have certainly been controversial, but surely all Americans can agree that the rules for confirming judges should be the same regardless of which party has a majority.
Now you praise the filibuster as a "time-honored Senate procedure." In 1995, when Bill Clinton was president, you called it "an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose."
You disparage the Republicans' view that 51 votes should be enough for judicial confirmation. Yet the 51-vote rule is a consistent Senate tradition. By calling for an end to filibusters, the Senate is simply contemplating restoring its traditions by traditional methods you disparage as "nuclear," even though they were once endorsed by such leading Democrats as Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Charles E. Schumer and Robert C. Byrd.
U.S. Senator from Texas
Washington, March 7, 2005
You knew the Times editorial page was liberal, but if you thought it was principled, you'd be wrong. It's most definitely partisan.