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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Monday, May 23, 2005
Sell-outs: A few Republican moderates have just sold-out to the Democrats.

Republicans don't know how to lead. They don't know how to govern. Not one more dime -- ever.

*UPDATE* Text of the memorandum of selling-out can be found here. To sum-up: Republicans get nothing except votes on a couple of nominees they would've gotten votes on anyway -- Democrats "compromised" on nothing.

*UPDATE 2* NRO has posted a PDF of the document with the signatories. Just a couple of notes on signatures -- Byrd is getting old, as you can tell from his shaky handwriting. Lincoln Chafee didn't "sign" the document -- he printed his name. There are two signatories that must've had medical training, because I can't make out their names for the life of me.

GOP signers appear to consist of:
Mike DeWine, Ohio
Lincoln Chafee, R.I.
Lindsay Graham, S.C.
John Warner, Va.
John McCain, Ariz.
Olympia Snowe, Maine
Susan Collins, Maine

*UPDATE 3* Sen. Lindsay Graham said the following on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" -- this is verbatim from the personal video recorder:

Can I add one thing, Paula, about the future? I don't know what the future holds, but I do know this: no matter how much pressure I get in South Carolina, no matter how much pressure I get from conservative groups, I'm not gonna vote for the nuclear option because I'm worried about me. If there are future filibusters where one of the seven Democratic colleagues believes they have to filibuster, at that point in time I retain my right as an individual senator to vote to change the rules if I believe they're out of bounds. We have to trust each other. We have to work together. But we have a chance to start over. And my vote is depending on what my seven colleagues decide to do in the future. If they decide to go down the filibuster road, I retain my options to change the rules. But I don't think we're going to get there. There's no reason for us to have to do that if we'll act like the senators the public expects us to be.

This sure seems to fly in the face of this portion of the MOU:

B. Rules Changes. In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement, we commit to oppose the rules changes in the 109th Congress, which we understand to be any amendment to or interpretation of the Rules of the Senate that would force a vote on a judicial nomination by means other than unanimous consent or Rule XXII.

The entire situation is very muddy right now and we'll have to wait to hear from all of the GOP's "Gang of Seven" to see what exactly they each think this deal means. Graham appears to believe that the nuclear option is still on the table if the Democrats continue down the filibuster route. The text of the deal doesn't appear to support that interpretation. One worry is that Graham (and possibly others) didn't read what they were signing closely or were given verbal assurances about what certain portions of the deal really meant. When Graham (and possibly others) respond to future Democrat filibusters by attempting to invoke the nuclear option, the Democrats will use this MOU to beat them over the heads as dishonest traitors.

5:32 PM

Well, I've been looking for a good reason to tell the national RNC to quit calling for money. Looks like that reason just appeared on a silver platter. Is there anyway to get these sellouts to quit calling themselves Republicans, because frankly, I would rather have 52 true political enemies and be in the minority and be able to support my parties nomination against them, than 48+7 untrue political opportunists selling out the political agenda that I campaigned and voted for. I'm angry, I'm frustrated, and I'm justified, because my party has been betrayed by those who claimed solidarity with our platform.
I would love to have seen the filibuster squashed, and always love to see the left crushed.

That said, I think that it's not as bad a deal as true GOP'ers are making out.

First, from looking at the list, it just might be that Frist didn't have the votes necessary for the rule change (and what a kick in the pants that would have been). Everyone says that if that was the case, then the Democrats wouldn't have compromised. Untrue, because the Democrats weren't sure either, and they simply have to have a filibuster option for down the road.

Secondly, it might not be such a bad deal, because even though the Republican majority in the Senate is well within their rights to change the rules of the Senate, sometimes these things have a way of backfiring with the voters. Now the focus is off the GOP and whether they are being perceived as heavy-handed or not, and back on the Democrats as to whether they are being obstructionists. This issue is what has turned the previous elections, and cost Gingrich in the 90's and Daschle in 2004.

It's still a winning election issue for the Republicans, because if the Democrats break their word (which they probably will), then it's easier for Frist to get the votes for a rule change during a Supreme Court confirmation filibuster. There's also less risk of backlash with voters, because it will be the Democrats who broke the deal. Nothing has changed except that Bush gets most of his nominees confirmed quickly (except for Saad and Myers).

I'm sorry about Saad and Myers, but realistically Saad can't seem to play the confirmation game without getting his feelings hurt. He sent an ill-advised e-mail badmouthing Stabenow (justified, but not the way the game is played) and Myers might actually need to get some experience first. Yes they should get voted up or down, but they might have gone down (and that would've been worse).
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