Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Pat Leahy - "The Dems Have No Plan"

Thanks to RealClearPolitics, I found the transcript of Fox News Sunday where Pat Leahy delivered the performance of a lifetime defending his party's opposition to Social Security reform. Unfortunately for he and his party, Leahy is not known for really stellar explanations of his party's positions (or lack thereof).

Leahy crashed and burned. Chris Wallace's rather dogged questioning of Leahy on Social Security yielded the following deduction: the Democrats have no plan for fixing Social Security, don't want Bush to try to fix it, and are willing to obstruct any efforts to reform it. Leahy kept saying that Bush threw a plan at the Dems and declared it was non-negotiable, with Wallace correcting him that same was not accurate. But Pat Leahy needs no facts to meander through the fairly nonsensical explanation he offered. Read it yourself & try to follow the logic.

Then there was the questioning on judges which led to Leahy's trapping himself into saying that filibusters and obstruction of judicial nominees in committee was bad when Clinton was president, but is somehow not so bad now that Bush is president. He also left the impression that there would never be any compromise with the Republicans on the filibuster. Wallace also helped clarify the point that while the Democrats have appointed Bush's Federal District Court appointees (trial judges), they have blocked one third of his nominees to the policy-making seats on the Circuit Courts of Appeals--the exact same percentage as the Republicans stopped for Clinton.

Leahy, the former chair, now ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee is increasingly showing that he and his party really stand for nothing more than obstruction of Republican goals, to the point that they cannot be trusted to be serious even with national security.

But perhaps I've sold them a bit too short. Because their history of unprincipled obstruction indicates that they do stand for something: themselves. They believe in putting power--and plenty of it--in their own hands and making one-size-fits-all decisions for those of us who work for a living. And they believe in destroying those who stand in their way. George W. Bush has done an excellent job at extirpating their reach at the federal and state levels. And that's why they'd try to outlaw chickens if he wanted eggs for breakfast.


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