Friday, May 20, 2005

True bipartisan

From Daily Kos and People for the American Way. Rarely is there a situation so black and white you can just put down a bunch of quotes, and rarely do I agree with so many Republicans at one time.

The nuclear option is a bad idea, and if you don't believe me just read what these 17 Senators have to say.

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania
"I'm going to use every ounce of my energy, Wolf, to avoid confronting the nuclear option, because I think it would be disastrous for America. The Senate has a long, rich tradition for protecting minority rights."
CNN's "Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer," 02-27-05

"I'm going to exercise every last ounce of my energy to solve this problem without the nuclear option," he said. "If we have a nuclear option, the Senate will be in turmoil and the Judiciary Committee will be hell."
Washington Post, 02-24-05

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska
"It's important that we protect the institution of the Senate and the tools of minority rights because if those are eroded, you will then put the institution on a slippery slope to keep--by straight majority vote. By saying this rule's going to change. This rule's going to change. ... I do not like this approach. It's a dangerous approach. It's an irresponsible approach. And it further erodes the constitutional minority rights element of the Senate." CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," 04-17-05

"We have to sit down ourselves, look each other in the eye and talk not just about short-term consequences but, more importantly, long-term consequences for the institution of the Senate. The Senate was primarily built around protection of minority rights."
CBS's "Face the Nation," 05-01-05

"I don't think it would be wise, in the interests of our country or the United States Senate to let this come to this kind of an explosion in the United States Senate.", 05-09-05

Senator Susan Collins of Maine
"[T]o change the rules of the Senate and to invoke what they are calling the nuclear option ... would so poison the well that I fear that it would be very difficult for us to tackle those major issues that are coming down the road."
National Journal, 01-22-05

"I wish this would pass us by," she said, "because I am concerned about the impact on the Senate of trying to put through a change that does not represent a consensus."
New York Times, 04-20-05

Senator John Warner of Virginia
"I tend to be a traditionalist, and the right of unlimited debate has been a hallmark of the Senate since its inception."
Press statement, 04-29-05

"I just look at this institution as really the last bastion of protecting the rights of the minority."
New York Times, 04-20-05

"We can't do damage to the Senate rules, which would come back to work against the interests of the Republican Party when we're in the minority. ... This is the last bastion, an institution that protects the rights of the minority."
Virginia Pilot, 04-29-05

Senator John McCain of Arizona
"If we don't protect the rights of the minority ... if you had a liberal president and a Democrat-controlled Senate, I think that it could do great damage."
CBS's "Face the Nation," 04-10-05

"`I don't know why in the last 200 years we have not had this kind of crisis before, but we've always been able to work things out,' says Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is now `strongly inclined' to vote against the rule change. `We will not be in the majority forever. History has shown us that.'"
Wall Street Journal, 04-12-05

Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine
"I don't believe that at this point we should resort to changing the rules in order to adapt it to this scenario. We ought to try and make it work."
Portland Press-Herald, 12-26-04

Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island
"`Just the word that's being used--the nuclear option--says it all,' Chafee said of the parliamentary maneuver. ... `The acrimony's so thick down here that a step into complete radioactivity isn't good for the American people.'"
The Providence Journal, 05-17-05

Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas
"What goes around comes around ... [it is] not in the best interests of either party or the Senate to take this step."
Kansas City Star, 05-15-05

Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon
"I don't want the Senate to become the House."
The Hill, 03-02-05

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
"I am one of the Republicans who believe such a rules change is not a good idea--not good for the Senate, not for the country, not for Republicans, and not for Democrats. The Senate needs a body that by its procedures gives unusual protection to minority rights." Senate floor statement, 04-12-05

Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio
"[T]he best thing to do is to have an understanding between the parties. ... [Changing the rules is] probably not going to be the way to do it."
Congressional Quarterly, 05-07-03

"I think it's in the best interest of the country that we work out something. ... This is a confrontation we should not have."
Chicago Tribune, 05-18-05

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
"`The fact of the matter is that there has been an ability to filibuster judges from the day the Senate was formed,' Murkowski said earlier this year. `And out of protocol, or courtesy, or just a recognition of the Senate's constitutional obligation to give advice and consent on the president's judicial nominees, filibusters weren't even considered up until the 108th Congress. That's where I get frustrated,' she said. `I don't want to have to change the rules because now some people have decided that they can now use it to their advantage to permanently block a president's nominee. It may be that you have four years or eight years of judges that one side doesn't like. But then you've got eight years of judges that the other side likes, so there's an evening of the process,' she said. `I don't like the nuclear option, let's put it that way, and I hope we don't get to the point where we have to institute it.'"
Miner-News, 04-12-05

Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana
"`On the fundamental issue, I believe we are skating over very thin ice here with regard to the continuity of life in the Senate as we've known it,' Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) said on CNN's `Late Edition.' `I'm opposed to trying to eliminate filibusters simply because I think they protect minority rights, whether they're Republicans, Democrats or other people.'"
Los Angeles Times, 05-16-05

Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi
"It's very important that one faction or one party not be able to ride roughshod over the minority and impose its will. The Senate is not the House."
Wall Street Journal, 06-05-03

Senator Robert Bennett of Utah
"Once we [Republicans] try to change the rules with 51 votes, the precedent is on the table. ... If Hillary Clinton becomes president with a Democratic Senate and wants to appoint Lani Guinier to the Supreme Court, Harry Reid could make that happen with 51 votes."
Farmington Daily Times, 05-18-05

Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico
"I will listen to that debate carefully, but it will be very difficult to get me to vote to change the filibuster rule. ... I always thought that the filibuster rule protected the minority in a rather exceptional way, better than almost any other rule we've got."
National Journal, 12-11-04

Senator John Sununu of New Hampshire
"I'm just thinking through the history and the precedents of changing the rules. Like any rules change, I want to ask the question: If the rule is changed, is it something I'm comfortable with whether I'm in the majority or the minority, whether we have a Republican president or a Democratic president?"
Wall Street Journal, 04-12-05


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