Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Do As I Say.

You've got to love hypocrisy honed to a fine art form. The Republican party has raised hypocrisy to a level nearly Orwellian. Case in point, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who's been preaching the "evils" of the filibuster rule relentlessly lately has in fact actually voted to filibuster judicial nominees his very own self. No way, you say? Way. He's a certifiable hypocrite. From Center for American Progress via Atrios:
In recent weeks, Frist has been relentlessly preaching about the evils of judicial filibusters. Speaking to the Federalist Society on November 12, Frist said filibustering judicial nominees is "radical. It is dangerous and it must be overcome." [1] Frist called judicial filibusters "nothing less than a formula for tyranny by the minority." When Bill Clinton was President, however, Frist engaged in the same behavior he is now condemning.

In 1996 Clinton nominated Judge Richard Paez to the 9th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Conservatives in Congress held up Paez's nomination for more than four years, culminating in an attempted filibuster on March 8, 2000. Bill Frist was among those who voted to filibuster Paez.
That's a solid performance! The judges give Frist a solid 9.5 for hypocrisy by differentiating nominees by president. You see under GOP rules, it's OK to filibuster under the immoral President Clinton, but it's "evil" to filibuster under the virtuous (cough) President Bush. Why I haven't seen such great use of the Clinton rule since... last week. Nice play. But now it's on to the second round: The "Lie about your record on national television" round. Again from CAP:
Frist was directly confronted with this vote by Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation (11/21/04). Schieffer said "Senator, a group called The American Progress Action Fund sent me a question to ask you. And here's what it says: 'Senator Frist, if you oppose the use of the filibuster for judicial nominations, why did you vote to filibuster Judge Richard Paez when President Clinton nominated him to the 9th Circuit?'" Frist replied "Filibuster, cloture, it gets confusing--as a scheduling or to get more information is legitimate. But no to kill nominees."
Ooh, Frist is leading with the ever faithful GOP deny and obfuscate the issue falsehood approach. The judges seemed to like that one, giving it a 9.8 added for national media degree of difficulty to pull that whopper off. What's that? Hold everything here folks. That evil liberal watchdog group has thrown the red flag onto the field. Time to review Frist's play:
But American Progress has obtained a document that proves Frist was not, as he suggested, voting to filibuster Paez for scheduling purposes or to get more information. He voted to filibuster Paez for the very reason he said was illegitimate – to block Paez's nomination indefinitely.
Upon further review, Frist's claim is denied. At the time of the filibuster vote, the Senator sent out a press release bragging about filibustering the evil Clinton nominee. The claim of lack of filibuster is overturned. Frist is a hypocrite. Democrat's ball on the 20 yard line.

Yet another case of the Republican mantra: Do as I say, not as I do.