To be sure, the president has seen both his nominees to the Supreme Court approved with little suspense. But the Senate has yet to allow a vote on most of the 85 nominees he has sent up for federal judgeships at the district and appeals court levels.
Same old partisan story? Not quite. The last five presidents, three of them Republicans, have seen four out of five of their appointments confirmed.
Democrats under Majority Leader Harry Reid have not been willing to call the minority’s bluff on this tactic by demanding real-time filibusters with all-night sessions and cots in the lobbies. No one wants the delay, the drama or the indignity.
Back in 2000, when a few principled human beings supported the candidacy of Ralph Nader, they (and their candidate) were accused of being “spoilers” and of enabling the election of George Bush and the consequences. After the election of their dream candidate, Barack Obama, these same Democrats have remained mostly silent as their man continues many of the wicked politics of his predecessor. In their silence, they present not some worldly pragmatism; they merely echo the pusillanimity of the leaders they wish us to join them in electing. The opposition suffers from no such timidity.