Ramesh, you’ve made more failed attempts to justify your position than Imelda Marcos had shoes. Most anyone reading the posts can see that. In fact, I’ve received many e-mails and phone calls reflecting this. Your latest post is a testament to the old saw: Hell hath no fury like a pundit cornered.
1. I’ve been writing for NRO, on and off now, for many years. I know that when the editors are speaking, there tends to be one who is most vocal about a given position. I don’t know who came up with NR’s wrongheaded position, but I have a notion, given the strenuousness with which you continue to bark up this tree. This is a matter of disagreement, not disrespect. There’s a difference, and you need to understand it. Moreover, your bizarre focus on extraneous points, and the twisting even of those points, is incomprehensible. You’ve wandered far from the main point.
2. What you’re oblivious to, as you search to vindicate your position, is that those of us who believe in searching for the original intent of the Constitution read the words and not the spaces between them. The entire point of this debate–at least the one that everyone else is focused on–is whether the Senate can use its rules to impose a super-majority requirement on the appointment of judges. No position has been abandoned by me. Why you refuse to debate this squarely, rather than tossing up smoke screens and personal invective is beyond me. You asked whether my view limited the Senate’s ability to impose super-majorities on its own internal activities, such as passing tax bills. Of course not. That doesn’t infringe on the presidency. That has nothing to do with what we’re debating, or what anyone else is debating.
3. You specifically raised the issue of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asking if its role in the confirmation process, in which it can prevent the confirmation of a judge without Senate approval, was unconstitutional. You made the analogy of the committee to the filibuster. I refuted it. You then proclaimed my refutation as persuasive and claimed it as your own. On top of this, you say my position makes no sense. What is this?
4. Now, to the Orwellian part of your, well, argument. You quote me, quoting you, and then you requote yourself, to refute me. Let me cut through the clutter here–and yes, there’s a lot of clutter, Ramesh. See No. 2 above.
5. No senator, until now, has argued that the judicial filibusters are constitutional. They’ve always had rules providing for filibusters generally, but they’ve never been invoked against judicial nominees. I addressed your political argument before, or whatever your argument was. But you’ve outdone yourself in this latest–and for me, final–go-round: you now argue that no one has ever argued you couldn’t filibuster a judicial nominee. It would be quite a spectacle if senators took to the floor to argue against issues that don’t arise. I suppose this is in line with your earlier argument that the framers didn’t list each instance in which a simple majority would be required. You don’t abandon logic when trying to determine the Constitution’s original intent.
6. Regarding the Commerce Clause, you’ve completely abandoned your 10th Amendment argument (you remember that, don’t you?), you’ve embraced my position, and again articulate it as your own–and then characterize it as boneheaded and wrongheaded. It sounds knuckleheaded to me.
I will refrain from unleashing the kind of withering assault that I’m capable of out of respect for the holiday. Merry Christmas.