Thursday, July 14, 2005

The NY Times: Gang of 14 Has Superhuman Powers

This NY Times piece on the Gang of 14 is just about enough to make me lose my lunch:
...Now that Mr. Bush is consulting with leading senators on a Supreme Court vacancy, the so-called Gang of 14 is patting itself on the back.

"The word 'advice' was buried in history," declared Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, a chief architect of the deal, referring to the Constitutional mandate that the Senate advise and consent on presidential nominees. "Now we've resurrected it. I'm extremely satisfied."...

...If the gang sticks together, it could become a powerful force - so powerful that some of its members, including Mr. Warner, have insisted that the group steer clear of issues beyond the judiciary, for fear of becoming a kind of shadow leadership.
Oh, please...I was, quite forcefully, one of the relatively small number of conservatives who applauded the judicial deal (I even formed a Coalition over it), but Warner and Sheryl Stolberg, who wrote the Times piece, need to get a grip. It was a legislative compromise, not the Manhattan Project.

Only Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seems to have retained his perspective:
"Time will tell," said Mr. Graham, adding that he does not believe that the gang holds any special power. "If the Senate wants to come together, the Senate will come together. Fourteen people are not going to make that happen."
Graham also provide a fitting coda for those of us who did support the deal:
"I think the agreement was good for the country, good for both parties, good for the Senate, good for the president, good for the judiciary," he said, "and over time it will be seen as a good thing."
Agreed, and kudos to Graham for putting things in perspective; it's the grandiose egos on display in comments like Warner's that remind us all of why Senators are held in such low esteem...

UPDATE 7:35 p.m. central: Many thanks to Erick-Woods Erickson for a way-too-generous but greatly appreciated recommendation; if you're not checking out Erick's work regularly, you're not on top of the Supreme Court news...

UPDATE 10:08 a.m. central: Thanks also to DJ Drumond at PoliPundit for linking; much appreciated...

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