Hard Ball: Senate Republicans vs. Democrats; Dems Win Overwhelmingly

Bill Clinton, following the worst two years of his life, was able to intimidate a Republican Senate with the help of his bull-dog Democrat friends in the United States Senate, and get 15 of his very important, and liberal, U.S. Court of Appeals nominees confirmed in the 1999-2000 Congress. The federal appeals court is the level of judges right below the U.S. Supreme Court.

On the other hand, with only a handful of in-session weeks left on the Senate's calendar, President George W. Bush has managed to get a net total of only 8 of his conservative appeals court nominees confirmed, including one liberal (a relative of the Democrat Chairman of the Armed Services Committee) and 9 conservative nominees. SCORE: 15 Clinton liberals vs. 8 Bush conservatives.

Even with the Republican failure to fight hard for the confirmation of appeals court nominees, the Democrat-controlled Senate (with a 9% approval rating) continues to fail to fulfill its constitutional obligations and provide a vote on President George W. Bush's judicial nominations, especially those nominated to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In fact, some have been waiting for years to get a vote after being nominated by President Bush.

This Senate Republican minority has reverted back to what has been the pattern of Republican Senates vs. Democrat Senates; weak Republican leadership compared to strong Democrat leadership; one which uses every conceivable tactic to get their way. The time remaining for the Republican Senators to match Bill Clinton's 15 confirmed nominees is extremely limited.

Unless the Senate Republicans use whatever tactics are necessary to force Senate floor votes on 7 more conservative appeals court nominees -- to make a net total of 15 conservatives, matching Clinton's success in getting 15 liberals confirmed in 1999 and 2000 -- they will likely lose their leverage to filibuster wretched Democrat legislation in November's election.

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