Which is worse?

The Republicans in Congress will have you believe that the worst crime perpetrated upon the American public in recent years is the use, by congressional Democrats, of the filibuster. In particular, the filibuster was used to block the appointments of only 10 out of 211 of President Bush’s first term judicial nominees. This amounted to an attempt to block only the most extreme right wing of Bush’s appointments. The Republicans have repeatedly called this “an unprecedented use of the filibuster” but it is only unprecedented if you ignore their record.

“…in the last five years of the Clinton presidency, Republicans blocked 20% of the nominees submitted to the Senate. In President Bush’s first three years, only 3.4% of judicial nominees have been rejected. Already, the Senate has confirmed thirty Bush circuit court nominees – this is a greater number than President Clinton was allowed in his two full terms in office.”

Now the Republicans have taken a step I am sure they will try to downplay but which is significantly more serious. Against the urging of both the President and Vice President, House Republican leaders blocked and likely killed the bill which would have enacted the 9/11 Commission recommendations. As they have proven time and again, the Republican leadership in congress thought it more important to protect their own narrow self-interests over those of the American people and now we will certainly be less safe and more vulnerable to future terrorist attacks as a result. So I ask you, which is worse; using the filibuster to block extreme judges, or blocking legislation which everyone agrees must be passed if we are to protect this nation from future terrorist attacks?

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