Timorous Republican Senators, like Hagel, McCain, Voinovich and Specter, fret that using the elected Republican Majority forcefully, to confirm Executive appointments, will disturb the “comity” and “collegiality” of the Senate. The first flaw in this line of thinking is that these Senators are suffering from the delusion that the voters sent them to Washington so that they could enjoy a pleasant working environment. It is remarkable how quickly, upon arrival at The Capitol, these Senators forget the substance of their job interview. In fact, not a single Republican Senator campaigned on the promise that, if elected, he would avoid upsetting the Democrats.
Exposing the second flaw requires me to engage in the bad manners of noticing that The Emperor has no clothes, so at the risk of being impolite I have to ask, what comity? What collegiality? If harmonious relations among members of the Senate means that every nominee who shares the President’s Conservative philosophy will be subjected to character assassination by Liberal Democrats, then why should Republicans desire to maintain such “harmony,” even if Democrats couch their slanders in “my esteemed colleague,” and “this honorable body”? If the Democrats’ abusive treatment of President Bush’s nominees defines “comity” and “collegiality” in the Senate, then I shudder to think what rancor and backstabbing would look like.
It is long past time for Republicans to use the majority that the voters have affirmed in six consecutive elections to confirm the Presidnet’s appointments. Whatever temper tantrum the Democrats throw in response will still be swaddled in “my esteemed colleague from the great State of ________,” so the members of “the greatest deliberative body in the World” can still have their precious show of comity and collegiality, with the refreshing difference that the will of the majority will be allowed to prevail.