Monday, April 25, 2005

Payback's a Bitch

When you make a living talking on the floor of Congress, maybe you just really want the last word. It seems that so much of politics in Washington is simply a vicious cycle.

Just last week, retiring Rep Henry Hyde (R-IL) told WLS-TV in Chicago the Clinton Impeachment was in part political payback for Richard Nixon's troubles. From the WLS website:

The veteran republican is also admitting for the first time that the impeachment of Clinton may have been in part political revenge against the democrats for the impeachment proceedings against GOP President Richard Nixon 25 years earlier.

"Was this pay back?" asked Andy Shaw.

"I can't say it wasn't. But I also thought that the Republican Party should stand for something, and if we walked away from this, no matter how difficult, we could be accused of shirking our duty," said Hyde.

What's Good for the Goose...

Democrats are handing out some payback of their own with President Bush's judicial nominees. They won't back down on their threat to filibuster the nominations they've blocked before.

The President and Senate GOP leadership have launched a full court press to get 10 rejected judge nominees on the bench. Mind you, Democrats have gone along with 205 of his other nominations. The Senate confirmed 367 of President Clinton's nominees -- but Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says more than 60 of President Clinton's nominees were blocked by proceedural roadblocks Republicans threw up in the Senate.

On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said, "If what Democrats are doing is wrong today, it won’t be right for Republicans to do the same thing tomorrow."

But What About Yesterday?

Back in 1999 and 2000, Sen Frist was one of the pack of Republicans who tried blocking Clinton court appointee Richard Paez. Sen Frist even voted to keep a Republican filibuster against Paez going.

That kind of thing had Sen Leahy ponder back on March 9, 2000:

“Whoever the next president might be, if it is a Republican president, do we start doing the same things to him the Republicans have done to President Clinton?”

The battle cry of Democrats of the day in those waning days of the Clinton years was "Give us an up-and-down vote." Exactly what the Republicans are saying today.

What goes around comes around -- and it's all around those 10 judicial nominees the President wants and Democrats don't -- and years of partisan one-upsmanship. (MSNBC)

[Crossposted at]

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