Monday, May 10, 2010

Pat Leahy, ever the damn hypocrite

"The decisions made at the nation's highest court affect the daily lives of all Americans. Our constituents deserve a civil and thoughtful debate on this nomination, followed by an up-or-down vote."

Apparently Leahy doesn't believe that nominees to lower courts deserve the same "up-or-down vote"? He was among the Democrats so solidly opposed to Miguel Estrada that they filibustered him until he withdrew his nomination.

When Alito was nominated, Leahy made the veiled threat, "Filibusters of judicial nominees and in particular of Supreme Court nominees are hardly something new."

But when a president from his party is nominating, the story changes:

"Look, the Constitution says that 51 senators can confirm somebody. It doesn't require 60 senators. I don't think there's going to be any kind of a filibuster. You know, this last year we had about 100 and some-odd filibusters that–totally unprecedented. Actually, that's the lazy person's way out. The American people pay us and, and elect us to vote yes or no, not to vote maybe. Every time you have a filibuster, you're saying, 'I'm not going to vote yes or no, I'm going to vote maybe.' That's irresponsible." - Pat Leahy, April 11, 2010

And earlier this year, he indicated he'd support loosening rules that allow filibusters.

Now here's an interesting Google search result. As of right now, the first hit is:

This morning, following the link yielded a "404 Page not found" error. Then it changed to "403 Forbidden / You do not have access..." Now it's:

Now why would that page have three different results today, and be unaccessible to us? Could it possibly be because of its content, which confirms Leahy is as hypocritical as ever?

Unfortunately for Leahy, Matt Hoy preserved the content for us:
Some Republicans have been taking a quote out of context from Senator Leahy from June 1998 about judicial nominations, replacing his actual words with an ellipse, then distributing it widely and misusing it.

Here is what Republicans keep quoting: "I have stated over and over again ... [ELLIPSE] that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported."

What the Republican talking points omit with their ellipse is the essential context of that quote. Senator Leahy's actual comment was made during floor discussion about AN ANONYMOUS REPUBLICAN HOLD on yet another of President Clinton's nominees. Here was his actual comment:

?I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would refuse to put an anonymous hold on any judge; that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty.?
As my father used to say, "Six of one, half a dozen of the other." What difference does it make if it's an anonymous hold, or a Senator supporting a filibuster? This is the equivalent of "I am confident my client will be found not guilty" (as opposed to "My client is innocent") or "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski."

The irony is that Leahy's Senate site is "Verisign trusted," but Firefox knows better.

And right now, his page is back to:


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