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Posted by on May 18, 2005 in At TMV | 0 comments

Is the GOP Sinking?

The Daily Kos has an interesting item: the latest Pew poll results.

It shows GWB’s and the GOP’s approval ratings are going down. But the most significant number is on the “nuclear option” to ban filibusters on judicial nominees. It’s clear that there is a large number of undecideds out there. They’re still tuned out, or deciding. You could say this is the “silent center” and it has yet to take a stand.

So now it comes down to not just a p.r. “war,” but which side has the most convincing partisans who can make the case BEFORE the vote and AFTER the vote.

It seems, though, that with numbers like this — trending downward — the GOP may have the most to lose. After all, the Democrats are out of power anyway. The GOP could win the vote, get Bush’s nominees to lower and the Supreme Court through but if it has the votes in Congress and doesn’t have the public support, it could face retribution at the polls in 2006 and 2008.

Again, the question becomes: where do Americans feel the center is in American politics today?

What continues to be interesting is the lack of priority placed on consensus building on the part of this adminstration. There was a time in American politics when White House and Congressional leaders at least attempted to defuse the opposition and soften it up if they had the votes.

Today on this and other issues, it really comes down to displays of raw political power, not winning over other segments of the country and attempting to forge unity. Most news reports suggest Vice President Dick Cheney could cast the deciding vote if there’s a tie. Again: it comes down to numbers, not pulling out all stops to make a case FIRST and THEN, when support is sufficiently broadened, go for a vote.

All of this taken together means this week — if the vote comes on the filibuster — could be one of the most fascinating and important in American political history. It could usher in a new era in voting on judicial nominees — and the way the Senate functions in the future.

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