Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Mavaricks, Malcontents and Malicious Back-Knifers

The GOP currently holds the majority in the US Senate under Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist from Tennessee. This gives Senator Frist and his compatriots the ability to set the committee chairs and push much of the Senate's agenda. This does not, however, give the GOP full control of the US Senate.

The most obvious obstacle to the senate pursuing a more conservative tack would be the ability of the 44 Democrats to filibuster any piece of legislation they do not like. As long as they can maintain 40 votes or more behind a filibuster, the Senate will not be able to vote on the nomination or piece of legislation being filibustered.

In a more contested Senate, former Senator Tom Daschele made this tactic his legacy. He lost his bid for reelction to John Thune and perhaps his many filibusters may be viewed as part and parcel to his decline and eventual dicomfiture. Thus the Democrats will have to turn to a source of power outside of their own ranks to hold parity against Senator Frist.

The vote of liberal lackey Jim Jeffords brings the party of Jackson and Jefferson within 10 votes of an even footing. This forces them to find Republican accomplices to their legislative goals. Unfortunately, this goal is not entirely a fool's errand for Democrats remaining in the ranks of the US Senate.

Several GOP Senators are ripe for inclusion in the ranks of the Democrats on certain issues. Senators Snowe, Chafee, and Hagel have been occaisional thorns in the side of George W. Bush. Lincoln Chafee made a particularly odious threat of switching parties. When The Red Sea failed to part and Senator Chafee wasn't offered any bribe by President Bush or Senator Frist, he quickly subsided.

Senator McCain has often opposed conservative aims while taking for granted the support of many loyal Republicans. His Campaign Finance Reform Act gave George Soros leverage over US elections which we may rue in future electoral contests. His coauthorship of The Climate Stewardship Act with Senator Liebermann suggests that he may be willing to give international agencies sovereignty over parts of our economy.

However, when the chips went down and the Election of 2004 was in the balance, McCain came squarely to the aid of the GOP. He roasted Michael Moore as a 'disingenuous filmmaker' at the GOP Convention and worked the stump hard for his former primary opponent George W. Bush. This suggests that he may disagree with the GOP on some issues, but remains a loyal member of the family.

The same can not necessarily be said of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. Senator Specter relied heavily on the endorsement of a sitting president to hold of Pat Toomey's primary challenge for his seat. Toomey derived an avalanche of conservative support from groups Club For Growth as a result of Senator Specter's previous record as a liberal. George W. Bush's generous support did not prevent the appearance of Kerry/Specter signs all over Philadelphia prior to the 2004 election.

Specter has clashed with Republican Presidents and party leaders throughout his tenure in the US Senate. He personally deep-sixed Robert Bork's hopes of a Supreme Court seat. He rallied briefly by defending Clarance Thomas against the scurillous charges of Anita Hill.

However, Senator Specter has long associated himself with the Pro-Choice Movement and let it be known that this would direct how he voted on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He declared Roe-v-Wade inviolate as Constitutional Law. His financial support from George Soros is conspicuous among GOP party members.

If there were one Senator that actually does more damage to the GOP as a Republican than a Democrat, Arlen Specter would be that man. I expect he will keep his chairmanship and temporarily make nice with the rest of the Republican Party. However, Arlen Specter is a snake who bears his own party niether love nor loyalty. He is a less couragious version of Aaron Burr.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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