Watching and reading the news can be a rather humorous affair far too often. Over the past few weeks, many of you may have noticed the mounting storm over the filibusters in the Senate blocking President Bush's judicial nominees.
For some reason, the Democrats seem very unwilling to put these nominees before the senate for a vote. No, instead they insist that such a process never take place. According to the Family Research Council, the reasoning can be summed up by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who inquired about a nominee's "deeply held personal beliefs." It was William Pryor who then failed the Democrats' inquisition because of those personal beliefs, which were derived from his religious values.
So now Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs Christian advocacy organization, and several others in the evangelical community have come out saying that the filibusters are discriminating against people of faith. Considering that Bush's nominees have all shared a common set of these types of values, this assertion isn't too far off.
Of course, it has drawn some criticism of its own from many, including none other than Colorado's own Ken Salazar. The rookie U.S. senator claimed last week that Focus on the Family was the "anti-Christ. " Well, folks, perhaps the anti-Christ can use his satanic powers to help the Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs. I'm afraid Salazar was a bit off on his apocalyptic scripture studies that day, because there are a few small problems with his assertion.
Literal interpretations of the senator's dim-witted statement aside, was it really necessary to resort to name-calling, Salazar? To his credit, he backed off of those statements claiming, according to his Web site, that he meant to say Focus on the Family and its allies were acting "un-Christian" and "selfish." I have no doubt that the anti-Christ will exhibit these qualities, but he probably won't be in league with Focus on the Family (just a hunch). Well, Salazar, what about the filibuster being a tad bit discriminatory?
I'm not challenging the Democrats' right to filibuster, but let's see it for what it is: an inquisition, minus the impalements and burnings. President Bush came out and refused to side with this thinking, saying that the judicial nominees were being discriminated against for their "judicial philosophy." He can say it however he wants to, but where do these nominees get their judicial philosophy? The Democrats wanted to know about their deeply held personal beliefs, not their deeply held judicial philosophy.
These nominees should be evaluated like any other nominee and presented to the Senate for an up or down vote. I know the Democrats may not be too fond of this whole voting concept right now – it seems to have burned them lately – but they need to keep the faith in the democratic process. Sadly, this filibuster is an exemplar of the intolerant tolerance many of today's liberals exhibit. I hate to break it down to partisan politics, but that is what it comes down to in this instance.
These nominees must be evaluated like any other nominee, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality or religious persuasion. What would the reaction be if the Democrats were filibustering because all of Bush's nominees were minorities?
They're filibustering on a basis, not on the individual merit of these nominees. Last time I checked, that classified as discrimination. Many of these senators support gay marriage and are against what they call "discrimination," yet they have no problem discriminating against people of faith. Call me demanding or picky, but I expect more consistency out of these "progressive" senators.
Tyler Wittman is a junior speech communications major. His column runs every Tuesday