Skip to comments.Frist blows Graham's and DeWine's cover on judicial nominations deal
Posted on 06/20/2005 8:27:07 PM PDT by nypokerface
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and his aides have denied Rep. Lindsey Grahams (R-S.C.) assertion to home-state conservative leaders that he and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) acted as emissaries for Frist in negotiations among 14 Republican and Democratic centrists that resulted in a compromise last month on judicial filibusters.
Dr. Oran Smith, president of the Palmetto Family Council based in Columbia, S.C., said, Graham has been meeting with groups of conservative opinion leaders to explain his actions and to comfort conservative leaders by assuring them he was sent by the Republican leadership to broker a deal.
As a result of Grahams assurances, conservatives anger over Grahams role in the controversial deal has slackened, Smith said.
Theres a mixture of residual anger and lets wait and see because he said he was sent as an envoy and dispatched by the leadership, he and DeWine, Smith added.
Joe Mack, the director of public policy for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, who met with Graham and discussed his role in the brokering the deal, confirmed that Graham told him words to that effect that he was assisting the leadership.
But when asked whether he had dispatched Graham and DeWine as emissaries, Frist replied firmly No. No.
Amid a conservative backlash to the deal, particularly against DeWine in Ohio and Graham in South Carolina, Frist aides have told conservative leaders that they did not encourage the two lawmakers to forge a deal to avoid a floor vote on shielding judicial nominees from filibuster.
Jeff Mazzella, executive director of the Center for Individual Freedom, said, Frists staff and other have assured us that they were not behind that deal and we are satisfied that they are committed to moving forward with up-or-down votes on all of the presidents nominees.
Sean Rushton, executive director of the Committee for Justice, said, Ive heard it from one of Frists liaison people that its not true.
Graham did not answer yes or no when asked by The Hill if he was an emissary for Frist during the negotiations. Instead, he described a nuanced role.
Both leadership teams were very well aware of what was going on, he said, referring to the Republican and Democratic leaders.
He added that everyone knew what was going on and that some lawmakers liked it and some didnt.
Both Graham and DeWine have been the targets of intense conservative anger since they appeared alongside five other Republican senators and seven Democrats last month to announce a deal they struck on judicial nominees who Democrats had blocked.
The deal was announced the evening before Frist had planned to trigger the so-called nuclear option to strip senators of the power to filibuster judicial nominees. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the majority whip, had announced a few weeks before that Frist had enough Republican votes to execute the tactic.
I talked to McConnell and Frist during the negotiations, Graham said. I think Senator Frists primary goal was to change the rules and, barring that, felt it was better to live and fight another day.
Conservative leaders in South Carolina responded angrily. Mack, with the Southern Baptist Convention, said a number of our have been concerned about that role and were looking for a vote to break a filibuster.
Thomas Ravenel, a wealthy developer who self-financed much of his race against Sen. Jim DeMint (R) in a GOP Senate primary last year, announced shortly afterward that he would consider challenging Graham in 2008.
In Ohio, conservatives responded with similar ire, saying that DeWines role in the filibuster negotiations was the latest in a series of actions and positions he has taken at odds with them.
Conservatives said they would retaliate by working against Pat DeWine, the senators son, who ran earlier this month for the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Despite having the highest name recognition in the race and having outraised his opponents significantly, the young DeWine finished a distant fourth in the race.
His showing was extremely poor, said Dr. John Wilke, head of the Life Issues Institute, an anti-abortion group based in Cincinnati. A showing that bad after that good a start has reasons. Some people are saying that Mikes business of being in the Gang of 14 hurt Pat.
The ongoing battle between Republicans and Democrats over the makeup of the federal judiciary has been one of the highest concerns of social conservatives.
After the judges deal was struck, Ohio conservatives led by Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, another Cincinnati-based group, stepped up its efforts to find a candidate to challenge DeWine in the 2006 Republican primary.
As conservatives in Ohio and South Carolina responded angrily to news of the Senate centrists deal on judges, Major Garrett, a Fox News correspondent, citing senior Republican sources, reported that Frist and the Bush White House were worried enough about possibly losing the vote to end the judicial filibusters that they dispatched two conservatives, South Carolinas Lindsey Graham and Ohios Mike DeWine, to cut the best possible deal.
Burress said he suspects that DeWine is the source of that report.
He will do anything he can to cover his tracks, Burress said. I call upon him to prove that, or he will be exposed as a flat out liar. I use that word very carefully. My sources tell me. I have people close to whats going on up there that thats not what happened.
When asked about the Fox report, DeWine said, If you look at the transcript, I never said that. What I said was that we had people inside the meeting were talking to leaders both sides were talking to leaders. But I never said that I was an emissary at all.
Lindsey and I got involved at the same time, he added. We looked at a early proposal and had the same reaction, that we couldnt have an agreement where we would agree that under any circumstances we would not use the constitutional option, the Republicans term for the nuclear option.
Nice admission of slant right here. For some reason, they don't feel the need to explain, or place in quotation marks, the term "nuclear option."
Major Garrett has taken anonymous sources before and it always makes the WH look bad and in this case Senate leadership as well. My opinion of Garrett isn't very high. DeWine and Graham are both scum for even inferring the Senate leadership was behind this when they were opposed. Two sniveling little wimps if you ask me and I hope both get the boot in the Republican primaries when they are up for reelection.
LOL. Graham, at least, is in real trouble.
And now Graham has LIED to his own constituents on top of screwing them in the first place?
Oh, this is going to go over well.
It is so much easier to sleep at night when you are a straight shooter. Pity, that it all too often apparently makes you the loser in the inside the Beltway game - at least in the short term. In the long time, it pays dividends generally.
Paybacks are a B....h!
"Liar-Liar, pants on...whoa!"
YOU MISERABLE CRETIN! I thought you didn't give a damn what your constituents thought, now you are peddling damn lies that it is FRIST's Fault you sold out? DEFEAT THESE MISERABLE RINO"S!
I'll tell you this, whomever runs against Graham or DeWine in the primaries, will get a donation from me.
It is HIGH TIME Republicans stood their ground and kick
the dems back to the corral.
"Graham has been meeting with groups of conservative opinion leaders to explain his actions and to comfort conservative leaders by assuring them he was sent by the Republican leadership to broker a deal."
Don't lie it won't help now. I hear the primary is going to be tough for Mr. Graham.
Check out Dewine and Graham's latest actions.
We just need someone to take out deWine.
Several weeks ago another Freeper posted a description of Graham that absolutely nails him: "He's a double-talking jackass who thinks he's the smartest person in the room."
Thanks for posting. Interesting.
Knew what was going on and being sent are TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS
There was something in our local paper that made it clear that Frist had not cleared the way for Graham to act as his emissary.
I called Graham's office and read them the clip and asked for clarification since Graham had made it sound like he had Frist's approval. I've never received a letter from Graham explaining his, ahem, dissembling.
Maybe someone can answer this without me having to do a lot of research:) Can the senate, after the 2006 elections, assuming they still have the majority, change the senate rules in Jan 2007 when the next congress convenes without having to have 60 votes? I know they could have done it after the last election but failed to do so. If they can do it this time and fail to do it they should have their tails kicked good.
All they need is the Dems to filibuster, and a call can be made to change the rules. This can happen at any time, any session of Congress.
He's all those things PLUS a McCain wannabe!
Graham and DeWine were flat out dumb if they thought Frist was going to let those two wimps get away with trying to spin what happened.
Hope their constituents take it out on them in their primaries whenever they are up for reelection. I can still remember Graham supporting McCain in the 2000 Republican primary. Haven't liked him since.
That description of Graham fits perfectly IMHO! I haven't liked him for sometime but this latest is going to come back to haunt him. Will be glad to donate to the opponent of Graham and DeWine.
Lindsey is so Toast ..
Frist blasted them today on Hannity's radio show. Called them his gang of fourteen. Asked where they where in the Bolton nomination.
I'm going to have to register on Hannity's site to get the transcript, he ripped them them apart. I don't think I've ever heard Frist like that before.
Graham has a strong competitor that came in 2nd in '04 primary. Graham won't survive a challenge. The problem is finding a well funded conservative in Ohio. Too many Taft's, Voinovich and deWine's.
Better believe they are nervous though. Graham knows Ravenal can front a challenge against him. DeWine's son just lost. Came in FOURTH place.
They were warned not to betray us and they did. They deserve everything coming.
The problem is that Frist will be gone and the next Majority Leader may not be as committed to changing the rules, at least right at the beginning.
Frist did no such thing.
He stated the nuclear option was still on the table if a Judicial nominee was filibustered. That HE didn't agree to this deal. Until they filibuster he cannot go to it.
Thanks for the ping...Facts are such trouble to some politicians...
I don't get why they shade the truth...better yet why did they do it?
"You can always ease tensions and avoid confrontations by surrendering. You can always postpone a showdown, even when that simply lets the problem fester and grow worse....Some Republicans may take comfort from the fact that they still have the option of changing the Senate rules in the future if the Democrats violate the spirit of their deal. But, once you have had the votes to win and wimped out instead, there is little reason to think that the weak sisters and opportunists on your side will be with you the next time high noon rolls around...While members of both parties are trying to put a good face on this political deal and the media have gushed about this "bipartisan" agreement, Republican Senator Charles Grassley was one of the few who called a spade a spade, when he characterized what happened as "unilateral disarmament" by the Republicans...If it was just the Republican Party that lost in this confrontation, that would be a minor partisan matter. What is of major importance is that the American people lost a golden opportunity that may not come again in this generation."
"Some incorrigibly naive conservatives say Democrats won't be able to get away with blocking "conservative" judges in the future, having agreed not to block Brown, Pryor and Owen, who everyone agrees are originalists and "conservatives." But Democrats can simply say that by agreeing not to block a vote on these three, they weren't conceding the nominees weren't "extraordinary," but that they were an acceptable, short-term compromise in exchange for the right to block similarly conservative nominees in the future...Republicans have also bestowed upon Democrats a public relations victory by implying that it was the Republicans, not Democrats, who were breaking with historical precedent and violating the spirit of the Constitution. In short, Republicans had the moral and historical high ground and voluntarily surrendered it to a militant Democrat minority by tacitly agreeing to a false version of the facts and history."
"Never has a majority party proved to be so spineless. Republicans, lest we forget, constitute 55 out of 100 senators and have the power to do what they please. Instead, they capitulated. It is now crystal clear that unless Republicans own almost 60 seats, rules will not be changed; unless Republicans own almost 70, cloture will never be invoked on a major issue. If that doesn't discourage the Republican base, nothing will."
"One may argue that a compromise is durable to the extent its signers make genuine sacrifices. In this compromise, conservatives and moderates have sacrificed resorting to the constitutional option that would confirm judicial nominees by a simple majority. The left has sacrificed three nominees it would have lost anyway, while thwarting two and retaining the right to apply a Senate rule of a required supermajority (60 percent to break a filibuster) not only to all other district and appellate nominees, but to nominees to the big enchilada - the Supreme Court."
"It is not a great deal for two nominees who have been accorded a nice wake having been thrown overboard at sea. (And) everyone should also clearly see that ultimately, nothing has been settled when a vacancy arises on the U.S. Supreme Court."
"Bill Frist, who should have got over queasiness at the sight of blood a long time ago, showed up the next day still as white as John Brown's ghost and tried to spin defeat as victory. He was joined in his pitiful enterprise by the White House, putting out a brave message that nobody believes, winning hoots and hollers from everybody. The sly, smug smile on Nancy Pelosi's face in the photograph on Page One said it all: The pussycat who swallowed the canary, feet, beak, squeak, feathers, fuss and all. Outnumbered and all but unarmed, the Democrats continue to work their intimidating mastery over Republicans mired, probably permanently, in the minority-party mind-set....The seven senators who went over the hill at the sound of the guns woke up at dawn the next morning, impatient as 6-year-olds on Christmas morning, expecting to see their profiles on the Style section front of The Washington Post: John McCain, firing up "the Doubletalk Express," his presidential campaign bus; John Warner, charming little old ladies who imagine him to be the courtly, harmless old Virginia ham of Victorian caricature, and young Master Lindsey Graham, eager to tutor George W. Bush on Social Security reform and dreaming of beating out Chuck Hagel as John McCain Lite.
"If the "maverick" Republicans had a slogan, it would be: "Always surrender from a position of strength...Chuck Schumer could be the last Democrat in the Senate and the new rule would be: Unanimous votes required for all Senate business. But at least we could count on Sens. Lindsey Graham, Mike DeWine, John McCain, John Warner, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Lincoln Chafee to strike a deal forcing Schumer to agree not to block the 99 other senators except in "extraordinary circumstances."
I was listening to Major Garret on Tony Snow's program today, and he was decidedly not liberal about the subject at hand. I'm sorry I can't be more specific, but it's been too long of a day with too early of a start and too little of the interview before the break (which then switched over to a local talk show). He must have his up and down moments.
It's not like oily, worthless politicians use that word when they're trying to weasle out of being caught in a fat lie. No. Of course not.
He does have his up and down moments -- I just think he rushes things on the air sometimes without checking the credibility of his sources. I don't think he is liberal -- just don't think he is very thorough at times and rushes to get info on the air as a lot of reporters do in this 24-hour news cycle and credibility seems lost in the process.
If he didn't want to agree to it he could have fought it by making the RINOs and Rats vote on the rules with Owens or Brown as the face of the rules change, since a group of Republicans switching votes could have forced a ruling from the chair and the procedural vote to uphold. Instead, he didn't. He rolled over.
Which tells me Frist is pissed about this 'deal' the way that Dubya is pissed when Mexicans hop the border. He had to know it would happen and didn't do nearly enough to stop it, so his concern must be minimal. They're still hanging out at the same country club...it doesn't matter to them.
I just spent a week in Ohio at my Mom's -- boy was I glad to get back to Conservative Oklahoma. When people talk of RINO's they must mean Ohio. I hope a conservative can take out DeWine -- that State has gone too moderate to suit me. When I crossed the border into Kentucky, I celebrated to be back in the south.
Sorry, you are wrong.
The gang of 14 voted for cloture.
Ending the filibuster.
Frist could not call for a rules change without an active filibuster.
Frist was not a party to the agreement and did NOT take the Constitutional Option off the table.
I was on many threads at the time. I do not recall him EVER stating agreement.
I'd settle for even a moderate IF they were loyal to the Party, rather then McCain, MSM and Dems.
I think Ohio has two of the worst Senators. I actually understand Snowe and Collins being from Maine. I don't understand Voinivich and DeWine especially DeWine. Anyone following McCain from a State like Ohio and especially SC needs defeated IMHO.
BTW, Frist did not agree to take the Constitutional Option off the table nor did he agree to be part of the agreement -- you are correct.
Bill Frist: 'So let me say this: Senate Republicans reserve the right to use the constitutional option. And we've demonstrated, if necessary, we will not hesitate to use it. We have the votes to use the constitutional option. If the Democrats' campaign of judicial obstruction returns, we will not allow the Constitution to be sacrificed.'
Frist said he wasn't a part of the RINO deal, and wouldn't have signed on becaue people got thrown overboard. Deal is silent on Saad and Myers, no certainly to Kavanaugh and others. Frist says that the others not mentioned in this deal have to go through Committee and he'll take them to the floor. Rightfully asking "Who will they call "extraordinary"?" If they filibuster I'll go w/ nuclear option.
He rolled over.
Ohio is drifting left, but I contend the reason is because the Republicans in that state have become corrupt Liberals. This is why I want Blackwell elected.
I posted two different sources of Frist's comments. very few were as active as I was in those threads for months. Frist did not take it off the table.
It can be questioned if he'll bring kavanaugh, Myers and the others to the floor. he hasn't yet done so. That would deserve rebuke if he does not and I admit increasingly impatiance. But I won't allow he took it off the table when he clearly did not, nor allow the idea the rules change could occur without a standing filibuster.
as a side note he COULD jhave called for a rule change with Bolton, but i suspect the W.H. prefers to recess and save the nuclear option solely for judges.
Here is Lindsay Graham:
compared to Jonathan Edwards:
and Mike DeWine:
and his alter ego from aiders of the Lost Ark.
Full Disclosure: Cheers!
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