The Base Is Wrong About The Gang Of 14

It seems as though the so-called Conservatives of the Republican Party (I say “so-called” because they were so conspicuously absent during the early primary campaigns) are grasping at anything to snipe at John McCain about and try to paint him as a liberal. They usually fail when confronted with the facts.

So let’s look at the facts behind the Gang of 14 deal that occurred in 2005. The claim is that John McCain sold out the GOP for personal gain. But let’s check that against the facts of history. From Richard Baehr writing for Real Clear Politics:

For the GOP in its then-ascendant state, such a nuclear option seemed like a good way to stick it to the Democrats, and get a bunch of judicial nominees who had been held up through the confirmation process quickly.

But the big test came when Samuel Alito was nominated to the Supreme Court. Alito was confirmed by a vote of 58-42, with 54 Republicans and 4 Democrats supporting him. Lincoln Chafee, desperately trying to appease Democratic voters in his home state of Rhode Island , was the lone GOP Senator to vote no. … But the tally of 58 for confirmation is indicative of the fact that had the 7 Democrats who agreed to the compromise all voted no on a cloture vote, Alito’s nomination could have been held up by the minority through a filibuster.

The gang of 14 compromise helped two Supreme Court nominees get approved quickly and a few Appeals Court nominees to be confirmed as well. Use of the nuclear option in 2005 would have enabled a few additional Appeals Court nominations to get through in 2005 and 2006.

But it would also have given a blank check for the next Democratic President who took office with a majority for his party in the Senate to get all of his or her judicial nominations approved from the start. That would be a really bad deal for the GOP, much worse than the gang of 14 deal, a compromise in which the GOP gained more than it lost.

This is the most reasoned view of the “Gang of 14 Deal” I have ever read and it is 100% accurate in it’s facts and historical timeline.

Remember that the GOP is in great danger of losing at least three more seats in the Senate. Couple that with a Dem winning the White House and the Gang of 14 Deal is going to look incredibly sweet by comparison.

And I will admit that I too was against the Gang of 14 until a few months later (and even moreso when the Republicans lost control of the Senate in 2006) when I saw what the ultimate result was, and what it could have been, exactly as Baehr described it above.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

The Base Is Wrong About The Gang Of 14
Richard Baehr
January 30, 2008

It is beginning to look as if Sen. John McCain may have been smarter than we thought on this deal.


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