Who's to Blame for the Filibuster Standoff?
Perhaps one of yesterday’s most interesting statements came from Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) who admitted, “There is some realistic expectation that a couple of the nominees would be voted down on an up-or-down vote.”
Everyone assumes that an up-or-down vote would fall along party lines. But there are plenty of reasons why the so-called blue-state Republicans would reject a few of these nominees.
I wonder how the Senators would be treating this whole issue if the special interest groups weren’t involved? As Newsday has noted, special interest groups on both sides are actively fighting against any sort of compromise. Sometimes it seems like Focus on the Family, NARAL and their kin have more influence in this debate than do the Senators themselves.
When we debate who’s at fault for this whole mess, let’s not forget to place culpability on the shoulders of the rigidly partisan interest groups who use their large bank rolls and threats of political retribution to corral certain Senators and all-but-force them to vote along partisan lines.
Special interest groups on both sides deserve plenty of the blame.
UPDATE: Ultimate responsibility still rests with the Senators--and we strongly support any Senator who has the strength-of-conviction to ignore their party's interest groups. But tht doesn't mean these interest groups should get a pass. Their behavior is reprehensible and they are a significant part of the problem.