"Hispanic or non-Hispanic, African American or non-African
American, woman or man, it is wrong not to have a vote on the Senate floor.!" That was the boisterous proclamation from Senate
Minority Leader Tom Daschle as recorded in the Congressional Record, Oct. 28, 1999. It is a mantra that Democrats have utilized
endlessly to position themselves as the self-appointed sole supporters of women and minorities.
For years Democrats
have used demagoguery in assaulting Republicans, labeling them racist and hate-mongers with their complicit attacks because
Republicans openly acknowledge supporting people based on their qualifications and (gasp)their ideological principles. Conservatives
have especially been skewered by liberal politicians and the mainstream media for that adherence to their core beliefs.
Senate Democrats, including liberal North Carolina Senator John Edwards, have commenced the unprecedented maneuver of filibustering
two presidential nominations for judicial circuit court seats. Miguel Estrada and Priscilla Owen are two of the most qualified
individuals who have ever been nominated for confirmation, yet both are being denied a vote on the Senate floor with an unconstitutional
impediment to hinder a process that was instituted by our forefathers.
Why are they taking a chance with this blatant
obstructionism when they know it could further tarnish the image of the Democrat party as obstructionists? Their reasoning
that Mr. Estrada hasnt given them the answers they like or that they feel Justice Owen might legislate from the bench doesnt
fully give credence to the fact that they are turning away from their staunch support of affirmative action.
the basic mandate of affirmative action is the advancement of individuals based simply on race or gender, then by Democrats
not promoting Mr. Estrada and Justice Owen because of ideological principles instead of their minority and female status,
Democrats have effectively categorized themselves alongside those racist Republicans they've chided for so long.
Orrin Hatch(R) from Utah was repeatedly attacked with vemonous vitriol each time he questioned the qualifications or ideology
of a judicial nomination, especially when the nominee was a minority or a female. Yet in every case, after the debate had
ended, a vote was allowed on the floor of the Senate, even when Senator Hatch still had reservations about the nominee.
is exactly what should happen with these two well qualified individuals. Miguel Estrada and Priscilla Owen have exceeded all
the exhaustive qualifiers of committee and at least deserve a vote in lieu of the obstructionist filibuster. Democrats should
put aside their partisan politics and hatred for conservative Republicans long enough to give these two success stories what
every American dreams of...a chance!
Lee P. Butler