Saving the Day, Once Again.
This whole filibuster/nuclear option thing is easy. I don't know why I always have to be the one to come up with the solutions to these things.
Let us start with the assumption that the ten disputed Bush nominees actually care about the Senate remaining a deliberative body. That is, let us assume they actually have these mature, judicial, non-activist temperaments we are assured by the Republicans they have.
Let us further assume they understand and agree with the crucial importance of the protection of the minority in a democracy.
Finally, let us assume they understand that lifetime appointments to the federal bench ought to be able to muster the support of at least 3/5s of the Senate, for heaven's sake. These are lifetime and very powerful appointments, remember. The 3/5s requirement is a safety measure. You know, like seat-belts. Everybody gets that, right?
Now, we know Frist won't back down because he's deluded himself into thinking he has a chance to be President in 2008. So, look, why don't these ten disputed nominees, being the patriots we know they are, simply issue a statement like this:
"We believe that we should be given our up or down votes. However, given the importance of protecting the interests of the minority in a democracy such as ours, we do not believe our right to an up or down vote outweighs the importance of the Senate retaining its deliberative nature. We therefore declare -- for the love our country -- that if the Senate cannot confirm our appointments without resorting to the so-called 'nuclear option', we withdraw our names from nomination."
Everybody's happy except the right-wing extremists in control of the Republican party. But hell, nobody likes them anyway. Maybe this will shut them up for a while. I wouldn't count on it, but maybe.
Okay, nominees. The ball's in your court. Let's just see how judicial you really are.