WASHINGTON, April 22 - Vice President Dick Cheney plunged the White House into the judicial confirmation battle on Friday by saying he supported changing the Senate rules to stop the Democrats from blocking judicial nominees and would, if needed, provide the tie-breaking vote.
In addition on Friday, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority Republican whip, asserted that Republicans would have the votes needed to execute that change.
"There is no justification for allowing the blocking of nominees who are well qualified and broadly supported," Mr. Cheney told a gathering of the Republican National Lawyers Association. "The tactics of the last few years, I believe, are inexcusable.
"If the Senate majority decides to move forward and if the issue is presented to me in my elected office as president of the Senate and presiding officer, I will support bringing those nominations to the floor for an up-or-down vote," he said. "On the merits, this should not be a difficult call to make."
It is a lonely place to be, fighting for the rights of people that don't understand what rights are at stake, many of whom voted for the moron that wants those rights delivered to him on a silver platter, grilled medium rare and ready for consumption. But somebody has to do it.
Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader, responded by accusing Mr. McConnell of bluffing and President Bush of lying.
"Last week, I met with the president and was encouraged when he told me he would not become involved in Republican efforts to break the Senate rules," Mr. Reid said in a statement, referring to a breakfast held between President Bush and Congressional leaders. "Now it appears he was not being honest, and that the White House is encouraging this raw abuse of power."
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Mr. Cheney's comments showed that the White House had "stepped over the line by interfering with the Senate to reduce checks and balances," adding, "The White House has always wanted to reduce the Senate's power."
I don't know whether these evil men have the guts to carry through with their threat to shove down the throats of their colleagues a drastic change in Senate rules but if they do, there will be hell to pay. I believe that Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic caucus will make them pay. There should be no compromised on this issue.