Continuing my obession with documenting idiotic spin in the debate over the "nuclear option," which would eliminate Senate filibusters of judicial nominations, here's the latest:
1) People for the American Way sent out an email (PDF) claiming that the "nuclear option" is "an unprecedented political coup that would thrust the country closer to one-party rule":
Radical Right leaders in the Senate -- Bill Frist, Trent Lott, and Vice President Dick Cheney -- are just days away from attempting an unprecedented political coup that would thrust the country closer to one-party rule.
People For the American Way Foundation has launched a new phase of our emergency campaign to save the filibuster. We're sounding the alarm and mobilizing Americans to stop far-right leaders in their tracks. Preventing this disaster requires six principled Republican Senators.
Senator Frist's "nuclear option" scheme relies on a bogus procedure that would need the backing of 50 senators. We need at least six Republican senators to stand up for checks and balances. Fortunately, many Republicans have deep misgivings about the "nuclear option." They know it would damage the Senate and violate basic principles of American democracy. But they will be under intense pressure from Bill Frist, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and far-right groups.
2) The Center for Individual Freedom, a conservative group, sent an email (PDF) to the Newsmax list claiming that the "liberal media" invented the term "nuclear option":
A few months ago, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist vowed to finally put a stop to this obstructionism by employing what he called the "Constitutional Option" -- or what the liberal media has dubbed the "Nuclear Option."
But noted leftist Bill Safire traces the term to Trent Lott in a March 2003 interview with The New Republic, and tons of Republican senators have been quoted using it.
CIF also claims that Democrats tried to implement the "nuclear option" before, which is false as far as I know:
Senator Kennedy neglected to mention is that he voted in 1995 and in 1975 IN FAVOR of a Nuclear Option and called the filibuster, "the shame of the Senate and the last resort of special interest groups."
Senator Robert Byrd also railed against the Nuclear Option on the Senate Floor.
But -- just like Kennedy -- Byrd failed to mention that he led the charge in the Senate to stop filibuster tactics in 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1987.
You see...one thing that is not really being mentioned in this debate is that the Nuclear Option is NOT A NEW IDEA.
In fact, Senate Democrats tried for years to implement the Nuclear Option REPEATEDLY, especially when they held the majority.