Right-Wing Backtrack

It’s not just the polls that show that Washington conservatives have overplayed their hands by pushing such a radical agenda. Right-wing overreach can also be seen in their numerous reversals in recent days, which aren’t getting as much attention as they should:

REVERSAL ON SCHIAVO INQUIRIES: Congressional conservatives “say they haven’t opened and don’t plan any new investigations of federal judges after Terri Schiavo’s death despite Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s promise to examine the judiciary’s conduct.”

REVERSAL ON PERSONAL ACCOUNTS: “On the eve of the first congressional hearing on the restructuring of Social Security, [conservatives] on the Senate Finance Committee signaled that they will not insist that personal accounts be part of the legislation and that they will not seek further details from President Bush about his plans for the government-run retirement program.”

REVERSAL ON ETHICS RULES: Congressional aides “said yesterday for the first time that they believe they will have to reverse or modify the ethics rules that were passed on a party-line vote in January.” Those rules have deadlocked the Ethics Committee by allowing members of one party to unilaterally block any ethics investigation.


REVERSAL ON BOLTON: “In contrast to optimistic statements from the White House, [Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)] said Sunday that John R. Bolton’s prospects of winning Senate confirmation as ambassador to the United Nations were ‘too close to call.’ … Four of 10 Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have expressed concern about Mr. Bolton, on a panel where one Republican vote against him could keep the nomination from reaching the Senate floor.”