A different kind of filibuster nightmare

Haunted by "American Idol," one conservative offers her vision of the nuclear option.

Published May 12, 2005 11:19PM (EDT)

The filibuster wars must be getting to Concerned Women for America, a conservative group backing the so-called nuclear option that will push through President Bush's judicial nominees. Its Chief Counsel, Jan LaRue, wrote on Thursday that she had a filibuster-related nightmare about an episode of "American Idol," in which panelists Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell were replaced by the menacing Democratic senators Ted Kennedy, Charles Schumer and Harry Reid. Apparently the three were judging a singing performance by Frank Sinatra. In the haunting vision, the mean ol' judges won't cut Sinatra a break -- let alone allow the audience a vote.

"REID: Why is Fox picking a fight by sending us contestants like this? Why are they refusing to move on to less controversial contestants? They want to make us look like obstructionists. We know the difference between opposing contestants and blocking contestants. We will oppose bad contestants but we will only block unacceptable contestants. They won't send us any new contestants because the president of Fox doesn't want to give us a chance to demonstrate that we are reasonable. He's just giving a big wet kiss to Italians on the far right. This is about checks and balances. I'm feeling unbalanced. I need to step away from the precipice before I'm swayed.

"AUDIENCE: Shut up and let us vote!

"SCHUMER: Well, his voice is clearly out-of-the mainstream. The extreme way he expressed the lyric -- the extreme snapping of the fingers on his extreme right hand -- he's sending an extremist message to the far-right-handed. What does that mean for the minority of the far-left-handed among us who are mainstream? He's obviously pandering to the far-right extremists who want to force extreme music on the rest of us in the mainstream. I mean, how extreme -- 'The Lady is a Tramp' -- a not-so-subtle extremist attack on women's rights. He obviously favors certain extreme composers and discriminates against other mainstream composers struggling for mainstream recognition. We will not be swayed by the extreme mass of the extremists on the extreme right!!!

"AUDIENCE: Shut up and let us vote!!

"KENNEDY: ... I have here in my mainstream left hand the lyrics of songs this Sinatra person has sung that reveal a narrow intolerance for the rights of others: 'My Way, All the Way, All or Nothing at All, All of Me' -- it doesn't get any more extremist than this. These songs express an intemperate musical opinion, not those of a consensus singer. 'That's Life' is clearly an attack on choice. Then there's 'The House I Live In.' Well sir, some of us don't even have access to affordable housing. How will we who dwell in trailer parks, tents and igloos feel welcome at your concerts? 'My Kind of Town' is nothing less than blatant geographic favoritism. Next thing you know it'll be 'New York, New York.' Where's the regard for musical precedents? And most intolerant of all, 'My Boy Bill'. How can gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, tri-sexual, trans-sexual, trans-gendered, bi-gendered, multi-gendered, gender-confused, other gendered and cross-dressers, the over-dressed, under-dressed and badly dressed expect fair and impartial entertainment from this singer?

"AUDIENCE: Oh, shut up and let us vote!!!"

Read the whole thing here. And if you have a nightmare of your own, say, Bill Frist, Rick Santorum and Tom DeLay gazing up at the stage the Capitol Hill phone lines are surely still open.

By Julia Scott

San Francisco-based freelance journalist Julia Scott writes about water and energy issues for various publications. She also covers the environment for Bay Area News Group, a chain of newspapers in Northern California.

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