Elephants destroy Washington?

Moveon.org, the vitriolic anti-Bush political group, has issued a new call to arms. It’s a TV spot — first aired yesterday — where rogue elephants destroy the White House, both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court.

It’s about as creepy as an animated commercial can get and certainly a lot scarier than anything Disney has done.

Supposedly, “radical Republicans” — to use the commercial’s phrase — are attempting to pack the courts with more extremist judges.

Some Republicans are trying to eliminate the right to filibuster on judicial nominees. As the rules are now, 60 votes in the Senate are needed to end a filibuster. If the rules are changed, a simple majority, 51 votes, will be needed to confirm a nomination.

Filbustering — unlimited legislative debate — is used by a minority to prevent an issue from being voting upon by the entire Senate. Historically, both the House and Senate had have the privilege of unlimited debate, but over the years, the House has put rules in place curtailing it. It has remained in the Senate, though the votes needed by law to end a filibuster have been reduced from 66 to 60.

Bob Dole in The New York Times has some thoughts on the filibuster rule, and the need for a speedy up or down vote on current judcial nominees. (He favors a yay or nay vote, after adequate debate.)

Given the likelihood that there will be some U.S. Supreme Court vacancies in the next few years, a bad judical confirmation can last a lifetime — the judge’s lifetime.

See the :30 spot fueling this debate at AdAge.com.

It was created by Zimmerman & Markman, political consultants, of Santa Monica and produced by FlickerLab in New York.* I guess that makes it a bi-coastal attack on the President.

*By the way, FlickerLab produced the spot in only 44 hours!