Lord Halifax once wrote that “The best political party is but a kind of conspiracy against the rest of the nation.” Today, the Republican Party’s conspiracy is running full throttle, usurping hard-won liberties and vital protections that all Americans hold dear. Their strategy is simple and powerful and two-fold: weaken or do away with laws and regulations that protect us and the environment–virtually ensuring greater harm will come to ordinary citizens like you–while making it more difficult to seek legal retribution–to sue corporations or any wrong-doer to protect ourselves, our families, and our health. The latest effort in this two-pronged approach is the so-called “nuclear option.” The nuclear option is a parliamentary maneuver designed to eliminate the filibuster – the right to extend debate on controversial issues, among them judicial nominations. Both parties have used the filibuster throughout America’s illustrious history to prevent potentially damaging legislation from passing. It provides one of the vital checks and balances so vital to the governance of a free nation. Many, myself included, view this latest maneuver to eliminate the filibuster as an effort to advance a radical, far-right Republican agenda that favors big business over all Americans. It’s a red-state maneuver you’d expect in a totalitarian regime. The immediate gain would be to seize absolute power to appoint judges who will roll back decades of progress in protecting worker rights, the environment, and privacy. Everyone will suffer as a result of these losses–not just Democrats but all Americans except those in the upper echelons who run the corporations. One of the first judges the “nuclear option” would force upon us is Janice Rodgers Brown of California, who is nominated for the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, a common stepping stone to the Supreme Court. Judge Brown is extremist, a judicial activist, who has called for the courts to block Congress from guaranteeing such historical gains as the 40 hour work week, the minimum wage, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. America works best with balance, not tyrannical rule of a wealthy elite that seek to destroy the very ideals–among them our cherished freedom–upon which this great country were founded.