Thursday, November 21, 2013

Democrats Go 'Nuclear,' Eliminate Filibusters on Most Nominees

In an attempt to distract attention away from Obamacare and pack the DC circuit court, the Democratic Majority in the US Senate has gone 'nuclear,' today:
Senate Democrats succeeded Thursday in deploying the “nuclear option” to make the most fundamental change to floor operations in almost four decades, ending the minority’s ability to kill most presidential nominations by filibuster.

The Senate voted, 52-48, to effectively change the rules by rejecting the opinion of the presiding officer that a supermajority is required to limit debate, or invoke cloture, on executive branch nominees and those for seats on federal courts short of the Supreme Court.
A couple of things are worth noting.
  1. When this came up in 2005, parties reversed, I said that [I]f the Republicans don't change the rules, the Democrats will, as soon as it becomes in their best interest to do so. They felt it in their best interest today, so there we go.
  2. When the Democrats in the majority propose this, the New York Times supports it.  When Republicans in the majority propose it, it's a dangerous proposition that must be stopped.  I suspect that the Times editorial tomorrow won't condemn Harry Reid for actually doing what it would have strongly condemned Bill Frist for doing.   "Because it's not about principle. Never has been, never will be. The Times, despite its pretense to being a non-partisan purveyor of the news, is a partisan political actor. They are pro-Democrat, anti-Republican, leftist progressives and, to the extent that there's ever a "principle" behind their positions, that's the extent of it."
  3. Unlike the New York Times, I'm not going to switch my position based on whose ox is being gored.  When the Democrats were filibustering Bush nominees, I said that nominees should get an up-or-down vote from the Senate.  That was my position then; that's my position today.

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