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Welcome to installment #52,486 of Politicians Are Big Fat Liars And That's Why You Can't Trust Them And Should Never Vote To Hand Them Control Over Your Lives.
Or, in other words, it's friday.
Led by the forked tongue of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who was acting on behalf of the forked-tongued President Obama, forked-tongued Senate Democrats exercised the so-called "nuclear option" yesterday, which eliminates filibuster powers over most presidential nominees. As a result, most nominees will no longer need a 60-vote supermajority for confirmation. Instead, a simple majority will suffice. No longer will a supermajority be needed to invoke cloture (end debate) on nominees. Instead, a simple majority will suffice. This allows the majority party to ram through it's nominees regardless of what the minority thinks about it. This move by the Democrats directly contradicts what leading Democrat after leading Democrat termed "the arrogance of power", "the tyranny of the majority", etc. when majority Republicans threatened to invoke the nuclear-option back in 2005. Back then, the Republicans, who had majority control over the entire Congress and the Executive branch, used the threat of the nuclear option to strike a deal with minority Democrats who were blocking some Bush court nominees, but today, the Democrats didn't seek any deal with Republicans. Instead, they set off the nuclear bomb and blew up the Senate.
The Democrats overturned long-standing Senate rules that respected the wishes of the minority party. I was against the nuclear option when the Republicans threatened it in 2005, and I am against it now. I like our system of checks and balances, as frustrating as it can be sometimes. I don't want one-party rule. As much as possible, I want the consent of all the governed, whether they agree with my wishes or not.
If you want to see how hypocritical leading Democrats are on this issue, watch this video of those same Democrats denouncing the nuclear option in 2005:
What Harry Reid termed the "arrogance of power" in 2005, he embraced yesterday.
What Barack Obama said would result in "absolute power" and was not "what the Founders intended" in 2005, he endorsed yesterday, saying almost the exact opposite thing. Now that he is President, and DESIRES that absolute tyranny of the majority, anything else is magically morphed into obstructionism. Here's Obama:
“A simple majority vote no longer seems to be sufficient for anything, even routine business through what is supposed to be the world’s greatest deliberative body...Today’s pattern of obstruction, it just isn’t normal… for the sake of future generations we can’t let it become normal.”
Au contraire, Mr. President. It is totally normal. You just don't like it when it works against you, you flaming hypocrite. No President ever got everything he wanted (and Obama has gotten plenty, as our imploding healthcare system and skyrocketing debt will attest). Obama seems to be the first President to believe he should get everything he wants in a divided Congress. That isn't realistic at all. It isn't "obstructionism" to disagree with Obama, no matter how many times he pretends it is. It is merely "disagreement" to disagree with Obama. The day we no longer have disagreement is the day we all think the same, and become like the single-minded Borg on Star Trek. No thank you.
I would like to congratulate the three Democratic Senators who stood up and voted against the nuclear option, as did all the Republicans. Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Mark Pryor (D-Ark), and Joe Manchin (D-WVa), I commend you for seeing the bigger picture and resisting the naked power grab. The words of Sen. Levin are on point:
“Since its creation, the United States Senate has been uniquely committed to protecting the rights of minorities. It has done so in part through its rules governing debate. Its rules protect the right of members to speak until a super-majority is ready to end debate and to proceed to a vote on the matter before it. Matters are then decided by a majority vote, except for treaties, veto overrides and certain points of order...Today, we once again are moving down a destructive path. The issue is not whether to change the rules. I support changing the rules to allow a president to get a vote on nominees to executive and most judicial positions. This is not about the ends, but means. Pursuing the nuclear option in this manner removes an important check on majority overreach which is central to our system of government. As Senator Vandenberg warned us, if a Senate majority decides to pursue its aims unrestrained by the rules, we will have sacrificed a professed vital principle for the sake of momentary gain...The nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play. It’s the one thing this country stands for. Not tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field.”
Bravo, Senator, bravo. Levin is retiring in 2015, so I guess he has nothing to lose by telling the truth.