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The following video is from 2005, when the Senate majority Republicans were contemplating the use of the "nuclear option" to stop the minority Democrats from blocking Bush's judicial nominees. The Republicans wanted the judicial nominees to be allowed an up or down vote. Adoption of the nuclear option would have changed longstanding Senate rules requiring a 60-vote supermajority to overcome a filibuster and invoke cloture (ending debate and allowing a vote). With the nuclear option, only a simple majority of votes (51) would have been required for cloture. In 2005, the Republicans wanted the nuclear option to apply only to judicial nominees. The nuclear option was never implemented. Instead, a deal was struck between the Democrats and Republicans regarding Bush's judicial nominees.
Here is how Democrats reacted to the spectre of the nuclear option back in 2005.
My, how things change. Now those same Democrats are pondering the use of reconciliation (abandoning the 60-vote supermajority and invoking cloture with a simple 51-vote majority) to pass ObamaCare, one of the largest pieces of legislation in American history. This isn't about some Bush judicial nominees, like it was in 2005. This is about 1/6th of the U.S. economy, and many Democrats, including the President, want to silence the minority voice.
At thursday's' health care summit, the following occurred regarding reconciliation. From NBC:
In yet another exchange he had with GOP Sen. John McCain, President Obama affirmed that the Democratic Senate would pass any health-care fixes via reconciliation, if he and the Republicans were unable to reach an agreement.
It began when McCain mentioned his "Gang of 14" work to resolve the Senate stand-off on George W. Bush's judicial nominees. McCain warned that using reconciliation would have potentially disastrous results.
Obama suggested that reconciliation was a legitimate course of action. "I do think [the American people] want a vote on how we're going to move this forward," he said. "A majority vote makes sense."
You see, when Obama wants to dispense with Senate supermajority rules, it "makes sense." When Republicans thought about doing it in 2005 for Bush's judicial nominees, Obama fretted that it would lead to "majoritarian absolute power" that would "change the Senate forever," that is was "not what the Founders intended."
In other words, Obama is an absolute hypocrite with no integrity whatsoever. This isn't the Audacity Of Hope, it's the Arrogance Of Power, and our lightweight President thinks the American people are too dumb to notice. He also thinks the American people don't care. He said that at the health care summit too. Well, you better care America, because over 200 years of unlimited Senate debate on major legislative issues may be coming to a crashing end if the Dems use reconciliation now. If the supermajority requirement is thrown away on this issue, it can and will be thrown away on anything. Things WILL never be the same. The minority voice will be in effect silenced.
Those Democrats on the video were right in principle in 2005, even if they are on the verge of betraying their own stated beliefs now.