Friday, November 22, 2013

Democrat Senators Nuked The Minority, Obama Does (Another) About Face

Important news from yesterday via Heritage:


As President Obama said, they got away with it.

Harry Reid and the Democrat-controlled Senate got away with changing the Senate's rules so that they can shove through anything they want without having to worry about Republicans filibustering against it.

Just a few short years ago, then-Senator Obama spoke forcefully against doing what Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) just did. When Republicans talked about a similar rule change in 2005, Obamasaid (emphasis added):

I urge my Republican colleagues not to go through with changing these rules. In the long run, it is not a good result for either party. One day Democrats will be in the majority again, and this rule change will be no fairer to a Republican minority than it is to a Democratic minority. I sense that talk of the nuclear option is more about power than about fairness. I believe some of my colleagues propose this rule change because they can get away with it rather than because they know it is good for our democracy.
Yesterday, the President's strong words in support of the filibuster were but a memory, as he declared his about-face in favor of the Democratic majority seizing power. "I support the step a majority of Senators today took to change the way that Washington is doing business," he said, describing Reid's power grab in lofty, for-the-people terms.

Obama's 180-degree turn on this issue—based on who's in the Senate majority—is perhaps most amusing when you see that he invoked the American Founders in defense of both positions.

In 2005getting rid of the filibuster "certainly is not what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind."

But todayusing the filibuster is "not what our Founders envisioned."


Now, whatever the Democratic majority in the Senate wants, it can be done. The rule change means that instead of needing 60 votes to cut off debate on a nomination, Reid needs only 51. He has 55 Democratic Senators.

As Heritage legal analyst Elizabeth Slattery noted, "Though the rule purportedly applies only to executive branch and judicial nominations—excluding Supreme Court nominations (for now, anyway)—it would seem with 51 votes, Reid can do just about anything."

The change could be undone again with another simple majority vote. But the minority may just want to wait it out until they get their turn—Senator Chuck Grassley (R–IA) has said, "Go ahead. There are a lot more [Antonin] Scalias and [Clarence] Thomases out there we'd love to put on the bench."

You know, I might almost believe that logic...if the Republicans had showed any sort of a pulse or spine or willingness to pick a fight over the past few years.  They haven't.  I have zero faith that they will do anything of the sort.

Regardless, would it be right if they did?  I think not.  Barack Obama has already secured more of his agenda through illegal/unconstitutional brute force -- i.e. executive orders and simply ignoring laws or the Constitution when they are inconvenient for him -- than any President before him.  He is acting more and more as though he was a king, and getting away it because no one else in Congress has the courage to stand up to it and call him on it.  We are treading closer and closer to what I think of as a distributed monarchy, where there are a certain few "nobles" who make all the rules, and the rest of us have no choice but to deal with it.  This step in the Senate only solidifies that reality even further.

This is absolutely not what the Founders intended.  In fact, this is precisely the kind of tyranny that they found so offensive that they were willing to risk treason and war to escape from it.  It is an ominous sign for the future freedom of our country.

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