The Ghost of Nuclear Option Past

 

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

April 5, 2017

The New York Times has an evolving view on the filibuster.

On Dec. 8, 2016, Sen. Harry Reid, (D., Nev.) speaks during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Those of us in the tradition-bound newspaper industry are frequently accused of being too resistant to change in the digital era. But such generalizations are often unfair. Just look at the editorial page of the New York Times, which is proving to be remarkably adaptable to changing circumstances. For example, our crosstown rivals have lately been discovering new virtues in the practice of blocking presidential nominees via the Senate’s filibuster procedure.

 

Pay close attention, because the differences between the Times’ current position and its previous one can be subtle. On Tuesday the Times published an editorial headlined, “The Supreme Court as Partisan Tool.” (Source)

The piece describes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s intention to change Senate rules to prevent the Democratic minority from blocking a vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

But back in 2013, when former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed Senate rules to prevent the Republican minority from blocking votes on appointees to lower courts as well as executive-branch nominees, the paper’s editorial board was sending a different message. “Democracy Returns to the Senate,” announced a Times headline. (Source)

 

Sing it to us Harry, like the rest of your ilk, you are nothing more that a blatant liar and your words have come home to roost!
A former writer of this column might argue that this change simply represents a bargain for longtime Times readers, because they can now enjoy two papers in one.
Here are the details: When the 2013 rule change cleared the way for President Obama’s nominees to achieve Senate confirmation, the Times informed readers that “the Senate changed its most infuriating rule.”
The paper hailed what it called “a return to the democratic process of giving nominees an up-or-down vote, allowing them to be either confirmed or rejected by a simple majority.” The Times further opined that the “vote was long overdue.”

 

The Times also noted in 2013 that filibusters could still be mounted against Supreme Court nominees, but said that “now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures,” the new precedent “will increase the pressure to end those filibusters, too.”

That prediction proved to be correct.

But oddly, this week the Times isn’t saying anything about democracy as it shows strange new respect for the recent customs of the Senate.

The paper says that “surely having some slight chance of being able to deploy” the filibuster “to stop a renegade justice is better than having no chance at all.”

And in the Times’s current telling of this debate over Senate procedure, Mr. McConnell and his Republican colleagues will not merely be endorsing a democratic principle or paring the Senate’s “most infuriating rule.”

They have, according to the Times, “threatened a new weapon,” which is “known as the nuclear option.”

It is more accurately called the constitutional option, and reasonable people can disagree on the rules that should govern Senate debate.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R., Calif.) argues for maintaining the ability of the minority party to prolong debate but scrapping the current filibuster rule, adopted in 1970, which has made it much easier for the minority party to prevent votes on important issues. (Source)

Reasonable or not, Times editorial writers likely aren’t the only people in the media becoming suddenly enamored of undemocratic Senate traditions.

The watchdogs at the Media Research Center have compiled an amusing collection of 2013 comments from cable news talkers celebrating Mr. Reid’s decision to push the button and go nuclear, or procedural, or whatever.

This column will go out on a limb now and suggest that such pundits will not be cheering Mr. McConnell’s democratization of Senate rules later this week.

But the media once loved the filibuster! (Source)

So did the democrats, oh well, that was then and this is now.

THE END

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About JCscuba

I am firmly devoted to bringing you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the progressive movement, Obama and the liberal media.
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2 Responses to The Ghost of Nuclear Option Past

  1. fuzzysdad01 says:

    What goes around comes around

    Like

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