Daisy Ad 2013: Nuclear Option Senate Remix

Click above for a 50-second trip down Memory Lane with
Sens. Reid, Clinton, and Obama talking about the “nuclear option”
back in 2005. A good time for all is guaranteed!

Back in 2005, the Republican majority in the Senate was
threatening to do away with procedural filibusters when it came to
judicial nominees and other appointments. The move would allow the
World’s Greatest Deliberative Body to proceed to up or down votes
on presidential picks in those categories with just 51 votes rather
than a two-thirds majority. Majority Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and
future Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pooh-poohed that
this was any sort of big breach of tradition.

At the same time, folks such as Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.),
Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) announced the
very end of constitutional rule if the “nuclear option” were indeed
triggered. The whole point of the rule, they said, was to protect
the right of the legislative minority to gum up the works in the
Senate. Simple majority votes to end debate before votes? That was
for the ruffians in the House. The Founding Fathers, in their
infinite wisdom, had made it so. Indeed,
as late as 2008
, Harry Reid was still saying the nuclear option
was an abomination and swearing he would never use such a dastardly

This week, of course, the
Senate Dems went ahead and pulled the switch on
the nuclear option
, citing Republican obstructionism as the
reason that they had to go ahead and embrace exactly what they
denounced just a few years ago. The immediate case deals with the
important D.C. Circuit of Appeals, where Obama’s picks would change
the balance of the panel for years to come and have been twisting
in the wind as a result.  

They had to do it
, don’t you see, say liberals, because the
Republican crackpots – Wacko Birds and Angry Birds alike! – just
wouldn’t allow “cloture” (the end of debate, needed before a proper
vote on a nominee) to happen. Conservatives respond that the only
reason the GOP was busting the president’s chops on nominees is
his choices were so radical
. Now that the filibuster on
appointees is gone, they worry, Obama will fill the nation’s courts
and bureaucracies with bomb-throwers. The upside, say cons, is that
this means 2014 and 2016 will be all about Obama’s radicalism.

What do you think, Reason readers? Is Republican obstructionism
the problem here (The
Weekly Standard
notes that 71 percent of Obama’s Circuit Court
nominees were confirmed in his first term, versus 67 percent of
George W. Bush’s in his first term). Or is it Obama’s radicalism
(the Wall Street Journal writes that of recent presidents, Obama is
the only one “whose average and median waiting time for circuit and
district court nominees from confirmation to nomination was more
than six months”)?

This seems like as good a time as any to remind you all of the

long-term trend to voters identifying as
 and that display such as this are surely
one of the reasons why people are looking for a real alternative to
the played-out politics of Team Red and Team Blue.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/23/daisy-ad-2013-nuclear-option-senate-remi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.