That is the final paragraph of Democrats were forced to go ‘nuclear’ at last, the column for tomorrow's Washngton Post by Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Eugene Robinson.
It is thorough, and every assertion Robinson makes is back up with hyperlinks to support his argument.
Or perhaps you might prefer his equally short first paragraph:
Way to nuke ’em, Harry.Which is followed by these two paragraphs:
t was time — actually, long past time — for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to invoke the “nuclear option” and ask his colleagues to change the Senate’s rules. This isn’t about partisan politics. It’s about making what has been called “the world’s greatest deliberative body” function the way the Framers of the Constitution intended.an era without shame - well, that might be the only line in this strong column with which I disagree. As one who attempts to teach government to young people, I have felt ashamed that they have had to watch the deliberate disfunction created by a Republican party determine to ensure Obama failed.
Recently, it has barely functioned, as Republicans abused the old rules to prevent the chamber from performing its enumerated duties. There was a time when the minority party in the Senate would have been embarrassed to use such tactics in pursuit of ends that are purely political, but we seem to live in an era without shame.
Except they tried that and the American people rejected them. After all, remember this:
That may have been the top priority of the Republicans, but last time I checked the American people chose to reelect Barack Obama, which means they chose to let him fill judicial vacancies.
Please keep reading.
Fobinson "gets" what it is the Republicans are doing:
The real reason is that the Republican political strategy for working with Obama is not to work with him at all. Whatever Obama favors, the GOP opposes. Simple as that.A conservative colleague at school today tried to argue that the only reason the nuclear option happened now is to distract from the failure of the affordable care act and Obama's plunging approval ratings.
Except of course as low as the President's ratings are, those of the Republicans in Congress are far lower.
And despite dissatisfaction with parts of the roll out of ACA, Americans want to fix it, not replace it as the Republicans argue.
Besides, had the Republicans allowed even ONE of the three nominees to the DC Circuit through, it is not clear that Reid would have had the necessary votes for the nuclear option.
One can talk about the parties switching positions of the nuclear option and filibusters since G. W. Bush was President. That may be true. But then, the Democrats filibustered very few of Bush's nominations.
And if you want to go back further, when the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork, he insisted upon a floor vote and got it, where his nomination was again rejected. Here you have well-qualified nominees who have cleared the committee who are being denied votes.
The Republicans have chosen to abuse the rules to undermine the legitimate functioning of government. Sen. Tim Kaine was on Chris Hayes tonight and made that point, that the Senate Rules are being used to nullify laws
(I could not get the embed to work, so try this link. The portion of the video with Kaine is well into the embedded video - sorry MSNBC does not allow one to advance through it).
It is thus well past the time to call them on it.
After all, as Robinson notes in his penultimate paragraph:
The Senate was designed by the Founders to move slowly, not to be paralyzed. Republican obstruction of presidential appointments makes the government less able to do the people’s work — and less reflective of the people’s will. Elections are supposed to have consequences.There is no doubt in my mind that Reid finally did the right thing = he finally had the votes.
As far as the Supreme Court, it may well be that Reid did not have the necessary votes were Justices included in the deal. For what it is worth, the Democrats as far as I know have never used the filibuster to block a Republican nominee to the Supreme Court. That also may have influenced.
In any case, let me end as I began, with how Robinson ends:
It was time to push the button.