Recently, U.S. Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) ended the filibuster rule for executive appointments and federal court appointees, leaving the filibuster in place for legislation and U.S. Supreme Court nominees only. I do not believe he did it lightly because Democrats certainly want to have that option if Republicans somehow manage to gain control again of the Senate, but I believe Republicans in the Senate gave him no choice.
I understand that Democrats during the George W. Bush administration, misused the filibuster rule a few times to block Bush's nominees but never to the level that Republicans have used it to not only block Obama's executive appointees and judicial nominees, but also to block any meaningful legislation. They did so out of a desire to block President Obama from a successful presidency, without regard for the good of the nation at large.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remarked in an op-ed piece in USA Today saying,
"The Republican majority considered deploying the "nuclear option" at the time to end Democrats' filibustering, but ultimately (and wisely, in my opinion) declined to do so. Then-Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., made this plea: "I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don't make the (same) kind of naked power grab."
Well, Thursday they did."
Then he went on to say,
"And why? Because they were intent on doing so all along."
I have to wonder why Sen. McConnell would think that Senate Democrats intended to break the filibuster rule all along. As far as I can tell, they should have done it long ago and not only for executive appointees and judicial nominees but also for all filibusters, perhaps leaving a limit on how many are allowed in a given time. Republicans have shown their disdain for President Obama repeatedly, and they have refused to accept that they are in the minority in the Senate, using their filibuster power, not to just to block unreasonable legislation and unqualified nominees from being seated, but to cause Obama to be an unsuccessful president, along with the Democratic Party in general.
It is time that Republican lawmakers, not only in the U.S. Senate but in the U.S. House of Representatives and in state houses across the land, start moving in the direction the nation is moving and stop their self-serving obstruction. The GOP has shown that it is not interested in what Americans care about or want, only that it gains power and holds onto its control over our government on all levels. Its members have done this by gerrymandering, creating voter ID laws, cutting the number of polling places and voting hours in poorer and likely Democratic neighborhoods and any other trick they can use to keep power in their own hands while ignoring the will of the People.
Now Republicans lawmakers, like Mitch McConnell, are angry because their power in the U.S. Senate has been usurped by Democrats wanting to move forward with the nation's business. I do not stand on the side of Democrat Senators when they do the same thing while they have been in the minority, by abusing the filibuster rule. The rules of the Senate are meant to give fairness to the process, no matter who is in power or who is the minority, and it is not a tool to batter the other party with in order to further one party or others' own agenda.
If Republicans do not like the idea of the Democrats taking away their right to filibuster, then they need at least to respect the Office of the President if not the man and they need to respect the majority enough to be fair in how and how often they use the filibuster rule. If they manage to regain control of the Senate and then further deplete the filibuster rule, by also banning its use on U.S. Supreme Court nominees and legislation, then they will be acting like children seeking revenge and further corrupting the rules. These are rules that they have themselves corrupted since the election of Barack Obama to the White House, misusing the rules of fairness to be unfair instead.
The U.S. House of Representatives, under House Speaker John Boehner, has already become nothing but a useless body of people, who no longer seek to improve the country or handle the nation's business. Let us hope that the U.S. Senate can rise above that same partisan insignificance and prove instead to be a glimmer of hope in the sea of disenchantment for the nation it serves.
This is a republish from my website: Fidlerten Place