Friday, November 22, 2013

Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees

From the Washington Post:

Even if Republicans want to do away with the filibuster someday, Reid said, Thursday’s move was worth it because the current climate had become too hostile to get anything significant done. Reid said he faced a choice: “Continue like we are or have democracy?”

The rule change does not apply to Supreme Court nominations or to legislation.

More here.

Oh, the moaning, wailing, and gnashing of teeth!  I'm loving it.

In the abstract, sure, this is probably a bad idea.  I mean, I like the minority party having the ability to stop really bad legislation from becoming law, really bad nominees from becoming officials.  Checks and balances and all that.  But Washington does not live in the abstract.  Washington lives in reality.  And, in reality, the filibuster is no longer used by the minority party to stop really bad legislation and nominees.  They use it to stop EVERYTHING.

Seriously, Senate Republicans have filibustered almost everything since the Democrats took over a couple of years before Obama took office.  What's been particularly annoying is that the press barely even comments on this.  It's all about hitting that "sixty vote" line, with absolutely no explanation that the only reason that's the case is because the Republicans filibuster everything!  And the Democrats have been total wussies about it, too.  All "hey guys" and "couldn't you just, you know, do it like we've always done it?"  Pathetic.  Everyone who's anyone in the political establishment has treated all this like it's business as usual.

Well, it's NOT business as usual.  Somewhere along the line the GOP decided it was going to play hardball.  And I don't mean that they're simply hanging tough.  I mean break-your-kneecaps hardball.  Bring a gun to the knife fight hardball.  Crack your skull with the bat hardball.  All these anti-abortion laws.  All these voter ID laws.  Rejecting the Medicare expansion for sheer spite.  Shutting down the government as an exercise in power for its own sake and no other reason.  And on and on.  No different in the Senate.  Screw the majority.  We do what we want.  

Until now the Democrats have, for the most part, simply rolled over, timidly requesting the Republicans to play fairly.  But it's been obvious for years that the Republicans have absolutely no desire to play fairly.  Indeed, they're playing a death match these days, and damn the republic.  So the gloves are off.  The Democrats have grown a pair.  It's about time.  

Yeah, I'm a bit nervous about this.  But it's the only game the GOP will play.  They caused this.  The blood is on their hands.