Yeah, this move by Harry Reid and supported by enough Democrats is going to look
like a very bad idea to them if in a little over a year from now, the
Republicans have more seats in the Senate and maybe even a majority. To me it
looks like this is Reids last stand, as he will be blamed every time the
Republicans use this 51 vote instead of 60 to either stop anything remaining on
Obamas agenda, and or to push through the new Republican Presidents agenda,
should that happen in 2016. Ask any member of the minority in the House of
Representatives how it feels to have virtually NO power. At least the Senate
required 60 votes, which was rarely held by one party. Now, it will be complete
majority rule, something which most folks who worry about protecting the rights
of a minority don't want. Well, now thanks to the Democrats, of all
people, that may be just where this country is headed. I wish someone would get
Reid to look at the big picture and re-think this. If it were the Republican
McConnell, I'd say the same.
10CC,I think your assumption that current demographics mean we will have
Democrat Presidents for the foreseeable future... is a false assumption.The political pundits can read the tea leaves and tell us what each
political party MUST do to win... but they are rarely right.I'd
trust history before I trust some know it all political commentator on the TV.
If you look at actual history... America switches which party is in
control regularly. So to assume that all history will now be turned on
it's head, and from NOW on... we will have nothing but Democrat
administrations forever... is just illogical.Americans will tire of
Democrats eventually. Maybe it will be crushing debt, Inflation, ObamaCare
dissatisfaction, Iran going nuclear, a scandal. But eventually SOMETHING will
bother Americans .... and they will decide to give another party a try. The replacement may not be the Republican Party. I don't know how
long they will be around. But I can assure you that Democrats will not be in
power forever. So you will get to see what it's like to be the minority
again... so be careful about giving the majority carte-blanche.
@2bitThank you for taking the time to respond to my comment.Strawman?Falsely accusing Senator hatch?Senator
Bennett used hatch as a point of reference.I researched the hatch
website.On that website hatch blamed Democrats for using the nuclear
option.I assumed he said something he never actually said?I accused Senator hatch of lying?I wrote we all know hatch would
never lie.Time to go...Have a nice evening.
@The Hammer:"It's just too bad that democrats started this
partisanship back in the Bush years to keep an Hispanic judge off the DC
circuit."You Hispanics out there... take note. The Democrats
don't love you so stop voting for them.
There You Go Again,Did Hatch say " it's the Democrats fault"?
I re-read the article and didn't see that. Sounds like a straw-man to
me.---I think you are being overly defensive.
There's no need to be. Both sides have done it in the past. Neither side
can point at the other and say it's their fault today (including
Democrats).The ironic part is you accuse Senator Hatch of lying...
while falsely accusing him of saying something he never said!Is
there anything that Hatch actually said in the article that is untrue? I
re-read it and it sounds like he is just recounting some history of things that
actually happened in the Senate in the past. And yet you say Senator Hatch
lies (because you assume he said something he never actually said). That seems
a little unfair to me.
"...So don't pretend only one party does it. And the "who does it
more" twisting and squirming doesn't negate the FACT that both parties
do it...".Senator hatch said it's the Democrats fault.We all know Senator hatch would never lie.Just ask Lara
I'm not saying it's OK when either side does this but... lest those on
the Left get on their high-horse about this.. Democrats HAVE blocked many
nominations by the Presidents of the other party too. Maybe not as many, but
they do it too. And the question isn't about the quantity, the question
is... is the practice OK or is it not (not just who does it more).Democrats have not only held up District Court judge nominations, but also
Supreme Court nominations. Even when the President made a special effort to
nominate someone who was not an judicial extremist (like Judge Roberts). I also remember Hillary Clinton holding up our own Mike Leavitt's
confirmation to lead the EPA when George W Bush was President. She admitted
that she had no problem with Leavitt's qualifications, but she was holding
him hostage to force Republicans to give her the funding for her NYC
constituents to pay for NYC health problems after 9/11.So don't
pretend only one party does it. And the "who does it more" twisting
and squirming doesn't negate the FACT that both parties do it.
With the pretense of comity gone from the Senate, and a severe identity crisis
among Republicans, the rule change will probably benefit Democratic presidents
alone, since changing demographics and a Republican propensity to insult the
poor and minorities make it look like we'll have a Democratic presidents
for the foreseeable future.
The GOP in the Senate have used the filibuster against nominees with whom they
have no qualms over their qualifications. They are using the filibuster as a
means of political blackmail. They'll filibuster a nominee pending seeing
if they can blackmail their way on someting, and then the nominee will be
unanimously approved. They've used the filibuster more than all other
congresses combined in the history of the country and they are not using those
filibusters over objections to the nominees but rather as a means of trying to
blackmail their way on other issues. As others have said here, the
GOP brought this on themselves.
>>Republicans have blocked SOME of his nominees? Some? Try more than
half...That assertion is provably false. As of March 2013, President
Obama had issued 207 nominations for federal judgeships. And by March 2013,
Congress had confirmed 182. Only 25 were still awaiting Congressional hearings
and not all of those were being filibustered. And Obama got both of his Supreme
Court nominations confirmed without a single hitch.182 out of 207 is
a confirmation rate of 88%...just shy of 9 out of 10. So how does filibustering
less than 1 out of 10 even qualify as obstructionism?
I would like to add one more irony to those in former Senator Bennett's
article. By abusing a loophole in the system instead of governing themselves
(as he points out the Senate used to do), the Republicans have given, or at
least justified the taking of, power to the Democrats! Whenever we fail to
control ourselves and the desire to 'have it our way' above anything
else, we will inevitably lose freedoms.It seems to me the Republican
Senators are giving the Democrats a gun and saying, "Shoot me in the foot or
I'll punch you in the face. Then they cry foul when the do it!"Thank you Bob for your explanation.
@mcdugall: If, as many people are predicting, young people refuse to sign up in
the exchanges and simply pay the penalty, then the ACA will be a disaster for
the insurance companies. While your cynicism is healthy, where money and
politics cross, repealing obamacare would be such a huge political victory for
the republicans, i really doubt they could resist.
The hypocrisy of the democrats in congress is laughable but thats okay the rule
should never have been used to keep the president from doing his consitutional
duty of appointing judges. Its just too bad that democrats started this
partisanship back in the bush years to keep a hispanic judge off the DC circuit.
‘Unwritten rules’ are generally in place among people of good faith
who are nonetheless engaged in some form of battle (political in this case). When these rules are routinely ignored – what the Dems did under
Bush was not routine vs. what the Reps are doing now – at some point they
get either formally or informally tossed out. Senator Reid is simply
making formal what has been informal since Obama took office. If the
Senate used to be governed by rules akin to boxing (Marquess of Queensberry),
when one side started behaving like MMA fighters it was time to drop the
Robert Bennett knows what precipitated this move by Reid. Senate Republicans
have been filibustering President Obama’s judicial nominees at an
unprecedented rate as though it was routine. It had nothing to do with the
nominees qualifications. They were simply Obama’s nominees and that was
the only justification the GOP had.It wasn’t politics as usual
as Bennett wants to believe. The recent rate of use of filibustering as a
standard tactic to block Presidential appointments served only the end of
partisan advantage over a President the GOP loathes. Reid was forced to take
such drastic action to end an intolerable situation that promised to only get
worse. I would hope that Bob Bennett could bring himself to at least acknowledge
The filibuster must end for appointments based on issues other than the
qualifications of the the individual nominated. The President (of either party)
should have the right to fill vacancies in both the Administration and in the
courts. If the person nominated is truly objectionable, then that should be
discussed. And to hold up nominations for other considerations, including
trying to change the course of the agency (as Ted Cruz did recently with the
FCC) or to force the Adminstration to change course on unrelated issues is
wrong. Reid, despite the howling of the GOP who have abused the process, is
correct on this.
"it shows that Senate precedents which were instrumental in keeping bitter
partisanship under control are pretty much gone, which is not a good
thing"I think just the opposite is true. This bitter
partisanship has escalated to new heights as a result of this obstructionism on
the part of the republicans. Besides over the last 100 years only four
presidents have won a majority vote in two or more elections, Franklin
Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Barrack Obama. Obama clearly
has a greater mandate from the people, than recent presidents, and deserves the
right to choose executives to branches of government and judges to fill
vacancies in the courts.
Roland and Schwa. I guess that none of you remember the "holds" that
were constantly put on Bush's nominations by democrats, particularly
Hilary. These "holds" were not technically filibusters but the same
process was in place to take these holds off as would happen with a
filibuster.And Schwa, the blocking of Estrada who was as you say,
"an admitted partisan idealogue" was a travesty. Like none of
Obama's picks, especially for the Supreme Court aren't partisan
idealogues. Especially the last two.
@BYUtah Fan - The Republican's are only p;laying political theatre when it
comes to try and repeal the ACA. Private Insurance Companies, are forecasting,
record profits with the increased enrollments. As everyone knows, the
Republicans and sadly the majority of Democrats are married to corporate
As always Hypocrisy rears its ugly head and it is usually worn by the Democrats.
As a conservative republican, I am pleased that the democrats have invoked the
"nuclear option". The worm will turn and the republicans will control
the Senate. We will then need only 51 votes in the Senate to dump obamacare.
Thank you Harry. But watch out. There is likely to be an exploding petard in
It is one thing to vote against a nominee that you dont like for substantive
reasons. It is quite another to do it to someone that you ultimately have no
qualms with.That is the difference in what we have here.Some are against anything Obama wants or does. That is not governing. It is
Bailout Bob just keeps on going, and going.........and going.
Anyone, from any side, from any persuasion, for any reason that is actually able
to throw a wrench into the quagmire of Washington politics has my support. As
long as Americans begin to open their eyes to the Kingmen that inhabit
Washington, it is a good thing. As long as Americans begin to open their eyes
to the simple idea that individual responsibility will make Washington impotent,
it is a good thing. It is all good! Life is good! Go Mike Lee!
"Republicans have embraced the Estrada precedent and used filibusters to
block some of his judicial nominees."---Unfortunately, it wasn't just "some" of Obama's nominees, it
was pretty much all of them.Bob, I wish you were still in Washington
instead of that petty obstructionist, Mike Lee.
"Now with Obama as president, Republicans have embraced the Estrada
precedent and used filibusters to block some of his judicial nominees."Actually what the Republicans have done under President Obama is
completely unprecedented. They have not blocked "some" of his nominees,
they have blocked most of them. It is also untrue that the Democrats were the
first to filibuster a judicial nominee. Republicans filibustered Richard Paez, a
Clinton nominee, for appointment to the 9th circuit court. They also used
procedural chicanery to block many of Clinton's other picks.Republicans have only themselves to blame for the current mess. There are
currently three vacancies on the D.C. appeals court. The GOP made it clear that
they would not confirm any of the President's nominees no matter who they
Republicans have blocked SOME of his nominees? Some? Try more than half -- more
than half of the judicial filibusters in the entire history of the Senate have
happened during the Obama administration. Republicans have abused the
filibuster to the point where it is now the norm. They brought this upon
themselves by refusing to go along with anyone the President put forward.On a side note, Miguel Estrada wasn't the first judicial nominee to
be filibustered. But he was certainly a dangerous one. He was an admitted
partisan ideologue with more interest in furthering the Republican Party than in
the rule of law.Mr. Bennett is being less-than-forthcoming, if not
outright dishonest about the history of filibusters and their current abuse.