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Harry Reid is having a fun day:

I'm old enough to remember when Sen. McConnell insisted on up-or-down votes for judicial confirmations. https://t.co/...
@SenatorReid
It's true. Back when he was Senate whip in 2005, Mitch McConnell helped lead the Senate Republican effort to change the filibuster rules.

By filibustering 10 qualified judicial nominees in only 16 months, our Democratic colleagues have broken this unwritten rule. This is not the first time a minority of senators has upset a Senate tradition or practice and the current Senate majority intends to do what the majority in the Senate has often done: use it's constitutional authority under Article 1, section 5 to reform Senate procedure by a simple majority vote.
In two sentences 2005 McConnell destroys all of 2013 McConnell's arguments. Just like that. What a difference a Democratic president makes.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 10:25 AM PST.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What a difference a "Black" President and a (19+ / 0-)

    Tea Party challenge from the Right makes.

    Do turtles cry -- do they shed tears?

    Do the crocodiles care?

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 10:32:12 AM PST

  •  Reading another diary wasn't the fact that (14+ / 0-)

    Sen. Yertle put the nuclear option into play back in 2005 the reason Sen. Reid was able to use it today? In effect, if Yertle had never open the door back in 2005 then Reid couldn't have walked thru it today. So maybe we should be thanking Yertle for his "wise and foresighted policy"? Buwahahahaha.

    Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 10:44:54 AM PST

    •  I think Senator Reid's response is also important (7+ / 0-)

      It would be informative to put up the video (I have no idea how to do it) to show Senator Reid's response to the notion of the nuclear option when it was proposed by the GOP. As I recall Senator Reid gave a very passionate speech in defense of the filibuster and lashed out at the GOP for even proposing such an attack on Senate tradition. In the end, the two sides worked out a deal where a partial list of the judicial nominees, who had been blocked by the Democrats, were approved and the filibuster rules remained unchanged.

      I know many here have always felt that the Senate should work like the House with the minority having virtually no impact on legislation or approval of nominees. The filibuster is now on a path to be totally removed and if the GOP wins control of the Senate, it will be eliminated completely. If the Republicans can win the White House in 2016, and the GOP controls the Senate, we will have Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, who will be the first nominee.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:02:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I say no problem with... (11+ / 0-)

        ..showing Reids response in 2005. It would force the Right to say they agree that Reid was right and McConnell wrong back then and open the line of questioning to them as to what changed their mind. We know what changed Reids mind.

      •  One can argue that to be more Democratic, and, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whaddaya, ProgressiveOldMan

        hey, she's black, so that's got to be a good thing.

        Who knows?
        We may be just two elections away from bringing back "Separate but equal".

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:28:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As they say (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, whaddaya

        It depends on whose ox is gored.

        •  Yes and when 99.99% of oxen are being gored (6+ / 0-)

          it's not too hard to figure out which way the nation needed to go.  Reid finally did the right thing.

          Did you not hear Obama say that 5 of his 6 judicial appts. had been blocked and 4 of 6 Bush appointees had been approved?

          Did you also not hear say that he allowed that abuses had been on both sides but that it had reached unprecedented levels?

          Apparently not. Your equivalence is total, unequivocal bullshit. This is NOT "they all do it". The problem was the Republicans in the senate.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

          by TerryDarc on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:54:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  THX for the crapulent crap (0+ / 0-)

            Unlike you, I both read and comprehend what I read. And I can do those things without flying off the handle—perhaps you should consider meds?

            On the merits, as pointed out in the piece, this now becomes a two-edged sword. If the future is nothing but Democratic legislatures and executive, no problem. If the future is otherwise, you may be very sorry. I imagine something like that was the reason why, when proposed some years back by the Republicans, Harry Reid was against the nuclear option before he was for it..

            BTW: any attentive reader of history will be well aware that the current level of abuse on both sides has much precedent behind it. But that would not be you.

      •  Dems did not filibuster Scalia. Dems did not (10+ / 0-)

        filibuster Clarence Thomas.  So what are we supposed to be afraid of, exactly?

        •  Scalia was approved 98-0 (0+ / 0-)

          Hard to imagine anyone had any thoughts about a filibuster.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:49:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, Tonedevil

            A supreme court nominee has not been filibustered since the Johnson administration, for a nominee who likely couldn't have won an up-and-down vote anyway. So we are talking about basically a reserve power.

            And in 1991, when the Democrats had the majority in the senate, and everyone knew exactly how unqualified, compromised and ideological Clarence Thomas was, there was still an up-and-down vote and no filibuster. I expect the same would happen for Janice Rogers Brown.

      •  Supreme Court Justices can still (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil

        be filibustered under this change.

        •  RAS - we have passed the Rubicon (0+ / 0-)

          Now that the filibuster has been changed by the Democrats, changing more than 200 years of Senate tradition, the GOP will remove it all together minutes after they become the next majority.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:51:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  concern noted (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            eom

          •  Oh please... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, bren, kkkkate

            have you been watching the GOP in action?

            The House changing rules at the 11th hour to shut down the government? The Hastert Rule?

            I've got news for you, if the GOP gains the White House and the Senate again, they will do whatever they want to do, with or without this. The courts are already stacked with conservatives (see Federalist Society).

            Do you think a GOP House, 55 GOP Senators and a GOPer President would let Obamacare stand?

            Really?

            If so, then I think that a whole bunch of liberals had better wake the f*** up and realize that this is a war, and one our opponents and their oligarch puppet masters do not intend to lose.

          •  All the more reason... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            To make sure they never get control again. The threat has been there from the Republicans since 2005. The few nominees blocked by the Dems then was nothing compared to what the Republicans have done since Obama. Do you really think the Republicans would keep the filibuster if the Dems started using it like they did?

            Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

            by rhonan on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 03:41:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, I think they would have kept it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rhonan

              There are still lots of old school GOP Senators who would have never voted to be the first to change 200 years of Senate tradition. That's gone because there is no more historic filibuster tradition.

              I am actually stunned that Reid got 52 votes.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 04:25:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The only change to the filibuster is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            that it can no longer be used to hold up Executive or Judicial appointments. It can still be used for blocking legislation, and no one has taken away the right of the minority to vote against an appointment or to try to convince the majority that the appointment should be voted down. You could be right that the GOP might do away with it altogether if they ever regain control of the Senate because they firmly believe that once they gain control one more time, they'll never lose it. Just as they thought during the W years that they would hold the Presidency and both houses of Congress forever and turn the US into a virtual single-party system (which Karl Rove freely admitted, or even bragged, was his intention).

          •  Filibuster tradition first removed by Republicans (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, rhonan

            The Rubicon was passed in 2005 by the Republicans.  That's what the article here is about.  I recall it well.  The Dems were blocking some really bad appointees by Bush II, and the Senate (then Republican majority) threatened to end the Dems ability to filibuster unless Dems allowed Bush nominees to pass.
            I never understood why the Dems did not do the same thing when they had the power - only took 4 years.  

            •  deh - but the Republicans never actually did it (0+ / 0-)

              There is a world of difference between threatening to change the rules and actually changing more than 200 years of Senate history. There is no doubt who changed the rules first, the Democrats today. And both parties are hypocrites. The speech Harry Reid gave today was a nearly carbon copy of the Mitch McConnell speech of 2005 and the McConnell speech was a carbon copy of the Harry Reid speech in 2005.

              I would have much preferred that a deal had been cut like they did in 2005, a subset of the nominees were approved as a bundle, and the filibuster rules not changed. I think we have lost a big safety net.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:59:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Slight problem there. (0+ / 0-)

                In 2005, there were enough Democrats who wanted to preserve the filibuster that they compromised on letting appointments through. There were no such Republicans this time. Do you really think Reid, who supported the filibuster, would have taken these steps if he had any other choice?

                The Do-Nothing House is passing almost no legislation, and what it is passing is so extreme that it will not even get a vote in the Senate. The Senate Republicans, on the other hand, are actively hamstringing federal agencies they disagree with by not confirming needed appointments, and are trying to set the stage for the complete Republicanization of the Federal judiciary by making sure that Obama's successor will be greeted with a record number of vacancies to fill. I support Reid's move for that reason alone.

                Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

                by rhonan on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 01:17:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong: it's a win! (5+ / 0-)

        The filibuster in Democratic hands still allowed there to be an Appellate Judge Janice Rogers Brown on the federal bench and would likely allow her to become an Associate Justice (you aren't expecting Roberts to step aside or die, I trust).  However, a filibuster in GOP hands would likely keep any overtly liberal candidate off the high court leading to either a vacancy left open until a potentially GOP president was elected or a "centrist" being appointed.  The downside of ending filibuster are pretty much the same as having it in place while the upsides are potentially very good.


        My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
        "Shared sacrifice!" said the spider to the fly.—Me

        by KingBolete on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:48:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. Hypocrites on both sides. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Simplify

        It's going to be pretty easy to find video of both Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell saying exactly the opposite of what each said today.  By the way, one of Senator Reid's statements is here.  See also here (calling the nuclear option "an abuse of power" -- exactly the same words Sen. McConnell used today, I think).  And this from Senator Reid:

        "One of our finest accomplishments over the last 2 years was something that the Senate chose not to do," said Reid from the Senate floor on Friday. "In May 2005, the Senate turned aside the so-called nuclear option and decided to preserve the rules of the Senate which allow for extended debate on judicial nominations. The nuclear option would have forced a change in this venerable Senate rule by the brute force of a simple majority vote."

        "The campaign to rewrite Senate rules was misguided from the start. It was a raw abuse of power fueled by a misreading of history. The Senate came dangerously close to adopting this plan," said Reid.

        It's going to be amusing over the next day or so to see those on the right accuse Democrats of being hypocrites, and those on the left accusing Republicans of being hypocrites.  I have little respect for anyone who is pretending only the other side is being hypocritical.  Neither one of them is going to be able to fool any thinking person.  I know those on the partisan right and on the partisan left are going to give all sorts of excuses why THEIR side is not being hypocritical, when both sides clearly are.  
        •  It could be reasonably argued... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, bren

          ...that the filibuster wasn't widely abused until the GOP turned it into the efffective norm in 2009.  The historical numbers for both filibusters and cloture votes support this argument.

          There's more to it than "both sides do it."

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:03:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  A picture is worth a thousand words (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, kkkkate

          I'm pretty sure that any graph out there will show the huge difference between the numbers of blocked nominees/judges in 2005 versus now.

          "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." -Jack Layton (1950-2011)

          by Coco Usagi on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:06:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "One of our finest accomplishments" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          Doesn't that say volumes?

          Sen. Reid went before the first YearlyKos (now Netroots Nation) in 2006 and bragged about the Gang of Fourteen Compromise. That part of his speech met with silence.

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:20:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The filibuster has long since (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          ceased being a tool for "extended debate" and has become nothing more than an "I'm going to hold my breath if you don't do what I want" measure.

          The fact that a single Senator from the minority party can just hold up a vote and derail progress in the Senate (and has over 400 times in the past 4 years) is something that must end. It is now a de-facto requirement that any bill needs 60 votes for passage, even though throughout its history the actual rule has been passage by simple majority.

      •  having an impact vs. obstructing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, kkkkate
        the minority having virtually no impact on legislation or approval of nominees
        I submit that there is a meaningful difference between "having an impact" and "obstructing." It is reasonable for the minority to have an impact.  In the end, it is not reasonable for them to obstruct everything in the hopes of running out the clock, which is what the Republicans have been doing since day one of Obama's presidency, not only on nominations but also on bills.  The ACA contains Republican ideas. What if Republicans had seized on those and tried to strengthen them? The implementation might be in better shape today. Instead, Republicans hoped, and continue to hope, that active and passive obstruction will cause the whole thing to go away.

        Under the circumstances, the majority party has been left with no option but the nuclear one.

      •  2005 was theater (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, a2nite, kkkkate

        I think this is the crucial difference between the Tea Party filibusters we've endured for the last few years, and previous standoffs.  Senate Democrats in 2005 weren't entirely trying to gum up the judiciary, they were trying to extract concessions from Bush.  This led to a deal in which the least controversial nominees were allowed to move forward, but Bush wasn't able to stack the bench as much as he wanted.  That's how this ridiculous system was supposed to work.

        The problem with the entire Tea Party era is that they're not really trying to extract reasonable concessions that Democrats can live with.  Their proposed concessions are so outlandish that there's no compromise to be made, and they know it.  Blocking Obama's nominees hasn't been a tactic to force him to nominate more centrist judges, it's been a tactic to keep judgeships and cabinet posts empty for the entirety of his presidency.

        I'm not all that worried about Reid setting a dangerous precedent here, because I think the no-holds-barred Tea Party would have done away with the filibuster anyway once they regained the majority.  They can claim Reid did it now, but they would have done it anyway.

        •  eg - the Tea Party is a small minority of the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite

          GOP Senate and didn't have the power or support to change the filibuster rules and would not have had it in 2014 either IMO. Too many old line Senate Republicans "The Senate is a Club" members with respect of the long tradition of the filibuster. That's now gone. The GOP will eliminate the filibuster completely the minute they can. Those GOP Senators who would have argued a respect for the history, have no history to stand on.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:17:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let them do their worst (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            The problem with granting the Senate minority veto power is that it grants political cover to politicians of both parties -- the filibuster encourages the incorrect "oh, they're all crooks!" meme among independents.

            Let President Christie privatize Social Security and repeal Medicaid and gut food stamps with a simple majority.  We'll see how much the public really likes Republican ideas when they have to live with the consequences.  The partisan gridlock of the past 20 years is the one thing preventing swing voters from fully rejecting Republican policy proposals -- by and large, despite a lot of fear and outrage, sweeping Republican policy ideas have rarely been enacted.

            I like the idea of elections having real consequences for real people.  It might encourage the public to think before voting.

    •  McConnell has been around long enough (4+ / 0-)

      to remember this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      "Clarence Thomas Supreme Court Nomination"

      52-48

      Quick, someone remind him

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:30:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, but he's not a hypocrite. (6+ / 0-)

    If Obama would only nominate more Scalias to the federal bench, Republicans wouldn't have to filibuster them.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 10:46:59 AM PST

  •  Thanks, Joan. Fantastic video. (5+ / 0-)

    And for Twitter fans, here again is the link for the tweet from Majority Leader Reid.

    Everyone who can should re-tweet Leader Reid.

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Antonin Scalia, John Boner, or Scotty Walker (pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 10:48:47 AM PST

  •  Yes & yes (8+ / 0-)

    from this morning

    Mitch McConnell Supported Filibuster Reform in 2005 To Boost Republican Judges
    December 04, 2012 08:00 AM

    As Senate whip, McConnell was a key player in the GOP’s 2005 effort to change the filibuster rules using — you guessed it — 51 votes. As he said at the time, “This is not the first time a minority of Senators has upset a Senate tradition or practice, and the current Senate majority intends to do what the majority in the Senate has often done–use its constitutional authority under article I, section 5, to reform Senate procedure by a simple majority vote."

     - emphasis added

    And after reminding McConnell. Change the rules and don't wait for a new session. Do. It. Now.
    http://crooksandliars.com/...

    And yes we DO need to "rub it in" to make it absolutely crystal clear to everyone that every word spewed by McConnell's this morning is a lie and people need to know this about republicvans - they lie about about anything any time without the slightest compunction.

    And it is this republican platfrom of dishonsty that is hurting this country, especially with their underpinning of nulllification going on

  •  Load The Docket With Nominees (11+ / 0-)

    Leave no job unfilled.

    Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ~ Frank Zappa ~

    by NCTim on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:22:42 AM PST

  •  Stomp on their throats while they are (9+ / 0-)

    down. I'm so glad to see that they appear to be ready to keep going here.

    Fill every damned vacancy there is, posthaste, and tell the world why.

  •  So -- I think you guys will REALLY want to make (6+ / 0-)

    sure you hold the Senate and White House now.

    The next two elections loom large.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:25:49 AM PST

  •  As Palin would say:GOTCHA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya
  •  So, was there an actual change (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, whaddaya, Tonedevil

    in the rules then?

  •  Yay for Harry Reid! n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, whaddaya, Tonedevil, brn2bwild
  •  "Flip-flopping" only bad when Dems (5+ / 0-)

    do it, didn't you know? Hypocricy is a valuable tool in the GOP quest for world domination.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:31:50 AM PST

  •  What is different this time? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, whaddaya

    Why was it ok for Dems to oppose nominations then, but not ok for repubs to do it now?

    The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

    by gbaked on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:32:00 AM PST

    •  Look at the record number (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, ferg, whaddaya, Tonedevil

      of repub filibusters.

      I have never, ever, faked a sarcasm.

      by googie on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:42:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it just simply the numbers? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whaddaya

        Im just curious... why did dems oppose nominations back then? Where the nominations the repubs put up more hardline conservative?

        I understand the number difference... was just curious if that was the only difference between now and then.

        The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

        by gbaked on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:47:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the key number is zero (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Subterranean, Simplify, googie, Tonedevil

          as in zero nominations let through for that court. That's no an arbitrary number; it's plain dysfunctional and means the old rule was no longer tenable.

          Personally, I think the filibuster is stupid and contrary to the constitution even when it was functional, but the real issue today was that it was a failed rule that had broken the functioning of the government.

        •  Well, one of the Democratic filibusters... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          ...was against Miguel Estrada.  Estrada not only had no judicial experience at any level, but had no writings/articles from which his judicial mindset could have been reasonably determined.  He was also less than open at his confirmation hearings; for instance, he testified that he had never considered Roe v. Wade, despite the fact that he was a clerk for SCOTUS Justice Kennedy when the first Bush Administration asked the Court to reconsider that decision.  Add to that the facts that Estrada was hardcore conservative (he worked on the Bush legal team for Bush v. Gore and was nominated to an extremely influential court--the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit--he was filibustered.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:12:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If memory serves me correctly... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        googie

        I believe that the awful Bush nominations never made it out of committee. Therefore, there was no need for a filibuster. I'm going to do a little research tonight.

        If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

        by HairyTrueMan on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:20:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It seems that Dems never even held hearings. (0+ / 0-)
        Democrats got their break in May when Vermont senator James Jeffords left the Republican party. That switched control of the Senate to the Democrats, who immediately turned their attention to the eleven appellate court nominees then before the Senate Judiciary Committee, two of them Democrats — a gesture from Bush. Those two were immediately confirmed. The rest would not even get hearings. Instead, Democrats began calling for “litmus tests” — explicit demands that nominees state their views on everything from abortion to affirmative action to Congress’s unquestioned power to regulate anything and everything.

        http://news.yahoo.com/...

        If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

        by HairyTrueMan on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:37:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rabel, Subterranean, Tonedevil, kkkkate

      Myself included, to a degree.

      The thing that got my goat about the Gang of Fourteen Compromise was that the Democrats let Samuel Alito go through. That gave away the game, that the Dems would "play by the rules" to a fault and let the Republicans have their way, while the Republicans would continue to be successful with maximalist tactics.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:50:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adding, one bright spot (and an entertaining one) (0+ / 0-)

        was the Filibuster Frist protest. It started with some Princeton students (at Frist's alma mater) who intended to go for 24 hours, but then people (including Rep. Rush Holt) kept piling on for two weeks solid around the clock. For the last day, they took the protest via bus to the Capitol in Washington.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 01:08:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What is different (5+ / 0-)

      The democrats opposed the NOMINEE. They objected to the INDIVIDUAL that was nominated to fill the position, with it now appears good reason.

      The republican's do not object to the Nominee, they don't want the president filling vacancies on the court. Filling the vacancies will shift the balance of the court towards the Left. AGAIN - it is not the nominee that the republican's object to (unlike the democrats who did object to the nominee).

    •  Because then dems didn't filibuster (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, Tonedevil

      every single fucking nominee.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:11:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP word of the day: "Hypocrite" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, JML9999, Lawrence, whaddaya, Tonedevil

    Look it up, Sen. McConnell.

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:32:30 AM PST

  •  Gee, I see to recall Republicans chanting (9+ / 0-)

    "Up or down vote! Up or down vote!" like a mantra.

    What happened, Mitchie Poo?

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:32:55 AM PST

  •  The "I'm old enough to remember when........" meme (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya, ProgressiveOldMan, a2nite

    Who knew he was that hip on memes

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:33:19 AM PST

  •  Nice catch on the McConnell hypocrisy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    BUT it would be interesting to see if the arguments that "we" were making in 2005 mirror what McConnell is saying today.  IOW, when arguments are made for political reasons, instead of for principled reasons, both parties are likely to behave hypocritically.

    FWIW, I'm not sure where I stand on what rules should be in place for executive branch nominations to federal offices.  I think I'm fine with a 60 vote threshold in general.  BUT, it was clearly being abused and something had to give in this instance.  It would be nice to go back to the 60 vote threshold and have both parties exercise sound judgment on when/if to filibuster a nominee but, given the state of the Republican party today, that is apparently too much to ask.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:34:41 AM PST

    •  Ok, so I did a quick internet search (0+ / 0-)

      and this is what Harry Reid said in 2005:

      "For people to suggest that you can break the rules to change the rules is un-American," said Reid in 2005, in response to Republicans wanting to change the rules. "The only way you can change the rule in this body is through a rule that now says, to change a rule in the Senate rules to break a filibuster still requires 67 votes. You can't do it with 60. You certainly cannot do it with 51. But now we are told the majority is going to do the so-called nuclear option. We will come in here, having the Vice President seated where my friend and colleague from Nevada is seated. The Parliamentarian would acknowledge it is illegal, it is wrong, you can't do it, and they would overrule it. It would simply be: We are going to do it because we have more votes than you. You would be breaking the rules to change the rules. That is very un-American."

      "The majority can't get what they want so they break the rules to change the rules. We believe the traditions of the Senate should be maintained. We believe if you are going to change the rules in the Senate, change them legally, not illegally," Reid added.

      The hypocrisy from Reid and McConnell is staggering.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:54:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a frigging hypocrite. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, whaddaya

    That'll make a great political ad in 2014.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:34:48 AM PST

  •  10 in only 16 months??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, whaddaya, Tonedevil

    lol. That's just outrageous, isn't it, Mr. McConnell.

    My only comment to all the nice people on the right who are saying that this is an unprecedented power grab . . . go ahead and explain why it's unfair that when a majority votes for something in our democracy, they should get it. Why exactly is that unfair?

    Please proceed, Senators.

    For once the simple argument is on our side. Let's all use it.

  •  A round of turtle soup for everyone! n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    googie, whaddaya, Tonedevil, a2nite

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:37:49 AM PST

  •  Stop calling it the "nuclear option." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    It was more like the "targetted drone strike option."

  •  Don't be fooled - Yertle hasn't changed his shell (5+ / 0-)

    He wanted the vote to go this way. Today's tantrum was largely theatre. As Kos points out, McConnell could have stopped this if he wanted to, just by calling Reid's bluff and letting a couple of judicial nominees through. It wouldn't have been difficult to keep the pattern of obstruction going.

    The Republicans may have - finally - learned something from all their fuckups - O'Donnell, Akin, Mourdock, the shutdown, etc., etc., etc. They're the minority. They don't have to be in the news or do anything at all. If they actively obstruct or act like fools, they write the headlines, and their popularity sinks. If they become passive, the media buzzsaw turns to the Democrats.

    The more Democratic candidates that are nominated and confirmed, the more chances the media, especially the right-wing media, will have to stir up rage against whatever faux "scandals" emerge from the their juvenile parade of "gotcha" questions. If the right fans the flames of the "scandals", but does not actively obstruct, the focus and blame stay on the majority.

  •  I'm confused. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, whaddaya

    I thought appeals to the ruling of the chair were debatable.  How was the appeal not filibustered?

    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. -- Senator Carl Schurz(MO-1899)

    by Adam Blomeke on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:41:45 AM PST

  •  Not good news for John McCain. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ekgrulez1, whaddaya

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:43:29 AM PST

  •  Heavens, how much less turtle-like he looked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    8 years ago...

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:46:04 AM PST

  •  Finally! If they'd done this 6 years ago we could (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif, whaddaya, imicon

    have had a decent health care law. Oh well, better late than never.
    Now PBO needs to get his act together and fill the 93 open judgships.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:47:00 AM PST

  •  Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

    by JNEREBEL on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:51:08 AM PST

  •  Who was the last (0+ / 0-)

    Supreme Court nomination to be filibustered?  Maybe the only one?  

  •  The Shoe Will Never Be On The Other Foot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    imicon

    Republicans have been boasting for years of their intention to ignore the filibuster when of course they inevitably take the Senate . The boasts have been made privately to big dollar constituents for years and increasingly to the general public. They didn't need an excuse and had no intention of relying on one. However, to meaningfully exercise this threat it requires them not only to take the Senate, but also the White House at the same time. How likely is that in 2016? Just about zero. Even if Hillary doesn't run, her replacement gets hit by a truck, and Carlos Danger is the nominee the Senate won't have enough Democratic seats in play for Republicans to take the Senate. After 2016, with the looming demographic tidal wave it becomes harder every election cycle. If Republicans ever get a chance to make good on this threat, it will be a generation before they will be able to do so.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:59:17 AM PST

    •  You should look at this. (0+ / 0-)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Republicans can take over if they pick up six seats. Montana, Alaska, South Dakota, West Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Arkansas are existing Democratic seats that are in play. There currently aren't any Republican seats at risk. And the popularity of President Obama won't be drawing voters to he polls this time.

      Perhaps this is the reason why it's important to get these nominees through now.

      If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

      by HairyTrueMan on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:55:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  slow down a bit (0+ / 0-)

        Kentucky is in plenty of risk. Georgia is in play. Even assuming the worst, without the White House they can't appoint anyone. Further obstruction? Sure, but its not much different than what we have already been going through.

        Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

        by bywaterbob on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 03:20:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Viralize This, Because Nobody's Gonna See it On (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skod, Subterranean

    nightly news or Sunday talk.

    Scoot a link over to Stewart and Colbert.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:00:48 PM PST

  •  Majority Rules! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ProgressiveOldMan, Matt Z, Tonedevil
    Repubthugs HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA MAJORITY RULES AGAIN!!!!!!!!
  •  Too funny... (0+ / 0-)

    What were Harry Reid's views on the filibuster back then?

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:18:42 PM PST

  •  I always thought Bill Frist was the first one... (0+ / 0-)

    ...who mentioned the threat of pushing that button.  That was in 2005 (I think).  It was the GOP who first let that genie out of the bottle.  I imagine some of them wished Frist (or whoever it was who first said it) he'd kept his mouth shut.

    Never pull out a weapon if you are not prepared to use it.  I imagine Reid was waiting for the right time (which, I assume, was well after the 2012 elections and far enough away from the 2014 midterms).

    •  This has everything to do with timing. (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans have a chance to win control of the Senate next year. If that happens, all of these nominations will die in committee.  So why not do everything you can to push them through now?

      Just in case...

      If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

      by HairyTrueMan on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 01:07:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aye. (0+ / 0-)

        Frist threatened to use it first (assuming he was the first).  Even back then I wasn't convinced Frist was ready to squeeze the trigger, but out of it came some sort of deal that prevented it from happening.  I forgot what the deal was, but I seem to remember that it was favorable to the GOP.

        Today's GOP thought Reid would roll over, once again.  Unfortunately Reid knew perfectly well that he could never get a deal, with this GOP, that was favorable to the Dems.  He pulled out the weapon, and in their arrogance the GOP refused to recognize that this time Reid was ready to squeeze the trigger.

        One year to fill as many vacant positions as possible.  And if the Dems keep the Senate, Obama will have another 2 years to fill the rest.  And if the Dems keep the Senate and White House in 2016, it'll be one long stretch to level the playing field, or tilt is slightly to the left.

  •  Hypocrisy all around. Reid and Obama (0+ / 0-)

    were against the nuclear option too. Who's ox is getting gored?

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