President Barack Obama endorsed more changes to the filibuster rules in the Senate in a speech Wednesday, remarks that will encourage senators who want to deploy the “nuclear option” again.
At a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York, Obama specifically said Democrats need to change “how a filibuster works,” without going into specifics on what, exactly, he has in mind.
Tell me again about how smart it was for Harry Reid to kill the filibuster over nominations. Because I’m pretty sure that it’s going to end up giving the NRA a public win:
A number of Senate Democrats have indicated that they might oppose President Barack Obama’s choice of Vivek Murthy for the post of U.S. Surgeon General, according to Senate aides, putting the nomination at risk over the issue of gun control.
Dr. Murthy’s nomination is opposed by the National Rifle Association, the country’s largest gun lobby, because he has expressed support for gun control, calling it a public-health issue.
Because while I guess that this is supposed to alarm people about the implications of the filibuster…
…picture a federal appellate bench composed of numerous Antonin Scalias and Clarence Thomases…
…’alarm’ would not be the verb that I would have used. Try ‘reassure.’ Or even ‘fill with anticipatory glee.’
PS: Slate, despite its delusions, is not particularly centrist. If it were it’d be more pro-gun, more pro-life, and arguably more pro-Israel.
Probably got sent out to a nice farm in the country, where it could play with all the other hideously misspelled and ungrammatical Democratic props:
— Stephen Crowley (@Stcrow) November 21, 2013
Here we go.
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) July 15, 2013
By the way: when the GOP-controlled Senate in 2015 – and the whispers about that have already started in the Beltway – uses this to force the Democrats to eat ash for two years, please be advised that they. Were. Warned.
PS: I had a total of two hours sleep last night; I’m not really geared up for anything except brutal honesty right now. And brutal honesty is making me say: the GOP will control the Senate, largely despite itself. Things are just going to get that bad.
There was some speculation back in 2010 that this would be his last term. It may simply be that Reid has no plans to be in a Senate where both it and the Presidency are in the hands of the opposition party. Which means that Harry Reid has no real reason not to screw over his colleagues:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s threat to change filibuster rules is supposed to narrowly focus on presidential nominees to the executive branch.
But his potential move to invoke the “nuclear option” is raising a bigger and more sweeping question that could have huge consequences for future presidents of both parties: Is this the beginning of the end of the filibuster? If the filibuster goes, the Senate would lose a crucial check on majority rights — and it could start looking very much like the House, where the majority always gets its way.
And it will screw over his colleagues. Because I have a list, and so does every conservative activist, organizer, gadfly, and partisan hack that I know. It’s a list of stuff that we want, but can’t realistically expect to get to sixty on.
The daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who died in the mass killing in December could not join others from her community this week to lobby for gun control.
So she turned to Twitter to reach out to the 15 senators who indicated they would engage in a filibuster to block legislation on gun control. She said she just wanted them to vote, not put roadblocks in the way of debate and voting.
Only one of the senators called Erica Lafferty after her tweet – Ted Cruz.
…in no particular order: (more…)
…of the distinguished gentleman from Georgia:
I support killing bad guys with drones overseas. Hell, I’m okay with killing bad guys in the United States with drones if they are about to cause imminent harm. But the administration’s standard was far too nebulous. It is opposed by a majority of Americans. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and others who are okay with drone attacks on bad guys supported Rand Paul because Paul found the sliver of ground on which they could all be opposed to an Obama Administration policy.
– My colleague Erick Erickson, over at RedState. As most of you know, I self-identify as ‘neoconservative:’ and my major problem with Barack Obama’s foreign policy is that he’s trying to do what he thinks George W Bush would do under the same circumstances, only he’s not very competent even at that. But I loved watching that filibuster. It was utterly guilt-free; I’m aware of Rand Paul’s likely defense stances, but he managed to keep the debate framed in terms that I could accept without quibbling. And then he made the administration give way on a point.
That last point is important: because the last time I checked neither, say, John McCain and/or Lindsey Graham (who I don’t actually particularly dislike) have done as well lately.
PS: I think that the time has come for Senator McCain to announce that this will be his last term in office.
…I agree with Allahpundit’s reaction to John McCain’s / Lindsey Graham’s reaction to said filibuster:
You would think Maverick might at least seize the opportunity to note that the guy who beat him five years ago did so in part by campaigning on a lie, but that would mean giving an inch of ground to the isolationists on his own side. So instead he sides with O even though everyone from Reince Priebus to Fox News to the Ron Paul fan base to Jon Stewart is patting Paul on the back, and inexplicably he insists on being nasty about it just in case anyone who enjoyed Paul’s performance hasn’t been completely alienated by McCain yet. Question for my fellow hawks: Is this really the hill to die on vis-a-vis paleocon/libertarian foreign policy? Arguing in favor of a president’s power to fire missiles at an enemy combatant on U.S. soil even if he’s a U.S. citizen and isn’t engaged in terrorism at the time when the FBI could just as easily go in and grab him? If that’s a “wacko bird” position, then a lot of people who agree with it will be left wondering whether the entire mainstream rap on libertarians and paleocons as being “fringe” and “extreme” is a lie. Maverick and Graham need to learn to pick their battles.
And it’s a mistake that has little if anything to do with the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director (although having House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell somewhat surprisingly announce that he was opposing cloture on the eventual vote is not going to help Barack Obama any). It’s also a mistake that has less than you think to do with the question of drone strikes on American citizens themselves, although the administration’s inexplicable unwillingness to simply lie if that’s what it would have taken to shut Senator Rand Paul up is almost… startling. I know that this sounds cynical – but then, I suspect that the real reason that Barack Obama didn’t concede the point is that he was and is fundamentally unwilling to give any Republican a non-reciprocated win at this point. Paul wanted the point conceded that badly? – Then NO! Rand Paul doesn’t get it conceded.
So there. (more…)
Just at rumor level at this point:
Senate aide confirms, at this juncture, Reid doesn’t have the 60 votes to move Hagel
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) February 14, 2013
…and do not get your hopes up. But this is apparently turning into a somewhat higher expenditure of political capital than Barack Obama originally envisioned. Such a shame.