Yesterday, the Senate voted 52-48 to invoke the so-called ‘nuclear option’. The vote was largely along party lines, with all Republicans voting against the measure and all but three Democrats voting for the measure. As the Washington Post reported, a passage alters nearly 225 years of precedent. The change allows for the confirmation of executive branch nominees and most federal judiciary selections with a simple majority.
President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), and others are heralding the passage of the nuclear option as an opportunity to get things done in Washington, but if you flash back to 2005 when the Republican-controlled Senate threatened to jam through the very same thing, they were singing a very different tune. Listen to the hypocrisy below:
While one could argue the Republicans acted equally hypocritical in this situation by voting against the option yesterday even though they supported it in 2005, it is important to note the Republicans never went ahead and rammed through the nuclear option - even though they had the votes to do so. Democrats, on the other hand, staunchly opposed the measure in 2005 and all but three voted for it yesterday. On radio this morning, Glenn found himself disgusted by the entire situation.
As Glenn sees it, the most danger of eliminating the filibuster from nominations is the checks and balances it eliminates from the system. Glenn explained that Congress has become nothing more than a speed bump, and the federal courts are what actually undo unconstitutional laws – but now the courts can be packed with President Obama and the Democrats’ picks.
“Because of this filibuster, the president now can put in anybody he wants as a federal judge. And there's no check or balance. So he can put anybody he wants in. Why is that so important? Because how did we repeal all of the things that FDR did that were unconstitutional? We didn't do it through congress. We did it through the court system,” Glenn said. “It hit the court and the court system said you can't do any of this stuff and threw it all out… Forget about congress… Congress is irrelevant. They were a speed bump, and they have been flattened yesterday. And now it's in the court systems. And now in the court systems, you'll be lucky to have somebody who's not a Marxist radical.”
The timing of this particular vote is also noteworthy.
“But you notice when they did it,” Glenn asked. “They did it on a Thursday so the news really comes out on a Friday – the least consumed news day next to Saturday. Friday and Saturday are the days that you don't consume news generally. And then it goes into Sunday. The Sunday talk shows, if they even talk about it, the Sunday talk shows are not going to be consumed on Monday because Monday is the beginning of the Thanksgiving week.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP