Government & Politics

'If You Like the Rules, You Can Keep the Rules'

Nov. 22, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) dropped a bomb on the Senate this week by “going nuclear” and changing the rules for filibustering Barack Obama’s nominees. Appellate court and executive nominees now can be confirmed with an up or down majority vote. The surprise move is just another in a long line of Obama’s rule-changing, cheating and lying to pass his agenda.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) got it right: “[Reid] might just as well have said, ‘If you like the rules of the Senate, you can keep them!’” Maybe he’s just regretting that Republicans didn’t do this 10 years ago.

The Senate’s nuclear option is the latest of Obama’s autocratic power grabs – this time to stack the courts with far-Left judges before the 2014 election. He is principally concerned with packing the DC Circuit Court, which will hear most challenges to ObamaCare. While some suggest this rule change was done to distract from the ObamaCare mess, we think ObamaCare’s ubiquitous failure will actually serve as cover for this maneuver. In two days, Senate rules will be off the radar.

Now for some history. The filibuster was rarely used to block nominations until Democrats lost the Senate in 2002 and decided to torpedo as many of George W. Bush’s nominations as they could. When Republicans considered ways to do something about that, Democrats threw a hissy fit about the “tradition of the Senate.” In 2005, then-Sen. Barack Obama argued, “The talk of the ‘nuclear option’ is more about power than about fairness.” Then-Sen. Joe Biden declared, “The nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power.” Harry Reid warned that changing the rules was “un-American” and “illegal,” and in 2008 promised never to bring it up for a vote.

This week, however, Reid finally pulled the trigger and changed the rules. Obama also changed his tune: “[T]oday’s pattern of obstruction, it just isn’t normal. It’s not what our founders envisioned. A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election, is not normal. … So I support the step a majority of senators today took to change the way that Washington is doing business.”

For Obama to invoke “what our Founders envisioned” is laughable. Actually, our Founders set forth clear protections to keep majority rule in line with our Constitution – protections which were clearly explained in Federalist Papers No. 64-66.

Meanwhile, file this hypocritical episode with Obama’s other lying, cheating and stealing. We now know that ahead of the 2012 election, in order to ensure his re-election, Obama repeatedly lied about ObamaCare, lied about Benghazi so as not to detract from his “al-Qaida conquerer image,” his administration surrogates used the IRS to disable political opponents, and manipulated critical jobs numbers so as not to undermine the facade that his economic policies were succeeding. If the leftist agenda is so great, why the dishonest tactics?