Imagine if Mitch McConnell Didn’t Have the Filibuster in 2009?
So-done and done. The GOP has done it.
“Senate Republicans invoked the “nuclear option” to gut the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees Thursday, a historic move that paves the way for Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and ensures that future high court nominees can advance in the Senate without clearing a 60-vote threshold.”
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to change the Senate rules after Democrats blocked Gorsuch’s nomination minutes before, 55-45. All 52 Republicans then supported the vote to go nuclear, and Gorsuch subsequently advanced to a final confirmation vote with a simple majority.”
“Our Democratic colleagues have done something today that is unprecedented in the history of the Senate. Unfortunately it has brought us to this point,” McConnell said. “We need to restore the norms and traditions of the Senate to get past this partisan filibuster.”
That is rich coming from McConnell of all people. No one did more to destroy the norms of the Senate in favor of naked partisanship than Mitch McConnell. He broke a major norm in refusing to even hold a hearing for Merrick Garland last year.
Even Harry Reid’s nuclear strike against filibusters for federal judges and executive appointments other than the SJC, was in response to an unprecedented level of GOP filibusters over 5 years.
Anyway, you now here a lot of talk that it’s just a matter of time till the legislative filibuster is also nuked:
“THE BIG IDEA: The Senate is careening down a slippery slope.”
“Republicans voted Thursday to change the rules of the chamber to allow for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court with a simple majority. They believe Harry Reid deserves the blame for their decision to “go nuclear” because he lowered the threshold for non-Supreme Court nominees in 2013.”
“Right now, however, the majority and minority leaders agree that 60 votes should still be required to break a legislative filibuster, for bills related to issues like health care and tax reform:
“But both parties are becoming more and more beholden to their respective bases of support. And as soon as McConnell loosens the rules for judicial nominees, he is certain to face intensifying pressure from conservative activists and Donald Trump’s White House to do it again for legislation. He may be able to resist, but historians, political scientists and several senators on both sides think that today’s move makes that leap eventually inevitable.”
Susan Collins is very concerned about this prospect and is already working on a draft to preserve the legislative filibuster.
As a Republican, this is with good reason. Yglesias:
The fascinating story, imo, is that Republicans *don’t* want to ditch the legislative filibuster.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 6, 2017
Orrin Hatch just told me that if they nuked it and Dems won, we’d become a socialist country and never come back. https://t.co/kjK04YTB5o
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) April 6, 2017
Greg Sargent pointed out that in the long term, it’s the GOP not the Dems who have the most to lose by ending the filibuster.
“One might think that, because Republicans are currently in the majority, Democrats have more to fear from such an outcome. In fact, there are reasons to suspect Republicans may have more to fear from it than Democrats do.”
“The story of the moment is that Republicans are struggling to create consensus among themselves to pass their agenda. After spending seven years vowing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have failed to agree on a measure for doing that even in the House, which of course requires only a simple majority for passing things.”
That’s the key. It’s not like the Dems killed Tryancare. It wasn’t even able to make it to the floor of the House-let alone the Senate. And parsing Paul Ryan’s happy talk this morning, tax reform won’t be any easy lift either.
So killing the legislative filibuster won’t fix what ails the GOP anyway. But once the Dems have a Senate and the WH again, they’ll actually be able to get some things done. Imagine Obama and the Dems in 2009 without the filibuster.
Then there would have been nothing Mitch McConnell and the GOP could have done to slowed Obama down.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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