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The "Other" Nuclear Option

The nonsense from the Democrats over the judicial nominations continues. This morning, Senator Robert Byrd displays a phenomenal lack of either sanity or honestly in a Washington Post editoral.

Political science professor Steven Taylor is none too impressed with Byrd's understanding of high school civics. He highlights the many times Byrd either lies about the Senate or just gets his facts wrong.

I submit Byrd knows quite well how the Senate works. Goodness knows he's been there long enough. He is simply taking a page out of the modern day Democrat playbook. "Lie to the American people if that advances your agenda." He is counting on the fact that most people will have no clue he is misrepresenting reality and they will be motivated by his passionate cries for freedom of speech. And it will work on many. (see also "But that is what we did on the left- we marched and chanted")

The solution to this is clear. If the Democrats really claim that those 'Rascally Republicans' are not letting them debate the nominees, then by all means let's have a debate. The correct "nuclear option" here is not to change the rules... The correct option is to force the Democrat to follow them. If the Democrats want to filibuster... Make them.

Make the Democrats take to the floor and explain to the American people, at length, why they are standing in the way of getting the people's work done so they can deny the President his right to appoint people to the court. Let them take to the floor and prove to the American people that their mission is of such urgency to the American people that it is worth shutting down congress for. If the Democrats want to filibuster... Make them.

Don't let them just "call a filibuster" like it is some sort of veto power... Make them actually filibuster. Make Robert Byrd take to the floor like he did when he and other Democrats tried to deny black people their civil rights and talk for 14 hours. Make the Democrats prove how obstructionist they are.

Changing the Senate rules automatically puts Republicans on defense, making the Democrats filibuster puts them on defense... And it's real hard to win on defense.


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Comments (7)

Careful Paul...Sen. KKK mig... (Below threshold)

Careful Paul...Sen. KKK might actually DROP if he actually had to filibuster this time as per what you suggest!

Yeah, Macker -- and that wo... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Macker -- and that would be such a tragedy.

West Virginia's Klansmen might have to burn their crosses at half-staff for the next 30 days.

Byrd lies?! That is about t... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Byrd lies?! That is about the millionth time Ive heard that in the last 40 years. A real revelation there!

RE: Rod Stanton's post (Mar... (Below threshold)

RE: Rod Stanton's post (March 6, 2005 06:12 PM)
Byrd lies?! That is about the millionth time Ive heard that in the last 40 years. A real revelation there!

Kinda sad that the good people of West Virginia continue to regard this man as their top representative and return him to the elevated position year after year. I guess he is representing their interests and/or beliefs rather well.

But I'm all for demanding real filibusters rather than the wussified "filibuster" of today where one takes breaks or goes home for the evening and returns the next day only to allow its extension ad infinitum. What a joke. Our forefathers must be laughing at our "passion".

Frist needs to play harder ball. If this is the way he wants filibusters to continue, it signifies to me that he'll never change floor rules to majority over super majority. The Democrats know this too which is why they feel no need to accommodate Republican judicial appointees. The filibuster is a canary in the political mineshaft, and until Frist enforces a true filibuster, this "nuclear option" crapola remains empty and pointless rhetoric. Maybe that's what Republicans really want... the perpetual beating of the "Dems won't allow us to appoint judges" drum. I question such a tactic if it is the one being employed.

Four words, Paul. I. Coul... (Below threshold)

Four words, Paul. I. Couldn't. Agree. More.

Paul. I would whoelheartedl... (Below threshold)

Paul. I would whoelheartedly agree with your strategy -- however, the current Rule does not require any Senator to take the floor to speak at all. All that is required is that 41 Senators notify the Senate leadership that they "intend to filibuster." Thereafter, until notified otherwise, no vote on the issue identified in the notice may take place, although other Senate business may go forward. The 41 can hide in their offices and plot their next bomb toss.

While I share the prevailing sentiment born of current circumstances, when it comes to the institutional rules one must always be mindful of the old saying, "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander." Bear in mind that some day (eventually, hopefully not in my lifetime), the Democrats will regain control of either the White House or the Senate, and the rules we ardently support now will be used against us.

Both the Democrats and Republican realized this back in 1975, when the original 67 vote cloture requirement was reduced to 60. At that time, the change was done as a compromise that has lasted for a generation.

Now that I've injected some historical perspective, I say "screw it, let's step on their necks!"

What the hell? If you had a... (Below threshold)

What the hell? If you had any idea what you were talking about you would know that its was that piece of crap from SC Strom Thurmond that fillibustered the Senate for 14 hours, a Republican. And another thing, you have no right to bad mouth a man who is standing up for all minorty parties rights to say no, including the Republican parties. Just like your side to be so short sighted.






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