ChrisWeigant.com

Launch The "Nuke," Harry!

[ Posted Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 – 17:51 PST ]

There's an old adage in politics that the way to win political struggles is to "bring a gun to a knife fight." If this imagery isn't violent enough for you, the subject on the table now is whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering what is called the "nuclear option." If bringing a gun wins a knife fight, then I guess dropping a "nuke" would pretty much obliterate the opposition. Which is why the term "nuclear option" was coined in the first place -- to show what a radical move it would be.

Specifically, "going nuclear" means a vote in the Senate to change the rules by which the chamber operates under. This doesn't seem all that controversial at first, but the reason it is seen as such a drastic measure is that the vote would be a straight majority vote -- 51 votes would win (or even 50, with Joe Biden casting a tie-breaker). Traditionally, the Senate has only changed its rules by supermajority votes, or on the first day of their session (which won't happen again until January of 2015).

So far, it hasn't happened. Instead, what might be called "nuclear deterrence" has worked. Merely threatening to "go nuclear" has been sufficient to make the opposition party back down, usually after some "Gang Of (insert number)" group hashes out a détente of sorts. This time, however, this doesn't appear to be a viable route.

At the heart of the fight, of course, is the filibuster. In particular, filibustering judicial nominees. Now, both parties have filibustered judicial nominees in the past, but since Republicans became the minority in the Senate the use of filibusters in general has exploded. They've been filibustering just about everything they can, until it's gotten to the point that news organizations often now lazily (and incorrectly) state that "it takes 60 votes to pass a bill in the Senate." Bills aside, though, the current fight is over judicial nominations -- three of which just got filibustered in the past few weeks.

The Republicans seem to have come up with a rather novel idea of how American government is supposed to operate. They say they're just "preserving the balance of power" which exists on the circuit court in question. Adding judges a Democrat nominates would change this balance of power, so Republicans are just going to stop anyone who gets nominated -- no matter how qualified. This is ridiculous, at least to anyone who has actually read the Constitution (as opposed to just sanctimoniously carrying a copy around in their pocket). Are all courts supposed to just stay "in balance" forever? No, they are not. The president gets to appoint judges as seats become available, as the Constitution clearly states.

Putting aside the wonky details of the core fight, though, a quick examination of the possible political outcomes shows that Harry Reid really doesn't have much to lose by going nuclear -- by changing the Senate rules so that filibusters aren't even allowed on judicial nominees below the level of the Supreme Court. In the past, the mere threat of going nuclear would be countered with the threat "if your party does so, then our party will bring this chamber to a halt and not agree to anything you guys propose." The problem for the Republicans now, though, is that it's not much of a threat because we're already at that point. Nothing moves forward now without 60 votes, so how is the threat "we'll filibuster everything" going to change the status quo at all?

That's in the short term. But even when you look at the medium-to-long term, there aren't many downsides to Harry dropping that "nuke." Considering the 2014 and the 2016 elections, there are only a few possible outcomes, politically. One by one:

 

Democrats keep the Senate

If Democrats keep the Senate by losing fewer than six seats in 2014, then President Obama will have three years of seeing his nominees easily confirmed. Republicans will go ballistic (to keep with our "nuclear" theme), and hold several temper tantrums and try to block everything they can. Which is, pretty much, exactly where we are now anyway, so nothing much will change (other than the added amusement of watching the temper tantrums). If Democrats keep the Senate in 2016, no matter who is elected president, then they'll still have the power to either confirm or block nominees -- as the Constitution intended.

 

GOP wins Senate

Say Harry Reid invokes the nuclear option by the end of the week (a real possibility, from the news reports). Democrats will have until January of 2015 before any change in the Washington balance of power is possible. Obama can start naming judges to the federal bench at a rapid pace, and they will all be confirmed in a timely fashion. This is only his due, after all -- any president who serves two terms gets to leave his stamp on the makeup of the federal judiciary. If the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the midterms, then assumably no more Obama nominees will move forward (or, at the least, only the most conservative ones will manage to get confirmed). However, the Republicans won't have to change any rules to do this -- they'll have the majority to work with instead of the limited tool of the filibuster. They'll have the votes to block nominees, so they won't need the filibuster. Minority Democrats won't be able to use the filibuster to confirm anybody, since it can only be used to block nominees. But it really won't matter what happens in 2013 and 2014, because this is the guaranteed result if Republicans take the Senate starting in 2015 anyway. So Harry Reid has little to lose in this scenario by breaking the logjam now, and giving Obama at least one year of easy confirmations. The only possible fallout could occur in 2016, if the Republicans keep the Senate and elect a president. Which brings us to...

 

GOP wins Senate and White House

This is the only scenario where "going nuclear" would involve some blowback to Democrats. If a Republican president had a Republican Senate to work with, then Democrats would have removed their own ability to filibuster judicial nominees. But you know what? I would bet good money that in this situation the Republicans would change the rules anyway. There would be nothing to stop them from doing so, and they have already shown that they are willing to go for the throat with any and all parliamentary maneuvers they can muster. The evidence of this is quite easy to see, because it is precisely what has brought us to this point in the first place. Their unprecedented use of the filibuster -- invoking it many times more than Democrats ever have -- has shown that they are unconcerned with how things are "traditionally" supposed to work. Every time they've reached an agreement to allow a few nominees forward (during the previous times Harry Reid has threatened the "nuclear" option), they have -- after a short window of allowing votes -- gone right back to filibustering everything and everyone once again. The question to ask is whether anyone thinks that -- should Republicans take power -- they'll allow Democrats to do what they are now doing. Once the shoe is on the other foot, does anyone really believe that they'll let Democrats get away with the kind of obstructionism they've been practicing of late? I don't, personally. To put this slightly differently: the down side of Harry going "nuclear" now would happen in any case.

 

What all of these options show, one way or another, is that Harry Reid really doesn't have much of anything to lose by changing the Senate's rules now. The two Republican threats against it aren't credible. The first is that Republicans will filibuster everything in sight, in retaliation. But that is already happening. It'd be hard to tell the difference, really. The second threat is just as empty as well, because once Democrats hold only a minority in the Senate and a Republican president takes the White House, the Republicans are bound to change the rules anyway. Democrats won't be able to filibuster Republican judicial nominees, because Republicans are all but guaranteed not to allow the same sorts of shenanigans they've been deploying against Democrats to be used against themselves. So the two threats, reduced to their essence, are: something that is already happening, and something that will happen no matter what Harry Reid does now. Which redefines both outcomes not as threats but as inevitability.

Harry Reid really has nothing to lose by changing the filibuster rules. He does have something big to gain, though: a minimum of one year of confirming judicial nominees as the Constitution intended (the filibuster is not in the Constitution, remember). If Democrats keep the Senate, then Reid will gain three years -- the rest of Obama's second term -- of the Senate operating as designed. For as long as the Senate and the White House stays in Democratic hands, judges will be confirmed in a timely manner. Once Republicans take one or the other, Democrats will pay the price they would have paid anyway, so no real loss there.

To stay with our extended "nuclear" metaphor (and metaphor it is, which is why I insist on the quote marks around "nuclear" here), Harry Reid is in the position of launching a pre-emptive strike. If Republicans take the Senate, they will not hesitate to change the rules in their favor, meaning Harry has nothing to lose and everything to gain by deploying such a first strike.

Launch the "nuke," Harry. There's really no reason left not to launch it, at this point.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

48 Comments on “Launch The "Nuke," Harry!”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Awesome analysis CW - I can't find fault with any of it.

    Does launching a rules nuke require simultaneously turning 2 keys? One for Harry, and one for Joe Biden?

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    If bringing a gun wins a knife fight, then I guess dropping a "nuke" would pretty much obliterate the opposition.

    However, in this case, the nuclear option would be considered more of a Doomsday Device.

    Or, if one wants to be more subtle, a double-edged sword...

    . If the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the midterms,

    Which, considering the circumstances of the here and now, is an all but assured possibility..

    - invoking it many times more than Democrats ever have --

    Again, I an constrained to point out that this was not due to any patriotic fervor or the desire to do the right thing.

    It was solely and completely due to the fact that Democrats could never keep their Party members in line sufficiently in line to make it work..

    In other words, if the Democratic Party was more competent as a Minority Party they would have done it as much, if not more, than the Republicans have done it..

    Spot on analysis, as TS says.. :D

    However.....

    Considering how bad things are going for the Democrats and considering how much MUCH worse it's going to get before it gets any better...

    Ya'all gotta ask yerselves one question...

    Do ya feel lucky??

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Republicans take the Senate, they will not hesitate to change the rules in their favor,

    You say that as if it's a bad thing. A dirty trick. An underhanded move..

    But isn't that exactly what is being advocated here??

    That Democrats should change the rules to favor themselves and themselves alone??

    I'm just sayin'.....

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It was solely and completely due to the fact that Democrats could never keep their Party members in line sufficiently in line to make it work..

    In other words, if the Democratic Party was more competent as a Minority Party they would have done it as much, if not more, than the Republicans have done it..

    it's a bit more complicated than that. it's interesting that the republicans have essentially been fractured into two factions, because to some extent democrats have ALWAYS been fractured into internal factions. that's one of the reasons why they're generally not as united on procedural matters. if you're interested in reading the reasons behind it, okcupid explains the phenomenon much better than i could:

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-democrats-are-doomed-or-how-a-big-tent-can-be-too-big/

  5. [5] 
    michty6 wrote:
  6. [6] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Totally off topic, but I had to share this post. It's a blog I follow by a Doctor who actually cares about treating people (rather than making money - pretty shocking) talking about the recent issues with Obamacare: http://www.drsforamerica.org/blog/i-will-direct-my-apologies-elsewhere

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have always said that the Democratic Party's biggest strength is also it's biggest weakness.

    It's diversity..

    "Politics is war by other means"
    -Von Clausewitz

    You can't run a war by committee. That's what destroyed the Occupy movement..

    All chiefs and no indians...

    That's a lesson that the Democratic Party has only recently learned..

    I'll leave it to ya'all to decide whether it's best or not...

    I am also constrained to point out that the "fracture" within the GOP is much more overblown, much more wishful thinking on the part of the Left than it is in reality..

    The GOP might fight within the family.. But when push comes to shove, they all know who the real enemy is...

    As is evidenced by the united front we are seeing in the here and now..

    Great comment, NYP... Nice to see life still exists... :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    The GOP might fight within the family.. But when push comes to shove, they all know who the real enemy is...

    This is ALSO why I have no love for the Republican Party.. They think that political opponents are enemies to be destroyed..

    The Democrats are ALSO coming around to this way of thinking, vis a vis the Republicans..

    Once again, I'll leave it to ya'all to pass judgement as to the wisdom of this.

    I am sure my opinions on the matter are obvious.. :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michale notes the historically more fractured nature of the Democrats, which might explain why they don't filibuster as much as the Republicans...but what explains the exponential increase in use of the device by Republicans?

    I would argue that it all boils down to state level politics (especially primaries and caucii) and demographic shifts, which favor Republican crusades which accomplish nothing except causing nothing to get accomplished in Washington. Red Party of No vs Blue Party of Nothing Much.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale notes the historically more fractured nature of the Democrats, which might explain why they don't filibuster as much as the Republicans...but what explains the exponential increase in use of the device by Republicans?

    Simple...

    Because they can..

    The rules allow it and they have the cohesion and the discipline to make it work..

    Red Party of No vs Blue Party of Nothing Much.

    Now THAT was funny!! :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Simple...

    Because they can..

    The rules allow it and they have the cohesion and the discipline to make it work..

    To clarify..

    They do it because it furthers their agenda...

    They are successful at it because they have the cohesion and the discipline that, up until recently, Democrats lacked..

    I think that, once Democrats are relegated to the Minority Party, you are going to see a LOT of successful filibustering from the Democrats. Likely more than the Republicans ever did..

    They have learned the GOP lessons well...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Paula wrote:

    Go Harry, go!!

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:
  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am guessing that Democrats felt that they needed a win, ANY kind of win, to offset the doomsday destruction that Dems are feeling due to the catastrophic train wreck that is obamacare...

    I have a feeling that this is going to be a Phyrric Victory that Democrats will come to regret in the aftermath of the uber shellacking that they are about to receive in less than a years time...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have a feeling that we're going to see a resurgence of activity here in Weigantia..

    Thereby proving the first part of #14 beyond any doubt.. :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "I have a feeling that this is going to be a Phyrric Victory that Democrats will come to regret in the aftermath of the uber shellacking that they are about to receive in less than a years time..."

    Ehh, I'm still in the none of this will matter in a year's time, a year is long time in political terms. Remember though I said the same thing when everyone was crowing over the shutdown debacle, and how suddenly the Democrats had already won the 2014 elections. I stand by my prediction that very few seats will change hands.

    But as far as filibuster reform goes, I'd just like to quote my dad, "You abuse it, you lose it," do I think it's a good idea? Maybe, maybe not, it'll play out in the long term. In the short? We'll have some more judges and bureaucrats in necessary posts, hardly the end of democracy as we know it.

    It should be noted that most other democratic governments are far more majoritarian than ours is. Even with the most current rules changes. They function just fine, everyone is so worried about what the other side is going to do when they get this power. I think we'll see government operated more in accordance with the majority of voters. Cause that is what it takes to get it in the first place.

  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Looks like Harry has some spine, eh?

    :-)

    Michale -

    No, this truly is unprecedented abuse. Here's a handy chart.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cloture_Voting,_United_States_Senate,_1947_to_2008.svg

    In the 1970s, the numbers go up because that's when the abolished the "talking filibuster." They made it easier, it got used more. But it's that last spike at the end when the Republicans took control. And it dwarfs anything which came before, even you will have to admit.

    -CW

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ehh, I'm still in the none of this will matter in a year's time, a year is long time in political terms. Remember though I said the same thing when everyone was crowing over the shutdown debacle, and how suddenly the Democrats had already won the 2014 elections. I stand by my prediction that very few seats will change hands.

    Fair enough...

    While I would agree with you that a years time is an eternity in the political arena where time is measured in the next sound bite, I also submit to you that there hasn't been in recent memory such a clusterf*ck that had had so much time and political capital invested...

    obamacare isn't some piddley bill that meant something to a small handful of Americans..

    It was a complete makeover of one sixth of the economy that, literally, has touched EVERY American in some way or another, most of them in a very bad way...

    I think that we'll be seeing ramifications of this train wreck all the way to the 2016 POTUS elections and beyond..

    It should be noted that most other democratic governments are far more majoritarian than ours is. Even with the most current rules changes. They function just fine, everyone is so worried about what the other side is going to do when they get this power.

    I, with respect, disagree...

    Most other Democracies are one step removed from Anarchy...

    Take the Israeli system of government? How many Political "Partys" are there? Dozens?? Hundreds??

    The Brits have a "Shadow Government"....

    The US is unique in that ONE single Party can yield so much power and have a profound (or traumatic) impact on the lives of it's citizens...

    I think we'll see government operated more in accordance with the majority of voters.

    And what happens when that majority wants to go Right?? As we are seeing happening right now??

    THAT is exactly the problem with changing the long standing rules to fit the conditions of the here and now.

    Conditions change.. What seems like a good idea to Democrats in the here and now will likely have them self-flagellating themselves til the cows come in in a little over a year...

    bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay'
    -Old Klingon Proverb

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, this truly is unprecedented abuse. Here's a handy chart.

    Yes it is..

    Until the next time there is more...

    And so it goes....

    As I said, the only reason Democrats haven't matched the GOP in their filibusters is that Democrats were never CAPABLE of doing it at the level of competence that the GOP exhibits..

    Tell ya what..

    Let's revisit the issue in 2015 after Democrats have had a year as the Minority Party and see how the GOP's "unprecedented" filibustering has stood up, eh?? :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like Harry has some spine, eh?

    Yea, who woulda thunked it, eh?? :D

    Can we assume that tomorrow's MIDOTW awardee is a forgone conclusion?? :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "The US is unique in that ONE single Party can yield so much power and have a profound (or traumatic) impact on the lives of it's citizens..."

    Wrong, but I doubt you actually know much about comparative politics, or how parliamentary systems work. For instance, in Britain the Prime Minister is not elected by the people, he's selected by the majority party in parliament. Generally it's well known who is going to be picked, but the point stands that no one in Britain other than an MP can vote for the prime minister. To make an analogy, imagine if the house of representatives selected the president as a matter of course, rather than as some extreme measure. How's that for powerful parties?

  22. [22] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Oh and the Israeli Knesset has twelve parties with parliamentary seats. It's actually not anarchy, it just forces compromise and coalitions, the horror!

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh and the Israeli Knesset has twelve parties with parliamentary seats. It's actually not anarchy, it just forces compromise and coalitions, the horror!

    And neither Israel nor Britain are superpowers..

    Mebbe there is a reason for that.. :D

    Further, the idea that a Party in Israel can call an election any time is totally weird..

    Imagine that here?? I can't.... :D

    "But hey... At least we're talking.."
    -Sam Winchester, SUPERNATURAL, The French Mistake

    :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "And neither Israel nor Britain are superpowers.."

    Yes there are reasons for that, but you are so off topic at this point I won't even try to bring you back. Needless to say, Israel's and Britain's current super power status has nothing to do with them having parliamentary systems.

    However, Majoritarian systems do function better when dealing with highly polarized political parties, something to consider.

  25. [25] 
    Paula wrote:

    Harry needed to do this a long time ago but he finally did.

    Yes, there's every chance that if repubs were to win the Senate they'll benefit but, given their recent history, I don't doubt for one second that if the repubs retook the Senate they'd exercise this option immediately.

    So what we have now is a year where Dems can get things done and, depending on the midterms, maybe 3 years where Dems can get things done. Which is far, far better than them being stymied constantly for the next year/3 years. I think Dems stand a better chance of hanging on to the Senate by standing up to repub bullying than by continuing to allow them to bully with no pushback.

    Maybe the Dems have finally, truly internalized the fact that the repubs care about nothing but their own power, period. They can't be reasoned with and can't be compromised with. They have to be crushed, period.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think Dems stand a better chance of hanging on to the Senate by standing up to repub bullying than by continuing to allow them to bully with no pushback.

    Which is EXACTLY why Reid did what he did at this time.

    Dems need a rallying win after the huge drip-drip-drip black eye they are getting over obamacare...

    But this won't save the mid-terms for the Democrats. On that you can bet...

    that the repubs care about nothing but their own power, period. They can't be reasoned with and can't be compromised with. They have to be crushed, period.

    ...that the Democrats care about nothing but their own power, period. They can't be reasoned with and can't be compromised with. They have to be crushed, period.

    Yep, it works..

    Especially since it was the DEMOCRATS who increased THEIR power at the EXPENSE of the Republicans..

    Let's face it. You don't mind that a Party cares only about Power as long it's YOUR Party..

    If the GOP had tried this under Bush, ya'all would have been apoplectic, no??

    Of course ya'all would have...

    So let's be honest here....

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    "The ends justifies the means"

    That's what this is all about....

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/21/1257334/-McConnell-For-going-nuclear-before-he-was-against-nbsp-it

    The GOP has been making me apopletic for years now. This is just one more way that they've been using their power to make America a poorer and more miserable place for everyone except the 1%.

    Dems "increased their power at the expense of repubs" is a misreading. They're simply returning to the way things are supposed to work. The majority beats the minority. The minority doesn't get to stop the government from working at all; they don't get to be in charge when they've lost. Every election offers the opportunity for the balance of power to shift.

    I wouldn't be so quick to bet on Dems losing in 2014 either.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's actually ironic..

    It's the Democrats that usher in the Era Of 1984 and it's the Democrats who first use nukes...

    The irony is flowing, that's for sure.. :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    This was a DEMOCRAT power grab..

    And the opposition to this blatant power grab was BI-PARTISAN....

    Puts it ALL in context..

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dems "increased their power at the expense of repubs" is a misreading. They're simply returning to the way things are supposed to work.

    Oh come on, Paula!!

    It hasn't "worked" like that in over 220 YEARS!!!

    "How it's spose to work" my left arse cheek!! :D

    The majority beats the minority.

    The Tyranny Of The Majority

    Democrats whined about it constantly when they were in the minority..

    I wouldn't be so quick to bet on Dems losing in 2014 either.

    I know you wouldn't.. That's because you think obamacare is actually going to survive despite all the facts to the contrary.. The simple fact that NO DEMOCRAT calls it 'obamacare' anymore should be a clue for you. :D

    Thass OK... It's just going to make Wed, 5 Nov 2014 all the more sweeter.. :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    The GOP has been making me apopletic for years now. This is just one more way that they've been using their power to make America a poorer and more miserable place for everyone except the 1%.

    And the DEMOCRATS are doing any better??

    The middle class is shrinking at an astronomical rate under Democrats.. The 1% are getting richer.. UNDER DEMOCRATS...

    I see your anger at the GOP and I largely agree with it..

    What I don't get is why absolutely NO ANGER is directed at the Democrats???

    Hell, the NSA crap alone SHOULD have made you tear up your PARTY Card... Assassinating Americans w/o Due Process should cause you to denounce Democrats to the high heavens..

    And yet, here you are...

    Me??

    I place loyalty to my country way WAY before any loyalty to ANY corrupt and power-hungry Political Party...

    But I guess that's just me...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale:

    "What I don't get is why absolutely NO ANGER is directed at the Democrats???"

    I have many times adding caveats to my posts about my unhappiness with a number of Dem failures but you never seem to remember that. So have other commenters here. I said today that Harry should have done this a long time ago.

    No one here expresses unqualified doesn't-matter-what-they-do support for the Dems. But we able to make distinctions between their failures and those of the repubs and judge the repubs to be worse, far more destructive, far more dishonest, etc.

    Dems are the best of 2 evils. The ARE doing better. The repubs are purely about "being against" and offer nothing constructive.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    The repubs are purely about "being against" and offer nothing constructive.

    You seem to forget the Bush years when it was the Democrats who were all about obstructionism and offered nothing constructive..

    And yes, ya'all have complained about the Democrats.

    But you never DID anything about it.

    Ya'all STILL supported them to the hilt..

    As I said. Party before Country is what ya'all are all about...

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale:

    One of the things that disgusted me about the Dems during the Bush years was how effing accommodating they were to Bush. They let him lie us into the war. They let him put a couple of right wing reactionaries into the Supreme Court. They didn't fight back over and over and over. Many of us were quite unhappy with Obama after his election specifically because he didn't smack the hell out of repubs still standing when he got into office. He didn't grasp that they would continue to take a mile when given an inch until they were forcibly restrained. It took him AND Harry AND a majority of other Dems until TODAY to do the kind of thing they should have done the second Obama entered the White House.

    The Dems didn't offer anywhere near the kind of obstruction the pubs have been doing since they lost and any claim to the contrary is bullshit. It's just repub talking points completely contrary to actual history.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    They let him lie us into the war.

    Why is it that you have such a huge problem with Bush's "lies" (which werent' really lies at all) but yet, you give Obama a golden pass on his blatant and ongoing text-book definition lies???

    The Dems didn't offer anywhere near the kind of obstruction the pubs have been doing since they lost and any claim to the contrary is bullshit.

    You miss the entire point..

    Democrats didn't offer such obstruction, NOT out of any desire to be "proper" but rather because THEY WERE INCOMPETENT at it...

    That's the difference that makes ALL the difference..

    The simple fact is the ONLY time you have a beef with Democrats is when they aren't hard enough on the Republicans. As you so eloquently point out in your latest comment.

    You don't have a problem with what Democrats DO, policy wise..

    Whether it be gross and ongoing flagrant violations of Americans privacy or whether it is gross and flagrant violations of civil rights and due process..

    You don't say A WORD against any of that..

    No, YOUR only beef is that they don't stick it to the Republicans good enough..

    THAT is symptomatic of a person who puts Party before Country..

    And if that's what you are all about, fine.. It makes all kinds of people to make the world go round..

    But just have the courtesy to admit it.. Don't blow smoke up my ass and pretend that you and the Democrats are all about some noble ideal...

    Your a Democrat first and an American second..

    Stand proud!! :D

    Once again, I have to point to the wisdom of Sam Winchester...

    "But hey... At least we're talking.."
    -Sam Winchester, SUPERNATURAL, The French Mistake

    I knew that, once the Democrats did something that ya'all could rally around, it would bring ya'all out of the woodwork.. :D

    Let's hope that ya'all can be happy thru the end of the year, eh? :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale: I don't think it's possible to say enough bad things about Dems to satisfy you and I think that's because your only argument in life is that "Dems are as bad as pubs".

    "That's the difference that makes ALL the difference.." More Bullshit. Dems didn't obstruct at the for a number of reason -- some because they agreed with pubs and some because they thought things like "Since Bush was the President, he should be allowed to select who he wanted for cabinet positions," etc. and some because they were afraid or thought they'd lose elections. I followed all this quite closely at the time. None of them were about "obstruction for the sake of obstruction" whereas McConnell said, publicly, that the pubs were going to obstruct Obama from Day One. No attempts to actually solve anything that doesn't involve kicking more money to rich people, just obstruction because the other party won.

    I notice you didn't mention the video I linked to of McConnell's 2005 attempt to end the filibuster. Instead you do one of your puffed up sanctimonious pronouncements about being "An American First!"

    Which means what, exactly? Besides you asserting that you offer your criticisms fairly while everyone else is partisan, which is utter rot on your part, other than that, what does it mean?

  38. [38] 
    akadjian wrote:

    but what explains the exponential increase in use of the device by Republicans?

    Their completed purchase and/or successful defeat of the media?

    Everything they do these days is basically a test of how much corporate media can cover for them. And so far it's been pretty successful. Most people have no idea how obstructionist they've been.

    -David

  39. [39] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "Why is it that you have such a huge problem with Bush's "lies" (which werent' really lies at all)"

    So you found the weapons of mass destruction? You really shouldn't keep that stuff in your basement Michale. And mind you, while Obama is certainly complicit in the NSA scandal, it all started under... Bush!

  40. [40] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "The middle class is shrinking at an astronomical rate under Democrats.. The 1% are getting richer.. UNDER DEMOCRATS..."

    True, but all of that is the direct result of the 2008 crash. That debacle is all Republican. Also, Republicans have insisted that the great lesson of the Great Depression, Keynesian economics, somehow doesn't apply anymore. Wanna know why things are getting worse? Cause cuts and austerity measures make things worse. Which are... Republican Positions!

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale: I don't think it's possible to say enough bad things about Dems to satisfy you and I think that's because your only argument in life is that "Dems are as bad as pubs".

    Well, aside from the fact that it IS a factual argument, it's not my ONLY argument in life.

    I also say obamacare is a train wreck..

    Dems didn't obstruct at the for a number of reason -- some because they agreed with pubs and some because they thought things like "Since Bush was the President, he should be allowed to select who he wanted for cabinet positions," etc. and some because they were afraid or thought they'd lose elections.

    That's your OPINION completely unsupported by facts...

    I notice you didn't mention the video I linked to of McConnell's 2005 attempt to end the filibuster. Instead you do one of your puffed up sanctimonious pronouncements about being "An American First!"

    When you start visiting and commenting on my FNC links, I'll start visiting and commenting on your DailyKos links..

    Deal?? :D

    Which means what, exactly? Besides you asserting that you offer your criticisms fairly while everyone else is partisan, which is utter rot on your part, other than that, what does it mean?

    See above.. :D

    David,

    The Prodigal Son Returns!!! :D

    Everything they do these days is basically a test of how much corporate media can cover for them.

    Come on.. There is scant evidence that the MSM lays down cover for Republicans.

    There is MOUNTAINS and MOUNTAINS of factual evidence that PROVES the MSM is in Obama's pocket. Or up his ass.. Take your pick...

    YoYo,

    So you found the weapons of mass destruction?

    Being wrong does not a lie make, Yo...

    If Bush "lied" then practically EVERY Democrat in Congress ALSO lied, because they all said the same thing..

    And mind you, while Obama is certainly complicit in the NSA scandal, it all started under... Bush!

    I don't have a problem with the NSA activities. I fully and unequivocally SUPPORT the NSA activities.

    But you PROVE my point PERFECTLY!!

    Ya'all had a BIG problem, a HUGE problem with the NSA activities under Bush...

    But you support the NSA program under Obama...

    That's hypocrisy.. In it's purest form...

    True, but all of that is the direct result of the 2008 crash.

    Ahhhh

    So it's STILL all Bush's fault..

    Obama's actions are completely blameless...

    Cause cuts and austerity measures make things worse.

    No. Moronic incompetence on behalf of the Democrats and your god Obama is making things worse...

    The train wreck that is obamacare is but one example...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    No. Moronic incompetence on behalf of the Democrats and your god Obama is making things worse...

    There is a reason Obama's and Democrat's approval numbers are heading into the toilet, don'tcha know.. :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Legal expert says Senate Dems' nuclear option could lead to 'mass destruction'
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/21/legal-expert-says-senate-dems-nuclear-option-could-lead-to-mass-destruction/?intcmp=latestnews

    The guy has a point...

    Do you know why the MAD doctrine was such an effective doctrine??

    Because the cost of tossing around nukes was too high...

    The same surely applies to the metaphorical use of nukes in Congress..

    The half life of the total destruction lasts tens of thousands of years...

    Metaphorically speaking..

    You can bet on one thing..

    Democrats will come to regret this move. I can guarantee you that...

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    And mind you, while Obama is certainly complicit in the NSA scandal

    First of all, let's be accurate. It's not a "NSA Scandal"...

    It's an "Obama Scandal"...

    Second, Obama is far FAR from just "complicit"..

    Obama has expanded the NSA program to such heights as to be a Cheney wet dream...

    And it's YOU people who are "complicit" in allowing him to do it...

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama has expanded the NSA program to such heights as to be a Cheney wet dream...

    Again, let me be clear..

    I don't condemn Obama for his NSA activities...

    It's likely the ONLY area that I fully, completely and unequivocally support Obama on..

    Obama has obviously recognized the wisdom of Bush when Bush created these CT policies and the value to the safety and security of this country that Bush's policies represent..

    I just wanted to make sure we were clear on this..

    It's not the policies I have a problem with.

    It's the fact that the Left (in general and Weigantians in particular) doesn't have any problem with the policies when, under Bush, the Left (in general and Weigantians in particular) were hysterically apoplectic about a MILDER form of these same policies...

    That's my beef...

    And don't bother trying to deny it because the facts are clear...

    "Crystal!"
    -Jack Nicholson, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Democrats will come to regret this move. I can guarantee you that...

    that may be so. since we're discussing bush's iraq policy, it is certainly a bush doctrine type action; do unto others before they get a chance to do unto you. of course the republicans will probably do the exact same thing a hundredfold; the next time they gain a majority they'll probably eliminate the filibuster completely, citing the present move as precedent.

    yesterday my landlady had chris hayes on her television really loud, and i overheard him say something like, "when it comes to the filibuster everyone is a hypocrite."

    JL

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    that may be so. since we're discussing bush's iraq policy, it is certainly a bush doctrine type action; do unto others before they get a chance to do unto you.

    Exactly.. Or The Ends Justifies The Means as I laid out before..

    of course the republicans will probably do the exact same thing a hundredfold; the next time they gain a majority they'll probably eliminate the filibuster completely, citing the present move as precedent.

    Again, dead on ballz accurate.. And while I will decry the move as excessive and uncalled for, there will be a little (or maybe a LOT) of I TOLD YA SO gloating. :D

    yesterday my landlady had chris hayes on her television really loud, and i overheard him say something like, "when it comes to the filibuster everyone is a hypocrite."

    I would say change "filibuster" to "politics" and I'de say yer landlady hit the bullseye...

    Check out the 2 NY TIMES quotes in the next commentary...

    Michale...

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    I would say change "filibuster" to "politics" and I'de say yer landlady hit the bullseye...

    Or, in this case, Chris Hayes.. :D

    Michale

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