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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nuclear Option

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nuclear Option

Republicans struck a deal to avoid Harry Reid going nuclear on the filibuster of Obama nominees.

So the filibuster remains in place for one of two things to happen:

(1) Democrats retain control of the Senate in 2014, and Republicans continue to confirm Obama nominees and legislative agenda out of fear of losing the filibuster; or

(2) Republicans win control of the Senate in 2014, and have trouble getting anything done because they preserved the filibuster for use by Democrats, and therefore would have a hard time going nuclear on nominees or other items.


Drew at AceOfSpadesHQ gets it right:

Personally, I don’t care if Reid pulls the trigger. In fact I kind of hope he does. The filibuster is not ordained by God nor is required by the Constitution. The republic shall endure without it.

And let’s face it, the Republicans aren’t going to have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate anytime soon. If you want to dismantle major programs, it’s going to be a lot easier to get 50 or 51 votes than 60 ever will be. Sure it will be easier for Democrats to make mischief and put them back in or worse. But honestly, a federal government that alternates between growth and repeal of programs is a lot better than one that grows and…grows.

Ted Cruz got it right, too:


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I think I shall re-register as independent. I am through with the stupid party.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to OldNuc. | July 17, 2013 at 1:17 am

    The reason that I don’t change my party registration is so that I can help primary RINO’s.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      The reason that I don’t change my party registration is so that I can help primary RINO’s.

      That would be a consideration except that at the last National Convention they changed the rules. Central Committees can now over-rule the primary winners if they are deemed unsuitable. Challengers to RINO’s are ALWAYS unsuitable to the Institutionals. In fact, we have seen that the Institutionals will support Democrats if a conservative challenger becomes the candidate. You can still volunteer for a challenger and give money the same as a party member if so moved, if you are not a registered Republican. But we are going to see fewer and fewer challengers, especially as the Institutionals become closer and closer to the Democrats.

      As far as the nuclear option, the main reason the Institutionals fear it is that if the filibuster is gone they will have no excuse NOT to give in to the Democrats if they accidentally get a Senate majority and those who then turncoat to the Democrats [I’m looking at you McCain, Graham, Rubio, and Collins among others.] will do so under a spotlight.

      Subotai Bahadur

A few years ago when I was still a Democrat we were certain that the filibuster was the only thing standing in the way of the tyranny of Bush and the GOP majority.

What goes around comes around.

I like Ted Cruz.

    Kenshu Ani in reply to JerryB. | July 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    The more I see of him the more I like him!

    I’ve been fooled before, so I really hope he doesn’t turn out to be Rubio the Second.

      retire05 in reply to Kenshu Ani. | July 17, 2013 at 1:04 am

      Have you ever listened to any of the speeches given by Rafael Cruz, Ted’s father? If you have two things become obvious; #1 you know where Ted got his grounding and #2, you know you would never want to go up against his dad.

      As long as Rafael is around, Ted will remain grounded in his conservative values.

    Doug Wright in reply to JerryB. | July 17, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Agree, I also like Cruz.

    However, elected GOP’ers in Congress have a severe tendency to become wobbly, quite often quite quickly too; see Senator Rubio, in his first term and can’t even stand upright without a rhetorical wobbly crutch.

    A few other examples include Rep. L. Graham R-SC who became Senator L. Graham,Wobbly-SC; Senator Hatch who converted into Senator Wobbly Hatch in plain sight. Senator Cornyn R-TX, who also became Wobbly while still representing Texas.

    It must be in the water or maybe in that Congressional Kool-Aid that served in their dinning halls. Or, just perhaps, it’s due to many cases to the elected becoming anointed by the powers that BE!

      Browndog in reply to Doug Wright. | July 17, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Peer pressure does not end in grade school. It seems to me the Senate views itself as much as an elite social club as much as a governing body.

      Norms of the group eventually win the day.

      Then there are those that simply cloak themselves in principled rhetoric to get elected–Rubio and Ayotte come to mind.

      Remember when the great Jim DeMint said “finally, I have some people to work with”, followed by “I resign” a few short years later?

    iRain in reply to JerryB. | July 17, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Cruz and Gowdy set well with my soul.

    GrumpyOne in reply to JerryB. | July 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Yep, my senator got it right once again.

    The truth hurts..

There are real good people in the Senate but the leadership and old dogs cut their legs out regularly.

Humphreys Executor | July 16, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I’m probably an apostate on this issue but, regardless of who is in power, I think any purely dilatory tactic in a deliberative body is just wrong. Actual debate and deliberation, yes. Ramming bills through with little or no deliberation or time for public input, no. In any event, lets face it, the filibuster is dead one way or another.

Carol Herman | July 17, 2013 at 12:15 am

What do you expect? Tell me the name of one senator you ever respected?

Here, I’ll go first. Pat Moynahan. He was a democrat. And, he got in trouble (back in the 1970’s), for publishing a book that said welfare was harming Blacks. Causing the problems connected to welfare recipients not needing men in their homes.

The truth will come out.

There’s nothing to be proud of when you think the STUPID PARTY republicans in the senate is headed by the chinless wonder from Kentucky.

Hey, look at it this way. Lyndon Baines Johnson was considered a “top notch” senator; because he knew how to pull on other men’s testicles, when they didn’t cooperate with him, when he at first used his bear hug.

You think what you’re seeing started yesterday? Hell no.

    Humphreys Executor in reply to Carol Herman. | July 17, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Pat Moynihan was one liberal I respected, even when he was dreadfully wrong. God bless him.

    Scoop Jackson (D). Knocked out because he was too boring in public speeches and too close to the Jewish community.

    James Buckley (NY COnservative party) – knocked out because he wouldn’t take goodies. (Moynihan insisted we should!)

    Lieberman, except for when he ran for VP.

    Probably a lot of (R),’s, but I don’t pay as much attention to guys doing what I want.

May I respectfully disagree? The important thing was to get those NLRB guys out, and this they did. There is a lot of damage that can be done in two years, and this was not the hill to die on.

If anything is politics, not principle, this is. Maybe here we can let them play what they know.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to mzk. | July 17, 2013 at 1:19 am

    You seem to be under the false assumption that who ever he nominates will be any better than the current nominee’s, that is if the Dem’s actually hold up their end of the bargain, which is iffy at best.

The problem is NOT the filibuster. The Problem is the 17th Amendment. When the Senate began pandering to the popular vote, rather than State’s interests, that’s when the public trough began to be raided continually.

    JerryB in reply to Paul. | July 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

    I’ll agree, and I’ll back up one: the 16th Amendment. The Feds shouldn’t be able to tax individuals, but should levy the several states. Killing the 16th and 17th would immediately reduce the number of special-interest groups to 50 (or 57, depending on who’s counting).

“Lose” is a very comfortable place for the GOP leadership: they don’t have to work for a living.

We’re bigger losers for tolerating them.

I love me the line from my home-state senator, Ted Cruz.

On this particular occasion, though, I am a Buckley Conservative. I want our side to “stand athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”

That Congress which does least, does the least harm. Filibusters cool the coffee of politics, friends and neighbors, and ours is the side that doesn’t depend on swallowing coffee while it’s still boiling hot.

This is a genuine small-c conservative issue. Increasing the power of a compliant Congress to fellate a popular POTUS helps us not. If there had been no filibuster — even just filibuster of nominees, but there’s a risk this could expand beyond that — then imagine how much more permanent structural damage Obama, Pelosi, Reid & Co. could and would have done, beyond the Stimulus and Obamacare, in 2009-2011.

If I could pour molasses over the entire United States Senate, in perpetuity, I would gleefully do so.

If we can clone Ted Cruz then I can see him as senator, POTUS, AG & as Restoring Trust Czar.

On the other hand:
Holder/NAACP/SPLC are lynch mobs in the making. MLK would have kicked their black asses because of their lust for retribution.