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Harry Reid – Nuclear Option proliferator

Harry Reid – Nuclear Option proliferator

If Hillary wins, and Dems retake the Senate, expect Dems to use the Nuclear Option for a Supreme Court nominee

Harry Reid was the first to use the Nuclear Option, on November 21, 2013, when under his direction the bare majority of Democrats in the Senate removed the ability to filibuster for judicial nominees below the U.S. Supreme Court level.

Senate Filibuster Rule Change Vote 11-21-2013

That allowed Obama to stuff the federal courts full of nominees and to alter the balance on some of the crucial federal courts of appeal. By the time the Republicans retook the Senate, it the horses had left the barn.

That use of the Nuclear Option was predicted to be the first step, with the inevitability that if Democrats ever retook the Senate with a Democratic President in place, the Nuclear Option would be used for U.S. Supreme Court vacancies as well. Reid didn’t need to go that far in 2013, because there were no vacancies to be filled on the U.S. Supreme Court at the time.

Now there is a vacancy with the death of Antonin Scalia.

If there were any doubt that Reid took the move with the Supreme Court in mind, he just removed that doubt in an interview with Talking Points Memo, Harry Reid’s Parting Shot: Dems Will Nuke The Filibuster For SCOTUS:

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he is confident that he has laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate in November.

Envisioning Hillary Clinton in the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate, Reid warned that if a Senate Republican minority block her Supreme Court nominee, he is confident the party won’t hesitate to change the filibuster rules again.

Such a move would be an extension of what Reid did in 2013 when he was still majority leader, eliminating filibusters (with a simple majority vote) on the President’s nominees. There was only one exception: the Supreme Court. As it stands now, Democrats still need 60 votes to move forward with a Supreme Court nominee.

Reid said, however, that could change.

“I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we’re going to be able to get judges done with a majority. It takes only a simple majority anymore. And, it’s clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told ’em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again,” Reid told TPM in a wide-ranging interview about his time in the Senate and his legacy.

If Democrats retake the Senate, majority leader Schumer will have to decide whether to go nuclear. Harry Reid gave Schumer the weapon and the justification.

Of course, that works in both directions, something I pointed out after Reid nuked the judicial filibuster:

Decades of negative and destructive policies can be reversed with a bare majority. Obamacare can be repealed with a bare majority. True Conservative Judges will not be banished due to a filibuster threat.

Yes, it’s true that the absence of a filibuster could accelerate the destructive policies. That fear is justified, particularly as to the judiciary. But face it, we were headed there anyway unless drastic action was taken.

That drastic action took place yesterday. By Democrats.

Now at least we have a chance to achieve previously unimaginable progress in a single presidential term if we also have bare majorities in Congress and a President with the willpower. It will take only one such term.

The ratchet has been broken. And opportunity created, even if dependent upon future electoral success.

It’s now up to us to seize the opportunity.

Of course, for Republicans to use the Nuclear Option as to the Supreme Court would take three things: (1) Trump winning the presidency, (2) Republicans holding the Senate, and (3) Republican Senators being willing to play smash mouth as aggressively as Harry Reid and Democrats do.

No. 1 seems increasingly unlikely; No. 2 is a toss-up; No. 3 probably will not happen, as a Republican Senate would probably wimp out.


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Henry Hawkins | October 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

You’re like correct. *sigh*. Put me on the LI suicide watch list.

Harry Reid smells like bologna and mothballs.

And yet, if Hillary loses (as we hope), and the Republicans control 50 seats in the Senate, the Dems will howl and scream on TV every night about how important the filibuster is to our national heritage.

    And the Conservatives have to be out there, day in and day out with Reid’s comments in-hand and be willing to be impolite enough to call the Democrats HYPOCRITES.

    I’ll be the first: HARRY REID IS A HYPOCRITE. He whined and moaned about the Filibuster during the Bush presidency. As soon as there was a Democrat President, POOF! The filibuster became a thing of the past. All for the good of the country, don’t you know.

    Blame McAnus, and his gang-of-14 crap.

      With that comment right there, you are showing an order of magnitude more spine than the entire Republican majority, collectively (excepting perhaps Ted Cruz).

      The GOP won’t stand up to Democrats. They won’t use the tools Democrats give them. They won’t do anything but roll over and take it up the [redacted], over and over again.

      Mitch McConnell may be the Majority Leader but it’s still Harry Reid who wields the power, because Mitch won’t lift a finger to stop him. The GOP refuses to play by the same rules as the Dems, and as a result the Dems effectively control the Senate, even as the minority party.

      Here’s what I would do if I were in Mitch McConnell’s position:
      1. Nuke the filibuster entirely.
      2. Pass a bill repealing Obamacare. (I don’t care if the President will veto it; put him on record doing it).
      3a. If the GOP retains control of the Senate in November, gear up to CONFIRM (if Trump wins) or REJECT (if Hillary wins) some judicial nominees.
      3b. If the GOP loses the Senate, reinstate the filibuster during the “lame-duck” session (just requires a bare majority, right?), with a change that requires a FULL super-majority (i.e. 75%) to break it, and be ready to use it heavily in 2017-18.

      The “nuclear option” swings both ways. If the GOP wants to beat the Democrats, they’re going to have to learn to beat them at their own game. Then again, that requires a spine, so it’ll never happen.

Filibusters smell like Harry Reid.

Pure fantasy.

There’s only one real prize in this election, the Presidency; all the other prizes are booby prizes. Congress nowadays is of little account. If the Republicans lose the Presidency, it won’t matter if they control either part of the Legislature.

The last two Dem presidents were (and are) frat-party lightweights. Congress did moderately OK tripping up Clinton’s more grandiose plans, but not so well with Obama. And it was totally helpless when it came to Hillary’s SecState blunders, and just plain incompetent at reining in her outright crimes. Statements of bravado notwithstanding, neither branch will stand a chance against an aggressive and motivated President. And—in strong contrast with their recent predecessors—both Trump and Hillary would certainly qualify as aggressive and motivated.

Is this situation good? Obviously not. The Federal government was designed around Congress, with an Executive tacked on to do the things a collection of committees simply can’t. (The Supreme Court was intended to be a more pedestrian affair, and so it was, until the fourth Chief Justice figured out a way to give it a stranglehold on the other branches.) But Congress has always been a disappointment, and it’s been obvious since, at the very latest, George Washington’s second term. Meanwhile we all blunder on, pretending that Congress is of some consequence. For several decades now, the Executive and the Judiciary have been encroaching on the legislative function, with no defensive pushback whatever by Congress, and I don’t expect it to start now.

I’m sure things look different from the stratospheric heights of Washington, but from out here in the US, it’s pretty clear that the Republicans either win the Presidency, or move into their interval ownership condo on the rubbish heap of history.

    Tom, what version of American history are you reading? It bears little similarity to the one I read and have experienced.9

    The GOP Congress only moderately tripped up Bill Clinton? What?! He went from HillaryCare and massive tax increases and a zillion progressive boondoggles to a cowed “the era of big government is over.” The ’94 Gingrich revolution stopped him in his tracks.

    It doesn’t matter who controls the House and/or the Senate? Really? What do you think that Obama would have done if he had the same Congress he started with in ’09? This isn’t a vacant mental exercise. Look at what he said and still says, what his vision of “who we are” is, and the role the government plays in that. Do you honestly believe that had Obama kept supermajorities in both Houses, we’d be where we are now? What did Obama want? What does his base want? Do you really think that Obama has fulfilled his “fundamental transformation”? Do you not think it would be much closer to fulfillment if he had the Congress he had in his first year? Come on, you can’t possibly believe that we’d be right where we are now if Obama had both Houses of Congress in sufficient numbers to ignore the GOP as they did in the first year or so.

    I’ll ask you the same thing that I asked Rod: what more could the Republican House and the Republican Senate have done without supermajorities? Seriously. I want to know what you think because I am a bit weary of hearing how the GOP Congress and the Dem Congress are exactly alike. Let’s see, should the GOP Congress refused to go along with Obama’s anti-Second Amendment laws after Sandy Hook and Orlando and at every point in between and since? Oh! Wait, they did. Should the GOP Congress refuse to go along with Obama’s plan to grab guns from anyone who appears on a random and incorrect “no-fly list” or “watch list” without due process? Oh! Wait, they did. Should the GOP Congress refuse to go along with Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform? Oh! Wait, they did.

    There’s a reason the Dems love to call the GOP “the party of ‘no'” and “obstructionists”: the GOP-led Congress says “no” to the progressive agenda and obstructs their pet goals and agenda.

    Are they perfect, did they stop everything and do all in their power to stop Obama? Nope. Not nearly enough. But when I say that because I truly feel it, I have to stop and think. What could they do that would make a real difference? They cut Executive funding for this and that, and the Executive just moves money from agency to agency. They do support amnesty, and frankly, they could have jumped on the Gang of Eight recommendation and passed a sweeping amnesty by joining the Dems. They didn’t. It doesn’t really matter why they didn’t because they didn’t.

    One of the goals of the Tea Party in 2010 was to take our country back by electing conservatives who would restore our Constitutional republic, but sadly, after a couple years of non-stop demonization and demoralization, the Tea Party sort of evaporated. Whatever power we had from ’09 to ’11ish has gone. I find it sad that such a great movement was disappeared so easily (and not without great pressure from the WH, the IRS, the media, etc.), but the sinking back onto our sofas thing is just sad.

    This Trump “movement” will go the same way, only much more quickly. I hesitate to go out on a limb, but I will here , just between you and me (heh), the Trump movement is over, it’s been over since early on. He and his Trump train just didn’t see it . . . just as we in the Tea Party didn’t see our own demise as a national movement. We should have, of course, in retrospect, but when you’re caught up in it, you just can’t see the forest for the trees.

    I’m actually sad for the Trump fans because it’s been over, and they just don’t see it yet.

    Trump fans on this site and elsewhere like to crow about how ineffective conservatives are, about how few of us there are, about how we don’t have the “hidden” numbers of a “silent majority” that we thought we had, and they are right. Clearly, we don’t or we wouldn’t have what we have for a presidential candidate. We wouldn’t be constantly gob-smacked by our fellow Americans who seem to welcome socialism, communism, fascism . . . anything but our Constitutional republic.

    The same, though, is true of the Trump thing. You guys are fired up and angry and motivated and lashing out at all your perceived “enemies” (an astonishing swath of Americans if you think about it; you guys hate the left, you hate the right, you hate the middle. What’s left but yourselves?), and you guys are so sure that Trump will usher in some brave, new world. He won’t. He likely won’t be elected, but even if he is, Trump is who he is . . .and who he is is writ large in his history, in his past actions and decisions, weaknesses and nastiness.

    He’s ready to, even seems to expect to, lose and hop onto his latest Trump-named venture: Trump TV. That will quickly go the way of Trump vodka, Trump Air, Trump steaks, Trump University, and a zillion other failed Trump enterprises, but he doesn’t care. He’ll bail out, leave his Trump TV employees without wages, and write it all off.

    The one thing that helped the Tea Party last longer than most such grassroots movements was that we were based in principle not a personality; we were “taxed enough already.” The Trump movement is just about Trump, and once Trump TV fails along the lines of Al Gore TV and Trump flits off to his next boondoggle, he won’t give you people a second thought. Nor will he think about what Hillary is doing to the country or what a Dem Senate (and maybe even a Dem House) will do to our country. None of it will touch him.

    inspectorudy in reply to tom swift. | October 26, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    You must live in an alternate universe. Congress has limited powers just like the other two branches. The biggest difference between now and when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution is that they NEVER expected the president to be a corrupt lying cheat! He has used powers that do not exist and that have never been used before by previous presidents. obama, is in reality, a lying college boy who does not understand the seriousness of his actions. He has set this country on the road to third world status and if the hilldabeast is elected/selected we are finished. One thing we know for certain is that if the Dems take over the Senate they will change any standing rule to get their objectives. Unlike the sniveling McConnell, they are gangsters and have no ethics. It may have been more advantageous for the Repubs to have taken a lot of ideological stands but they would have ended up the same way, not productive. The House has the power of the purse but obama has circumvented that law by stealing money from every nook and cranny in the federal budget. And if SCOTUS chief justice Roberts had done his job we would not have obamacare, which was totally opposed by all Republican members of Congress. Impeachment in the political climate of today’s DC would be political suicide for all Republicans. The ways of DC are not pretty or noble. They are truly like making sausage and that ain’t pretty!

“but from out here in the US, it’s pretty clear that the Republicans either win the Presidency, or move into their interval ownership condo on the rubbish heap of history.”

Spot on.

If Hillary gains the power of the Executive Branch, she will dial up the import of illegal immigrants and muslim refugees to 11. They will be settled in Red States and given Amnesty, locking the Electoral College to Blue for all time. And when 2024 rolls around (because 4 years of Hillary will mean 8), there will not be an opposition party, much less a 3rd party.

It’s game over for Republic. We fall forever.

But I know, Trump has a potty mouth. We would rather be slaves to the State than violate our sacred Principle of Civility.

    If Sec. Clinton wins, she won’t run for a second term. Her health will decline far, far to quickly for that. Hell, my guess is that in the event that she wins, she will likely resign the presidency at the expiration of 2 years, make Kaine President for 2 years and set him up to run for two additional terms, which given incumbent advantage, would mean 20 years of uninterrupted Democrat Presidential control.

Actually, even if Hillary loses and the Dems take the Senate, Schumer, who’s all but already taken Reid’s place and would become Senate majority leader, can use the nuclear option on the SCOTUS nominee before Trump even steps foot in the White House.

Dems would take the Senate January 3, and the new president Trump would not take office until January 20.

That gives the Dem-controlled Senate over two weeks to ram through confirmation of an Obama nominee (and I leave that vague because if this scenario happens, Garland is out and someone even worse will be sworn in before January 20).

Reid is out there now laying the groundwork for Schumer to nuke in the next Supreme, and if Trump does manage to win somehow and the Senate goes to the Dems, that will be sooner rather than later.

Well the forth story in two days about how we have to vote in a Republican Senate to stop Hillary.
Screw it.
The way to stop Hillary is to not let her become president.

It was 100% predictable that if the Dems take the Senate they would execute the nuclear option.

And it is base hypocrisy to tell Trump supporters that they should be team players now, when you failed to be a team player.

If Hillary wins ( very big if ), I will have a good laugh everytime Supreme Court Justices Barak Obama and William jefferson Clinton write opinions, and no don’t think that a Republican Senate will block them.

    Absolutely! Who needs republicans in Congress when a republican is in the White House? That’s nuts, that’s old thinking, that’s old pre-Trump America!

    It’s not like we’ll have the Constitution and its silly separation of powers if Trump wins! A Congress? With two Houses? A Judiciary? Bah!

    Who needs that stodgy old nonsense when we have Cheeto King? He can put his Cheeto-stained paw print on new policies his daughter draws with crayons. Heck, he might even trace out some great ISIS strategies in Cheeto dust. It’ll be YUGE.

      Thank for your last two posts. For revealing who you really are. Not that it comes as a big surprise. All you’ve done is remove any doubt about who you are, well and actually show that you are nastier than I thought.

      When thing started to become crazy I was determined not to vote for Kirk, but was hoping that somehow he gave me a reason to vote for him. But these four posts have convinced me that that hope was baseless.

      You’ve shown to me that you want Hillary as President, but that you want your friends in the “Parliament of Whores” to stay there so you can keep pandering them, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to do so.

      That you don’t really want to fix things or repeal Obamacare or any of the other things you talk about. Only that you want the “wedge” issues.

      That you want us to compromise , but your definition of compromise is worse then that of the democrats.

      Thank you

      In the face of the most corrupt and incompetent president in American (if not world) history, and in the fact of a possible election of an even more corrupt and incompetent president in American and world history: your comment boggles the mind.

      If Hillary Clinton wins the election, it’s possible you may never have an ability to post comments about anything, let alone Trump’s daughter.

i see the concern trolls are out in strength tonight…

muct be some really 5hitty internals over there at DNC HQ

U.S. Constitution: The President . . . shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court …

“I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.” — Senator John McCain

“All of these liars will be sued when the election is over” — Donald Trump’s Gettysburg Address

    Don’t hold your breath about Stockholm Syndrome McCain uniting against anything – other than the people who voted for him.

    But you will be able to count on Trump suing the crap out of the ‘liars.’