Time to go full nuclear

I used to be a "moderate Republican." That was before the presidency of Barack Obama, who showed me that moderation and bipartisanship has no place in American politics, not for the foreseeable future, anyway.

Democrats and the media (sorry for the redundancy) like to say that Obama's decision to "use his pen and his phone" to unilaterally implement his agenda, illegally, and against the bipartisan history of the Senate, was OK because Republicans wouldn't compromise.

This is false. It takes two to compromise and gridlock happens when the country is divided. Gridlock can, eventually, force compromise. But the fact is that when one party sets the agenda (by controlling the executive office) and has a majority in the Senate, it is the party that has to work the compromise deal. The Democrats could not bend on what they wanted, so they found ways to (try to, and it turns out, temporarily) go around Congress to implement what they wanted without compromise.

With the stroke of his pen, Obama signed a nuclear agreement with Iran that wasn't a treaty (which would require Senate approval). He changed immigration law and enforcement. He sent a boatload of cash to known terrorists. He made hundreds of rules changes by his departments, wading into all sorts of areas without laws passed by Congress to back him up.

Thankfully, he is long gone. Has it only been a couple of weeks?

When Majority Leader Harry Reid decided that having to wait for confirmation of judges was taking too long, he decided to scrap the 60-vote threshold needed for Senate confirmation. This, he said, applied to everything except Supreme Court nominees. (Here's a link to the Washington Post coverage of this story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-poised-to-limit-filibuste... ).

This exception was quite convenient to say, but it should have no effect on the current administration because it was self-serving. Had the Dems had a Supreme Court nominee and a simple majority in the Senate, they could and would have extended the rule to cover all nominees. Because of that, there is no reason for the Republicans to keep that threshold intact. If they did, it would mean that the parties operate by different rules in the same arena, and that is not fair. There are and should be consequences for what Reid and the Dems did when they removed the filibuster, and now they will reap what they have sown.

By the way, there was a "legal" and legitimate way for the Dems to change the rule and to have it apply the way Reid single-handedly proclaimed. He could have asked for Senate approval of the rule change with a sixty-vote requirement to have it pass. Allowing a change to a sixty-vote threshold to be passed by a simple majority was blatantly unfair.

So the final question is this: maybe Reid was speaking the truth and everyone knew that the change would never apply to Supreme Court nominees. I don't believe Reid was a trustworthy vessel for such a promise, but let's assume this is true. Absent any evidence that the Dems planned to overturn this final exception to the gutting of the filibuster, they could argue that the filibuster should remain for Supreme Court nominations.

Unfortunately, this pretense was dispatched by none other than the Democrat candidate for Vice President, who during the last election informed the public that after Hillary won and the Democrats regained control of the Senate, he predicted that any attempts by the minority Republicans to thwart Hillary's Supreme Court picks would be handled by extending the majority-approval rule in the Senate to all appointments. So there you have it, the final lynchpin. (Here is a link to one of the many reports of his comments: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/303369-kaine-dems-will-use-... ).

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