Harry Reid is preparing to go nuclear on the constant filibustering Republicans have engaged in when it comes to President Obama’s nominees. Ole’ Mitch McConnell isn’t happy about that:
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell warned Harry Reid on Thursday that the Democratic majority leader’s “tombstone” will say he “presided over the end of the Senate” if he “caves to the fringes” and changes Senate rules to make it easier to confirm administration appointees.
“No Majority Leader wants written on his tombstone that he presided over the end of the Senate,” McConnell warned from the Senate floor on Thursday, blasting Reid for suggesting that he will invoke the “nuclear option.”
That’s a lot different than 2004, when Mitch was supporting the rule changes:
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and former Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi support the rules change and think they can help Frist get the 50 votes he needs.
But times do change. Democrats were against the “nuclear option” back then, unlike today.
And speaking of change, you know what else has changed? The number of filibusters. This graph, by Think Progress, shows the huge spike in filibusters since Democrats regained control of the Senate.
Now many people don’t know when those sessions took place, so let me explain. The 109th was from 2005-2007 and controlled by Republicans. The 110th was from 2007-2009, and that is controlled by Democrats.
So it has taken Democrats about 8 years to say “hey these filibusters have to stop”, yet Republicans wanted to stop them as recently as 2005 and then switched their tune less than 2 years later. Why? Because they didn’t control the Senate anymore. Talk about one of the most childish acts around, and these are our elected leaders.
Now this is a double edged sword. Republicans even worried about the change back in 2004:
“We know someday we’ll be in the minority,” said Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici. “But some of us are willing to say let it be the case for both and let us rule by majority vote with reference to judicial appointees.”
Democrats do have to consider that now, but Republicans have also tied their hand. They are filibustering every single nominee that the President puts forward, and that is not the way our government works. As I said, it’s one of the most childish things ever to come from our elected leaders. In essence the Republicans are doing the “I’m taking my ball and going home” routine.
And for some extra look into the extreme hypocrisy of the right, Harry Reid has released a video compilation of Republicans arguing to get rid of the filibuster. Of course that was when they were in charge.