Scripps Howard editorial on Reid’s ‘Nuclear’ move ignores historical background, foundational principles

November 23, 2013

If you’re a regular of the Corner there are three things certain:  1.  You have a deep regard for the foundational principles of this great nation, 2.  You do not navigate life with an amount of gray matter just slightly larger than that found in your average toad, and 3.  You know by now that Barack Obama and his dutiful court jester Harry Reid turned one of the most fundamental of fundamental principles, minority rights in the United States Senate, into nothing more than a bygone thought conjured up by a few old white guys in wigs a couple hundred years ago.

I am extremely short on time this weekend and was afraid I wouldn’t get anything posted on such an important issue.  But I forgot just how gleeful some of the left leaning press would be with Reid and Obama’s little power grab.  That glee showed itself in full glory this morning in my local Joplin Globe via the Scripps-Howard News Service with an editorial titled “Other Views:  Senate goes nuclear”.

I give you first, the editorial in all the smug, self-righteous, arrogance the left has become all to famous for:

It shows the high regard in which the Senate holds itself that it calls a relatively minor change in a rule, one that was invoked only sparingly for the country’s first 200 years or so, “the nuclear option.”

Under the rules change, presidential appointments to any office but the Supreme Court, may be approved by a simple majority. That clears the way for approval of three Obama nominees to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

The D.C. court is the most powerful of the appeals court, with certain cases involving government reserved for its exclusive jurisdiction, and it is a favored source of Supreme Court nominees.

Senate Democrats suspected, with some reason, that the Republicans would block any Obama appointment to that court in hopes that the GOP would win both the presidency and the Senate in 2016.

The change proposed by Senate leader Harry Reid was simple: The Republican minority would no longer be able to insist on a 60-vote super-majority in order to bring a nomination to the floor. Legislation would still be subject to the 60-vote threshold.

The current makeup of the Senate is 53 Democrats, two independents who vote with the Democrats and 45 Republicans. Thus, a unified GOP was in a position to block any Democratic initiatives or appointments it opposed.

When either party had the majority in the Senate it was reluctant to change the rule, under the old Washington rubric “what goes around, comes around.” But the Republicans seemed to have overplayed their hand.

According to a chart prepared by Reid, from presidents Eisenhower through Ford there were no filibusters of nominations and only a handful thereafter — until President Obama who has faced 45.

Reid finally yielded to pleas from his caucus and invoked the nuclear option. That option may make the Senate work less well but it wasn’t working all that well before.

And I give you my fired off as fast as my fingers could type response to such a purely ideological, leave out all the facts that started the mess, propaganda piece posted as an online comment:

That “chart” is as misleading as this editorial. It was Democrats who first started filibustering nominees in the first place in the early 2000’s to stop Bush . It was Democrats, including Harry Reid who stopped 3 Bush appointees to the DC circuit when the wrote a letter showing that the workload did not justify the additional expense. A workload that has continued to go DOWN since then.
The only reason for this is to pack the DC circuit with a 7 to 4 liberal majority to rule on all the administrative rules and executive actions Obama has and plans to make.
When the majority just changes the rules for the politics of their moment, there are no rules, there is no minority protection.
The Founders knew it, that’s why the Senate was created as it was. It was SUPPOSED to be the gridlock that slowed things down, that allowed the minority to stop a tyrannical, ideological majority from imposing its will upon the entire nation.
From another editorial from another time (March 2005 to be exact):
“But surely it is not a matter of life and death to the White House if, for instance, a former lobbyist for mining interests with a reputation for anti-environmentalism cannot get a seat on the federal bench out West. The president might have taken this opportunity to fulfill his long-deferred promise to be a uniter, and replaced the rejected nominees with other candidates from the very large pool of competent people available. ”
“The Senate, of all places, should be sensitive to the fact that this large and diverse country has never believed in government by an unrestrained majority rule. Its composition is a repudiation of the very idea that the largest number of votes always wins out. ”
“While the filibuster has not traditionally been used to stop judicial confirmations, it seems to us this is a matter in which it’s most important that a large minority of senators has a limited right of veto…there are few responsibilities given to the executive and the legislature that are more important than choosing the members of the third co-equal branch of government.
A decade ago, this page expressed support for tactics that would have gone even further than the “nuclear option” in eliminating the power of the filibuster. At the time, we had vivid memories of the difficulty that Senate Republicans had given much of Bill Clinton’s early agenda. But we were still wrong. To see the filibuster fully, it’s obviously a good idea to have to live on both sides of it. We hope acknowledging our own error may remind some wavering Republican senators that someday they, too, will be on the other side and in need of all the protections the Senate rules can provide.”

The quotes above are from none other than the New York Times editorial dated, March 29, 2005.

How Scripps Howard can even think about putting out such a blatant propaganda piece for the Alinsky “the ends justify the means” arm that controls the Democrat party today is journalistic malpractice.

It matters not whether Obama faced 45 or 545 blocked nominations. THAT is the entire point of the United States Senate and the checks and balances set forth by the Founders.

Some Democrats are already talking of “expanding” the “rule” to include legislation. If Reid pulls that trigger I don’t care what side of the political aisle you’re on. The Constitutional Republic known as the United States of America will exist no more and in its stead the government of the majority, the government for the majority, the government mandated by the majority will pick and choose what rights and liberties they, not you, deem “essential”.

No, Scripps Howard, this it not a “minor” change. This change, ironically, even sets the stage for future Senates to vote on what is and what is not acceptable speech and appropriate press behavior. Right now, with their leaders in control the left and its media supporters are as giddy as can be that those awful, evil Republicans can no longer stop their great Obama from packing the courts.

It is a given that the political winds will most assuredly change. But what is not known is if the damage done to the foundational principle of minority rights will ever be repaired.

Am I over reacting?  I think not.  Sure the Senate had gotten “gummed up”.  It deserved to be.  Harry Reid runs it just as his boss Obama tells him too.  And that means, no regular order and no matter what the precedent, not matter what the damage to the country, the “fundamental transformation” must not be stopped.

How sad, that the day before this nation marked the loss of one of its greatest leaders, two despotic ideologues conspired to begin the piece by piece dismantling of the freedoms John F. Kennedy did so much to defend.

Roger Pilon’s piece Harry Reid’s nuclear hypocrisy tells a far more truthful version than Scripps Howard ever will.

Gotta run, but as always, thanks for reading and I’ll see ya round the Corner.

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3 Responses to Scripps Howard editorial on Reid’s ‘Nuclear’ move ignores historical background, foundational principles

  1. Anson on November 23, 2013 at 11:42 am

    For decades we have heard all sorts of crys to protect the rights of minorities. Democrates have beaten that drum to death over the last 50 plus years. Ultimately they all felt that they needed a majority to be able to turn such tides, against minorities.

    Well they got it, full majority power for two years in 2008 and look where we are today as a result. Then comes 2010 and they lost that full majority power, again according to the well of we the people, democratically. Well such decisions are just “wrong” claim Democrates and here we go again, looking for full majority power on the part of one party. God help us if that happens again, in 2014 or 2016.

    Go ahead and chance Senate rules now. Then just wait to see the “what ifs” in 2014 alone. Imagine a GOP Senate majority of 1 or 2 votes come 2015 or 2017. Outlaw abortion, any gun in the hand of anyone, nuke Iran, maybe, and the list goes on.

    Progressives believe demographics in America will remove completely the old “white majority” from government and reduce it to a meager minority power, now with less voice to control government than ever before.

    In the past America controlled the whim of the majority by requiring in the Senate a majority PLUS nine more votes. In doing so, changing that control could well put us all in the path of a dictatorship of the majority.

    Good by civil rights for the minority, when that happens!!


  2. Steve Roark on November 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Jeff, I would ask that all understand that our great nation is great because it was established as a “Republic” not a Democracy. Sadly many have forgotten and many have never learned the difference. I do not want to live in a democracy:

  3. Geoff Caldwell on November 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Steve and Anson,
    We now have a twofold problem.

    The first is that the 2012 election shows that there a tens of millions of Americans so dumbed down they have not a clue the disaster they re-elected to the Oval.
    The second is that the disaster those ignorants of history re-elected to the Oval knows EXACTLY what he and his ilk are doing.
    Just look at Obamacare. The only way it got passed in the first place was Reid gutting a military housing bill so whatever came back from the House could then be passed by “simple majority”. Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts SHOULD have been the death of Obamacare before it was even born, but as we now know, Reid, Obama and this left wing cabal that now calls itself the Democrat party could care less about precedent, the Constitution and the founding principles upon which we were founding.
    Their only, and I do mean ONLY focus is imposing as much “fundamental transformation” upon the American people as possible.
    I think what irritates me the most about liberals and the left though is that for all their talk of “tolerance” and respect for others “rights”, the only way they can ever get any of their policies actually enacted is by mandates and executive fiat.

    Everyone reading this needs to also read the link Steve posted. What Reid and the dems did Thursday is the most dangerous threat to this nation since our Founding. And NO I do not consider that hyperbole.
    Spread the word to as many as you can, as often as you can. The rights and freedoms we enjoy today are truly at risk of being snuffed out with but one more “simple majority” vote shoved through the Senate.


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