In an unprecedented power grab, Harry Reid and complacent Democrats have invoked the nuclear option, ushering in textbook Democratic tyranny.
President Obama, hypocritically applauded another hypocrite, Majority Leader Harry Reid for his success Thursday at invoking the so-called nuclear option, as Democrats voted to strip the minority party of its most powerful tool to stop the tyranny of the majority, the power to block nominations and the general use of the filibuster.
Obama said it’s critical to “change the way that Washington is doing business.” In case the president hasn’t been aware of this either, since he seems to bliss of most other events, he has changed the way Washington has done business. A perfect example is when he rammed through his now unpopular, failed health care law with zero minority support in Congress and majority opposition among the people.
Republicans and even some consistent Democrats have warned that Harry Reid and President Obama have just opened Pandora’s box. Harry Reid has been slowly but surely stripping minority rights and powers during his time as majority leader, even using budget reconciliation to pass ObamaCare, but invoking the nuclear option on nominees is trampling on the idea of representative government.
“This was nothing more than a power grab,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “He might as well have said if you like your Senate rules you can keep them.”
In a rapid-fire set of developments on Thursday, the Senate narrowly approved a rule change that would limit the ability of the minority party to block key presidential appointments. Rather than needing 60 votes to break a filibuster, Democrats will instead only now need 51.
Speaking Thursday from the White House briefing room, Obama said the change was needed to deal with Republicans’ “unprecedented pattern of obstruction.” He hypocritically cited the tenure of George W. Bush, who he claimed did not have such as hard time getting nominees confirmed. But as a Senator, President Obama voted to filibuster President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.
“For the sake of future generations, we can’t let it become normal,” Obama said.
Bush, on average, had a waiting period of 211 days to get a nominee confirmed, while it’s taken Barack Obama’s nominees 228 days to get confirmed, only 17 days more. Judicial nomination statistics show that Obama has a confirmation percentage of 76 percent.
Following the vote Thursday, embattled Democrats seeking reelection conveniently criticized the decision, though just 3 Democrats voted against the measure.
Senator Mark Pryor D-AR., one of three Democrats who opposed the move, said it could “permanently damage” the Senate.
“This institution was designed to protect — not stamp out — the voices of the minority,” he said.
In order to change Senate rules of this nature, it takes 67 votes. But Harry Reid, as usual, again used an illegal maneuver. passing the measure with just 51 votes.
Retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI, whose open seat is also a battleground race, put out a 2,300-word statement explaining in great detail why Reid’s decision was over the line.
“Changing the rules, in violation of the rules, by a simple majority vote is not a one-time action,” he stated. “If a Senate majority demonstrates it can make such a change once, there are no rules that bind a majority, and all future majorities will feel free to exercise the same power, not just on judges and executive appointments but on legislation.”
Levin argued that the move opened the floodgates for the majority to change important rules on a whim going forward.
“Today, we once again are moving down a destructive path,” Senator Levin said. “Pursuing the nuclear option in this manner removes an important check on majority overreach which is central to our system of government.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, was the other Democrat to oppose the rule change, though he has not yet made a statement.
Republicans arent the only voices calling the move Democratic Tyranny, nothing less than a complete evaporation of our constitutional principles, which have kept Americans free for 2.5 centuries.
The late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., presented a powerful case against changing the rules back in 2010, when he said doing so would “destroy the uniqueness of this institution.”
“In the hands of a tyrannical majority and leadership, that kind of emasculation of the cloture rule would mean that minority rights would cease to exist in the U.S. Senate,” he said.
The Senate vote on Thursday strips the power of the minority to oppose nominations and makes it easier for federal judges to get lifetime appointments. That is what President Obama meant when he said the other day at a fundraiser that Democrats were “remaking the judicial branch.”
The passage, and subsequent defense of the health care reform bill, has proven Democrats unworthy of such power. Harry Reid and the Democratic Party rammed ObamaCare through the Senate despite the election of Republican Scott Brown in deep blue Massachusetts, because the American people were adamantly opposed to the law.
Now, the law is a complete and total failure, which Democrats are well-aware have destroyed not only Barack Obama’s approval rating, but his legacy in the law. Using the nuclear option is but the last move from party leadership, including the president who pushed Reid to do this, in an effort to grab as much power as possible before the American people remove statists from power.
The avalanche is coming, so they are hoping to make reforms and appointments that cannot be reversed for generations. Not even the will of the people can stop, arrest, or reverse their unpopular, despotic course. That is, by definition, tyranny.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put it well earlier on the floor of the Senate when he said, “When Democrats were in the minority they argued strenuously for the very thing they now say we will have to do without, namely the right to extend a debate on lifetime appointments. In other words they believe that one set of rules should apply to them and another set to everybody else.”
This is a sad, shameful day in U.S. history, when the likes of Harry Reid and Barack Obama changed “the most deliberate body in the world,” into the biggest joke in the world.