Senate Majority Leader seeks to overturn Senate traditions and weaken constitutional checks and balances!
In late 2007 I was invited to a small house party to meet Sen. John McCain a few months prior to his winning the South Carolina presidential primary which set him on the path to become the GOP nominee for President in 2008. In the question and answer session which followed his remarks I asked him about conservative criticism of some of his actions in the U.S. Senate.
One of the points I raised was criticism of McCain’s participation in the Gang of 14 which offered Democrats a deal on President Bush’s judicial nominations and put off any further talk of the so-called “nuclear option” of doing away with the filibuster of Judicial nominees. Democrats had blocked conservative black and Hispanic nominees (but we can’t call them racist?) and the deal cleared the way for some, but not all, to proceed.
McCain defended his position to me by stating that you wouldn’t want Democrats to do the same to us when they control the Senate and have a Democrat in the White House. Now Democrats do have a Democrat in the White House and retained control of the Senate and guess what? Now that their power is secure they are moving forward to limit the minority power to filibuster. Just what McCain said we would fear had Republicans changed the rules in 2005.
Of course it doesn’t matter that Harry Reid, when he was Minority Leader, called Republican plans for filibuster reform “illegal.” Dems have no problem changing the rules and changing their talking points. No doubt none of their supporters, or media acolytes will remember much less care.
So, here’s a little reminder of what Dems thought of the filibuster reform when they were in the minority. It starts with then Senator Obama talking about how such a plan would only make the partisan bickering in Washington worse. I guess that’s no longer a concern…
I'm tempted to write Senator McCain a letter and remind him of our exchange in 2007 and wonder whether he might wish to revise his earlier remarks in light of what is happening.
Also, for those who suggest that this move is a good thing because the GOP would retain the filibuster ban once we retake the Majority don't fool yourselves. The minute the GOP retakes control of the Senate we can expect a media drumbeat demanding a return to the "fair and democratic" traditions of the Senate. And I'll bet our side falls for it!