Friday, November 22, 2013

The Senate passed the “nuclear option” yesterday effectively taking away the voice of the minority.  Here’s what the New York Times had to say about such a move:
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. The members from places like Rhode Island, Maine or Iowa know that their constituents are given a far larger say than people from New York simply by virtue of the fact that each state has two votes, regardless of population. Indeed, as a recent New Yorker article pointed out, the Democratic senators who have blocked that handful of judicial nominees actually represent substantially more Americans than the [ruling] majority that wants to see them passed.
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. Once confirmed, judges can serve for life and will remain on the bench long after [the president] leaves the White House. And 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. The Senate has an obligation to do everything in its power to ensure the integrity of the process.
Many may find the New York Times taking such a position against the Democrats as shocking.  That’s because the article was written in 2005 when the shoe was on the other foot.  Here is a link to the full article.  So is that their position today?
Democrats made the filibuster change with a simple-majority vote, which Republicans insisted was a violation of the rules. There is ample precedent for this kind of change, though it should be used judiciously. Today’s vote was an appropriate use of that power, and it was necessary to turn the Senate back into a functioning legislative body.
Yes, the most transparent administration in history just put up another curtain and the partisan press has chosen to look the other way - yet again.  Someone might want to remind these autocratic rulers that the worm may turn slowly but indeed, as history has shown, the worm will turn.  And when it does, well - let’s see what the New York Times had to say back in 2005 when the conservative side of the worm was in power.
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.
Unsurprisingly, we can’t find an article objecting to the Democrats opposition to the Bush agenda.  Is it any wonder the MSM is considered in such low esteem?

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