What is the Tunnel Wall?

.........................A timely collection of conservative articles about liberal influences on politics and culture in America ......................



Friday, April 7, 2017

Karma, precedent and the nuclear option

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Charles Krauthammer  "For euphemism, dissimulation and outright hypocrisy, there is nothing quite as entertaining as the periodic Senate dust-ups over Supreme Court appointments and the filibuster. The arguments for and against the filibuster are so well-known to both parties as to be practically memorized. Both nonetheless argue their case with great shows of passion and conviction. Then shamelessly switch sides — and scripts — depending on the ideology of the nominee.

"Everyone appeals to high principle, when everyone knows these fights are about raw power. When Democrat Harry Reid had the majority in the Senate and Barack Obama in the White House, he abolished the filibuster in 2013 for sub-Supreme Court judicial appointments in order to pack three liberal judges onto the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Bad karma, bad precedent, he was warned. Republicans would one day be in charge. That day is here and Republicans have just stopped a Democratic filibuster of Neil Gorsuch by extending the Reid Rule to the Supreme Court." 

To be sure, there are reasoned arguments to be offered on both sides of the filibuster question. It is true that the need for a supermajority does encourage compromise and coalition building. But given the contemporary state of hyperpolarization — the liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats of 40 years ago are long gone — the supermajority requirement today merely guarantees inaction, which, in turn, amplifies the current popular disgust with politics in general and Congress in particular. In my view, that makes paring back the vastly overused filibuster, on balance, a good thing. . .

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