April 6, 2017

"Senate Democrats on Thursday filibustered the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, holding the line with a precedent-busting partisan blockade of a selection for the high court and setting up a showdown over filibusters that could reshape the Senate for years."

The NYT reports.

UPDATE: Nuclear option deployed.

145 comments:

rhhardin said...

Take away the unwritteen rules and there's no longer room for the written ones either.

Stuff has to change to accommodate the other stuff.

mccullough said...

The Dem base is satisfied. Now extend the Reid Rule to Supreme Court nominees so Gorsuch can be confirmed. Garland, like Bork, is a DC Circuit judge who got sinker.

Birches said...

And outside the Coastal Media Elite was seen as cravenously partisan.

Owen said...

Here we go.

I just read a book about the 1917 Revolution in Petrograd. A similar mood.

It is too late for the Democrats to regret their course. And in fact we may all regret how this turns out; but first and mostly I think it will be they who suffer.

All rules are a kind of spell. Once broken, they can't be brought back. Later, after enough pain and suffering (and forgetfulness), a new rule may be agreed upon.

But that is a long way off.

MikeR said...

Awesome to see Schumer speaking about what a tragedy it would be to lose the filibuster and the comity of the Senate. This is what lying looks like.

The Bergall said...

Children..........

wendybar said...

Put the blame where it belongs...on Harry Reid. He started this ball rolling. The Republicans confirmed Sotomoyer, and Kagan who are both VERY liberal, against the will of their constituents. The Democrats are playing games. They lost. Elections have consequences so we have been told. GROW the HELL up, and do your jobs!!

Bad Lieutenant said...

So, do the Republicans go nuclear, or does the writing of this piece imply that the moment for that has passed and we will have no 9th Justice? McCain was foolish to take the legislative nuclear option off the table. Even if he didn't want to do it, it weakened the Republican negotiating position. Had the Democrats realized they faced the prospect of losing on all legislation 51 to 49, they might have yielded. This they may think they can sustain. And why not?

People, however wrong in fact, can be excused sometimes for voting Democrat, simply because the Republicans seem so thoroughly deeply truly incompetent, in playing the political game, that one questions whether their aims and goals are correct. "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"

The Cracker Emcee said...

I wonder what the Democrat's long-term calculation is here. If, incredibly, they don't actually have one, then they are truly fucked.

Birches said...

And I still can't believe anyone really believes that if Hillary had won, Garland wouldn't have withdrawn to allow her to pick on her own.

Michael K said...

"Elections have consequences so we have been told"

This is all about fund raising, in my opinion. The donors are as crazy as the base.

eric said...

Cmon Republicans. Don't let us down. Invoke the Reid rule.

Just do it.

Hagar said...

I assume it is only the fake filibuster that is gone.
Any Democrat who thinks he has the physical stamina to break Strom Thurmond's record (set while he still was young and a Democrat), hop to it!

Paddy O said...

Somewhere, George Soros is petting his cat and chuckling quietly to himself.

Rick said...

Ending the filibuster is a good thing. Dems always got their nominees through since there was always someone like McCain to lead the Gang of Whatever is Necessary. Handcuffing yourself in such circumstances is stupid.

David Baker said...

Why do I feel this will accrue to the benefit of the democrats. That sooner or later, Karl Marx himself will stand boldly in the well of the senate.

Nonapod said...

All rules are a kind of spell. Once broken, they can't be brought back. Later, after enough pain and suffering (and forgetfulness), a new rule may be agreed upon.

But that is a long way off.


Pretty much this. Enough badness has to occur before there will be anything done about it. Right now, both side's bases are out for blood. And I think the left seems especially bloodthirsty, but I'm obviously biased. There's this feeling of fear mixed with rage that seems to have overwhelmed the base of the Progressive Left. There's no room for long term thinking or strategy with that mind-set, it's all about quickly lashing out and resisting.

While among the base of the Right, after 8 years of being ignored and bitterly maligned, there's a sense of righteous vengeance. But more than that there's a sense of how important and rare it is to get an opportunity to get someone who at least seems like an actual constitutional originalist to replace one that was lost.

So no quarter will be given. This is how it is.

Rocketeer said...

Even if he didn't want to do it, it weakened the Republican negotiating position. Had the Democrats realized they faced the prospect of losing on all legislation 51 to 49, they might have yielded.

The Democrats not yielding on Gorsuch is to the Republicans advantage. It highlights the Democrats' naked partisanship and unreasonableness, and provides a strong argument against vulnerable - and maybe even the not quite but almost vulbnerable - Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2018. In that light, if taking nuking the legislative filibuster off the table (for now) made it less likely the Dems would yield on filibustering Gorsuch, it was a brilliant strategic move.

Then again, I realize acknowledging it as such is a no-no for most, as it would be a tacit admission that McConnell got something right, and we can't have that.

Mark O said...

When the filibuster is gone and the President can spy on the opposition under the cover of national security, no Democrat will ever be President again.

I'll say it again: After Obama, anything goes.

stever said...

They never thought they'd lose and still can't believe they have. And they claim to be smart.

Wilbur said...

“Like the rest of us, justices are flawed human beings, and every justice is, to one degree or another, vulnerable to the temptation to indulge his beliefs and values. Originalism operates as a check—imperfect, to be sure—against indulging that temptation, while living constitutionalism offers an invitation to indulge.”
Ed Whelan

This is why the selection of judges is so important.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Don't be an ass, Rocketeer. I agree you may have a point. Even so the marker McCain lay down in taking the legislative filibuster off the table will not be clawed back bloodlessly.

I agree this gives them The High Ground in the sense that they tried to deal with the Democrats and the DS wouldn't play. Fine. But The High Ground, plus bus fare, gets you on the bus.

Sarah from VA said...

I think the republicans should run with this, but REALLY make the democrats filibuster. The senate Should not do ONE SINGLE OTHER DAMN THING while the filibustering is going on, whether the rules say they can or not. No, we can't vote on the budget, we're still holding debates on Gorusch. No, we can't debate that until we have a vote on Gorusch. Just make them own it. Republicans got to have their fun being obstructionists back during Obama's term, now let the Democrats have a turn.

Dixie_Sugarbaker said...

The Dems have already pre-approved the news articles, lined up their on-air interviewees, hired protestors and have fund raising emails ready to send when the Republicans nuke the filibuster. The story will be how the Republicans are destroying the Constitution and they hope if they say long enough and loud enough it will become fact.

hombre said...

The leftymediaswine at NYT pretend that The Reid Option only has potential long term consequences if invoked by Republicans.

Shamelessly corrupt.

Rick said...

Mark O said...
When the filibuster is gone and the President can spy on the opposition under the cover of national security, no Democrat will ever be President again.


This is nonsense. Not only will there be Democratic Presidents there will also be periods of Democratic Presidents with Democratic control of the House and Senate.

Michael said...

Sarah from VA

I tend to agree. They can rescind the rule which permits parallel activity in the Senate while a filibuster is underway and make them talk and talk and talk and talk while the cameras roll and roll and roll.

mockturtle said...

Nuke 'em till they glow!

Michael K said...

Schumer has just lost a vote to delay the rules vote by 5 hours. Collins voted against him which suggests the filibuster is an hour from oblivion.

I would be in favor of going back to the original filibuster rule on legislation. Continuous debate. No fake cloture.

There is NO tradition of filibuster on judicial nominees.

Jersey Fled said...

Schumer better hope that Ginsberg has a long and healthy life. The field is now open for trump to nominate anyone he wants.

Jersey Fled said...

BTW if McConnell has any balls, he should call this the Schumer Rule.

Michael K said...

Not only will there be Democratic Presidents there will also be periods of Democratic Presidents with Democratic control of the House and Senate.

Maybe. This seems like a suicide mission for Democrats. Of course, Trump could fail and the economy could tank, which I have been expecting for a couple of years.

I just don't see Democrats recovering from this bout of insanity. I see a Socialist Party and maybe another middle course party.

I think the two party system is gone for a while. This feels like the period before the Civil War.

Rocketeer said...

Bad Lieutenant,

Not trying to be an ass (frankly it comes naturally) - apologies if it came off that way to you. You keep saying McCain, though, and McConnell is the one who took it off the table (I know he said forever but, well, he's a Senator and it seems we're starting to play the game the way the Dems have payed it for years). I genuinely do think it was strategically brilliant.

I also really do think sometimes I'm the only guy in America who thinks McConnell is damned smart and good at his job. That was the reason for my snark at the end, which was general in nature and not intended to be directed specifically at you.

TWW said...

It's really quite predicable. Liberals will say that Justice Gorsuch's appointment was not legitimate thus any decision he participates in is not legitimate.

traditionalguy said...

Just wait until Gorsuchskis Russian collaboration is leaked by unknown sources in a Russian Dossier reported to be under an FBI investigation, but one that is so Criminal that it is too secret to be seen.

Then we will all thank Schumer for saving our country.

Michael K said...

The judicial nomination is the only nuclear option being exercised today.

The additional change under consideration would affect hundreds of Trump nominations.

It would reduce debate time after a nominee clears an initial procedural hurdle from 30 hours to eight hours, greatly reducing how long the Senate would need to confirm Trump nominees. …

The proposal would be similar to a provision from a 2013 resolution on limiting debate for most nominations.


The left's obstruction of nominees will also be taken away.


mockturtle said...

Jersey Fled suggests: Schumer better hope that Ginsberg has a long and healthy life.

I wouldn't call her healthy now!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Holding the line! How noble.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Toto: Hold the Line

Love isn't always on time, but I'll bet this nominee's completed appointment to the Court will be.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sarah from VA said...

I think the republicans should run with this, but REALLY make the democrats filibuster. The senate Should not do ONE SINGLE OTHER DAMN THING while the filibustering is going on, whether the rules say they can or not.

While I appreciate the spirit of this, I think it is bad tactics for two reasons:

1) I want Gorsuch on the court ASAP. I don't want to risk a situation where some emergency forces the court to hear some issue right away, that was decided wrongly by a left-wing circuit court, and have the ruling stand because of a 4-4 split.

2) Republicans control that Executive and Legislative branches. A failure to pass a budget is their failure, and would be portrayed as such in the media ( one of those cases where the stopped clock is right. )

Jane the Actuary said...

And in the meantime, a federal court raised the stakes, by deciding that the Civil Rights Act covered not just discrimination against women, but against gays and lesbians. The more the court makes decisions based on its preferences vs. the law, the more politicized the court will be.

And, yes, the horse is already out of the barn, but this decision is just a reminder.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Nuke 'em!

Bruce Hayden said...

In the long run, I just don't see the Democrats controlling the Senate as often as the Reoublcans. And, indeed, I think that they have a better shot at the House. That is because Trump took a big majority of the states ;which each get 2 Senators), while Crooked Hillary won the popular vote (House seats are roughly based on state population). If we were to elect the Senate today based on 2016 Presidential election results, we would have maybe 60 GOP and 40 Dem Senators. Loss of the white working class is probably going to be fatal to their attempts to regain and retain the Senate. A lot of those states that went for Trump, but have Dem Senators, have large numbers of white working class, often union at some point. And Trump is courting this demographic like no other. Once the Dems lose those Senate seats, they probably aren't getting them back any time soon. (I am registered in MT, which is pretty lily white, but had 2 Dem Senators a little over 2 years ago on the strength of this traditionally democratic demographic, and have seen the change there). At a minimum though, it is going to be a big uphill fight next year for the Dems to retain even close to their 48 seats, with so many Trump state Dem Senators up for reelection. Which is why this attempted filibuster is so ludicrous. They are giving away the only leverage that they can expect to have over first term Trump Supreme Court nominees.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Michael K said...

I think the two party system is gone for a while. This feels like the period before the Civil War.


I have had this feeling for sometime. A civil war is nothing to wish for. It will not be noble acts of futility like Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. It will frightful, horrible fights between disparate enclaves, even in California. I can see the conservatives of Northern California going through Berkeley like the Serbs at Srebrenica.

readering said...

I am surprised the Democrats couldn't find a few among their ranks to vote for cloture. Not healthy to have Supreme Court votes be partisan. But it's not as if the Republicans can come up with anyone much more conservative than Gorsuch next time. And Miers shows that if the ideological purity isn't there the votes won't be.

readering said...

And Democratic activists are smoking something if they think this will be a rallying cry for 2018. Gorsuch maybe, depending on the rulings between now and then, but not cloture/nuclear option.

MayBee said...

Who is the base who supposedly wants the Democrats to filibuster?

I've asked this elsewhere, but what does "the base" actually mean anymore wrt political parties?

Big Mike said...

@Sarah from VA, I initially thought as you do, but the longer I thought about it the more I moved to a position much like the one articulated by Ignorance is Bliss. There is a lot that was done the past 8 years that urgently needs fixing and it won't be fixed if everything has ground to a halt while Democrats make fools of themselves. There will be another opportunity for them to demonstrate why I call them Dumbocrats.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Looks like the Dems started a battle they couldn't win. They don't have enough troops.

"There will be another opportunity for them to demonstrate why I call them Dumbocrats."

The jackass is indeed an appropriate symbol for them.

Birches said...

What Jane the Actuary said. There are too many important cases coming up to delay any more.

Big Mike said...

@Michael K, I'm a Civil War buff myself, and I agree that the Democrats of today catering to their base seem a lot like the Fire Eaters -- all Democrats -- of the late 1850s. Their way or war!

Crimso said...

There have been people arguing that using the nuclear option is bad because what's to stop its use for legislation? The problem with argument is that, extending the metaphor, this is not a first strike but rather a retaliatory strike. MAD is only a deterrent if your opponent thinks you really will retaliate. The Dems now know the Repubs intended to abide by MAD. They miscalculated. What Reid did was stupid, but like the scorpion, he can't help himself. It's in his nature to do stupid things.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

So the Senate Repubs have begun to grow a pair. A full testicle from Rand Paul; 1/16 from Mitch McConnell.

This will be most helpful for any Repub Senators job retention - altho Hammond personally believes in a two term limit at every level (City, County, State, National) of government.

rcocean said...

McCrazy was whining about how "Stupid and Idiotic" it was to get rid of the filibuster for judges, and sneering about how the Senate was turning into the House of Reps.

Given that the Democrats have already gotten rid of it when they are in power, why should the Republicans keep it? That REALLY is stupid.

Getting rid of it for Nominees and Judges just gets us back to the way it was through most of the 20th century. Hell, during the 1920s-1950s a lot SCOTUS judges didn't even have hearings and were confirmed on voice vote.

rcocean said...

McCrazy wants to keep the filibuster for nominees because it gives social liberals power. And McCain is in reality a social liberal, he only plays a conservative on the campaign trail.

With the filibuster, he can depend on the Democrats to keep anyone too conservative off the Bench, while not actually voting against them himself.

Michael K said...

"But it's not as if the Republicans can come up with anyone much more conservative than Gorsuch next time."

You have no idea.

"I agree that the Democrats of today catering to their base seem a lot like the Fire Eaters -- all Democrats -- of the late 1850s. Their way or war!"

Yes and it will not end well for them. Maybe they want to pull down the house. The irony there is that cities are the normal habitat of Democrats and they will suffer the most. BLM and Sanctuary cities, especially if Trump does not lose his nerve about cutting off federal funds. They will all look like Baltimore and Chicago.

Yancey Ward said...

You want to know the shape of media bias- it is right here in the NYTimes article:

"Senate Democrats in 2013 first changed the rules of the Senate to block Republican filibusters of presidential nominees to lower courts and to government positions, but they left the filibuster in place for Supreme Court nominees, an acknowledgement of the sacrosanct nature of the high court."

Democrats didn't leave the filibuster in place for Supreme Court nominees- to write that implies the Democrats faced a choice, go nuclear on a Supreme Court nominee or bow to a filibuster. They never faced that choice. Surely anyone with an IQ over 50 knows that if they had faced the choice, they would have done exactly the same thing they did with the other appointments. You even had the Democratic leader in the Senate explicitly tell people that was the plan after November.

It had to be painful for the NYTimes to even give away the history that it was the Democrats who made the change in 2013- it took them three paragraphs to point this out, and I bet there was heated debate in the editorial room whether or not to include that history.

wwww said...


There are many people who want the rules changed for legislation in addition to judges.

Mike Sylwester said...

Maybe so-called "Judge" James Robart will issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the US Senate from eliminating filibusters for US Supreme Court justices.

There's still some time for him to do so.

buwaya puti said...

McCain has no particular principles in all this, he is simply a bought man. That's how the PTB keep people in line, ultimately. And the PTB are doing all it can to suppress a populist rebellion.

It almost doesn't matter what any particular issue is, these are episodes in a much bigger conflict.

Luke Lea said...

Can someone explain why Dems would give Repubs an excuse to change the Senate rules like this? Does it apply to all future legislation or just to Supreme Court nominations?

Humperdink said...

I am surprised the Senate Dems haven't secured a federal judge to rule this move unconstitutional (cough).

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

Schumer should be on a boat to Guantanamo. He's a terrorist.

He's also a draft dodger, but he got away with that one.

Francisco D said...

I agree with the tenor of debate here over the past month. The Democrats are having a full scale teenager-like meltdown.

However, they have very permissive parents who will protect them from natural consequences. It's what Glenn Reynolds calls "Democrats with bylines."

Even sane Democrats will be shielded from stories that demonstrate how irrational the Democrat Party is becoming. That same media will trumpet every real and imagined event that makes the Trump administration look bad and culpable for all of our problems.

I have seen this movie a few times before.

Quayle said...

Couldn't care less about internal Senate rules.

A rule requiring a supermajority which can be changed by a simple majority was a facade anyway.

If their ain't no comity, they shouldn't be able to hide behind the trappings and decoys of comity.

Yancey Ward said...

Mike Sylwester wrote:

"Maybe so-called "Judge" James Robart will issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the US Senate from eliminating filibusters for US Supreme Court justices."

It seems an outrageous idea, but I have also predicted it will be tried. I have even predicted that if the initial case arises in the 9th circuit, it will be upheld by the appeals panel there.

Henry said...

That didn't take long.

Michael K said...

"Does it apply to all future legislation or just to Supreme Court nominations?"

So far, court nominations only. The Democrats filibustered Miguel Estrada to keep Bush from naming the first Hispanic and filibustered Janice Rogers Brown to keep him from nominating the first black woman.

There is also a proposal to reduce the time for hearing on administration appointments which the Dims have been slow walking to hamstring Trump like they did Bush in 2001.

I don't know if that is going to be voted on today.

Achilles said...

Michael K said...

"I agree that the Democrats of today catering to their base seem a lot like the Fire Eaters -- all Democrats -- of the late 1850s. Their way or war!"

Yes and it will not end well for them. Maybe they want to pull down the house. The irony there is that cities are the normal habitat of Democrats and they will suffer the most. BLM and Sanctuary cities, especially if Trump does not lose his nerve about cutting off federal funds. They will all look like Baltimore and Chicago.

California is going to be going into default soon. Gov. Brown gets to decide whether to declare California entire a sanctuary state or not soon.

Democrats never seem to learn lessons from history.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Luke Lea said...
Can someone explain why Dems would give Repubs an excuse to change the Senate rules like this? Does it apply to all future legislation or just to Supreme Court nominations?

It's the thing to do when you've just re-elected your messiah and are looking forward to electing the Holy Virgin of the Cankles in four years. By 2020 the Deplorables and Republicans would be banished from the Earth! What could go wrong?!

Mac McConnell said...

Did Schumer yell "Duck and cover!" to his fellow dems or "It's best if you relax your sphincters" .

Achilles said...

buwaya puti said...
McCain has no particular principles in all this, he is simply a bought man. That's how the PTB keep people in line, ultimately. And the PTB are doing all it can to suppress a populist rebellion.

It almost doesn't matter what any particular issue is, these are episodes in a much bigger conflict.


McCain is clearly a servant of the globalists. Did his job in Vietnam. But as a senator vichy traitor is an accurate description.

The people of Arizona should feel shame for letting this person hold a lifelong sinecure.

Hagar said...

The 9th Circuit may declare physical Senate filibusters unconstitutional since they unfairly handicap lady Senators who cannot pee standing up.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Can someone explain why Dems would give Repubs an excuse to change the Senate rules like this? Does it apply to all future legislation or just to Supreme Court nominations?"

I really think all this boils down to the belief that they never thought they could lose. It was an absolute article of faith for them.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Can someone explain why Dems would give Repubs an excuse to change the Senate rules like this? Does it apply to all future legislation or just to Supreme Court nominations?"

1. My theory: because the Democrats honestly thought Republicans would blink, as they have routinely in Congressional showdowns. They honestly thought McCain or Graham or someone would try to make one last Grand Bargain. They seriously under-estimated how much stabbing their Republican colleagues in the back had hurt them (McCain remembers Reid asking him to come back from campaigning to help with the Financial Crisis, only to then mock him and lie about asking him to come back, for example.) They thought they could, like Lucy, yank the football back and that old blockhead would keep on taking it.

2. Yes, until the Senate changes it (that is unlikely to happen.)

mockturtle said...

"an acknowledgement of the sacrosanct nature of the high court". the NYT per Yancey Ward.

And the NYT probably doesn't even realize that the word 'sacrosanct' is pejorative.

Matthew Sablan said...

For example, I bet the more moderate/comity minded Senators are a lot like me. They're sad to see this go; it is a real harm to the institution of the Senate. But, Democrats left them with no choice. No one believes Democrats wouldn't deploy this the moment they had the majority again and had a need to do it. For crying out loud, Democrats literally locked Republicans out of chambers to draft bills last time they were in power, and refused to release printed copies of the legislation to them until right before the votes.

The Republicans in Congress were spied on by the last administration! Ted Stevens was the victim of a witch hunt and died before his name could be cleared (and remember, we learned that political lawyers HID evidence that would have exonerated him!)

Republican Congress critters have had enough, and as much as it pains them (and me) to see them have to get down and dirty in the fighting, they've been left with no options, as Democrats have shown they can't be trusted to hold up their end of the "let's play nice" game.

Matthew Sablan said...

TL;DR Version: "This is how you got Trump."

rehajm said...

This is where ARM would like to point out the panic in financial markets this move has caused.

rcocean said...

"They're sad to see this go; it is a real harm to the institution of the Senate."

I don't understand this. Care to expand? What harm does it create?

Just curious.

Matthew Sablan said...

RCOcean: The filibuster had a legitimate purpose, at one time (in fact, I think there was one candidate for supreme court justice who the threat of, or use of, the filibuster actually gave time to investigate ethic complaints). Due to the partisan nature of a lot of the recent judicial fights, though, it turned into just another tool for partisan fighting.

The other thing the filibuster did is it gave the minority some power so that they could be a check on the Senate to keep it from swinging too wildly, too swiftly (though that is more for legislation than nominees.) It also gave the minority bargaining power to help get things that they wanted done.

It was a nice little parliamentarian tool, but unfortunately, we can't have nice things because people will use it like a sledgehammer instead of the fine instrument it was.

rcocean said...

"Can someone explain why Dems would give Repubs an excuse to change the Senate rules like this?"

Well they already crossed the Rubicon in 2013, there was no reason for the Repubs to keep the filibuster on Judges. That said, I think many Dems believe the Repubs were going to push the nuclear button no matter what the Dems did, so why not filibuster now? The other reason: I think many Dems sincerely dislike the filibuster and what to get rid of it all together.

rcocean said...

Thanks Matthew.

Hagar said...

The fake filibuster only dates from 1975. Nothing "venerable" about it.

Bob Loblaw said...

Mitch McConnell in 2013 when Democrats removed the filibuster for lower court judges:

"I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you will regret this, and you may regret this sooner than you think."

Michael K said...

"we can't have nice things because people will use it like a sledgehammer instead of the fine instrument it was."

There was a time when the Senate was quite collegial. After hours, they would socialize. The filibuster originated with legislation and was not used on judges until Abe Fortas who was a crook. Originally, it was unlimited debate but the debate had to be done in person. Then about 1970, the rule was changed from 2/3 vote to end debate (cloture) to 60 votes. Then the cloture vote was determinative and the debate aspect was lost. It just became a supermajority vote.

Personally, I would like to see us repeal the 17th Amendment and go back to state legislatures electing Senators. I even think it might happen if things get even worse. We are close to a Civil War. Anything could happen.

mockturtle said...

Personally, I would like to see us repeal the 17th Amendment and go back to state legislatures electing Senators.

Do you think this would really make a difference? I'm not so sure. We do need term limits, though.

Inga said...

Good riddance to the filibuster.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Good riddance to the filibuster."

-- Weakening the minority is a bad, but in this case necessary, thing. Won't be long before it dies for legislation too.

Rocketeer said...

Personally, I would like to see us repeal the 17th Amendment and go back to state legislatures electing Senators. I even think it might happen if things get even worse. We are close to a Civil War. Anything could happen.

Amen. I'm on board with this and have been for a long time. If progressives actually wanted "money out of politics" repealing the 17th would be a good first step. Much harder and more expensive to buy a majority of an entire state legislature than it is to buy an individual senator.

Achilles said...

Can someone explain why Dems would give Repubs an excuse to change the Senate rules like this?

Easy. Paddy O mentioned it.

Paddy O said...
Somewhere, George Soros(edit- and Friends) is petting his cat and chuckling quietly to himself.

The democrat party is a tool. The leftist media is a tool. People use tools. They don't have the best interests of the tool in mind when they use it.

The globalists want the borders of the US eliminated and the freedom of it's citizens taken away. They don't care what happens to the democrat party or the media. They know their tools would get slaughtered in a Civil War. That is fine with them.

dreams said...

This is good news. The Dems and the equally corrupt liberal media are in for some long needed reality.

Balfegor said...

Re: MayBee:

I've asked this elsewhere, but what does "the base" actually mean anymore wrt political parties?

It's what it always was -- their core voters. But if anything, I think the base is more important to the parties than it used to be, because -- just as trust has broken down between the parties in Congress -- the base no longer trusts the party establishment. That's why we saw Trump steamroll all his opponents in the Republican presidential primary. That's why we saw Obama beat Clinton II (even if he lost the popular vote) back in 2008, and why Sanders almost beat her in 2016. As a result, the party establishment has a lot less room to maneuver than it had in the past. Those core voters for each party just won't trust that the party is pursuing a strategy that will serve their preferred policy aims and interests. Even safe seats aren't opening up room to maneuver, since there are innumerable organisations out there who will try and mobilise primary voters for a primary challenge at the slightest hint of compromise. And the party organisation has only limited ability to defend against these kinds of primary challenges.

Some of this, honestly, is not a bad development. The policies the Republican party has advocated (see 2007 and 2013, both criticised for rewarding illegal immigrants for their lawbreaking) have obviously not been representative of the views of the Republican base. I'm sure there are similar criticisms on the Democratic side. The principals are yanking their agents back. At some point, politicians are going to have to work out a revised understanding of what the zones of possible agreement are, but in the meantime, they're going to keep running up against the wall like this.

And honestly, while I think Reid and Obama were, when it comes down to it, awfully stupid, shortsighted men, I don't think Schumer is. I think he knew he'd been set up to lose thanks to their idiotic choices back in 2013, but went forward with it anyway because he's there to represent his voters, and they wanted the Light Brigade to charge at the cannons head-on. His not to reason why, his but to do or die.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

So the world's greatest deliberative body just got a little less deliberative. But will the hand wringers please explain this to me:

The Democrats are being admonished for failing to provide enough votes for cloture so that the Republicans wouldn't go nuclear and the the principle of the filibuster could be preserved for another fight on a later day. But when that day comes, the Republicans could just threaten to go nuclear again. So what principle, exactly, would have been preserved?

Better to flay the Republicans for changing the rules. I hear, "Reid did it too. It's just the reverse Biden rule." Well, I don't like those guys ether. And it seems to me a deal was made back in 2013 and the Republicans didn't keep their word.

buwaya said...

Someday this will be a bullet point in a potted history of the "Origins of ..."
Something.
Like maybe Dred Scott.

rcocean said...

The 17th amendment was passed for a lot of reasons. One, was that corporations were "buying" state legislatures. Second, if people didn't like a senator, it was difficult to get rid of them. Say, you didn't like McCain, your only way to get rid of him would be to vote for state senator/state legislator and HOPE your party would win a majority in each state legislature. But what if they DO get a majority and they still elect McCain? Well, too bad you're out of luck.

This lack of accountability was one reason the 17th Amendment was gotten rid of. I can tell you that if the state legislature in Washington, California, Hawaii, or Massachusetts elected the Senators - they'd be even worse then what we have now.

Inga said...

Matthew,
Eventually the minority becomes the majority.

Balfegor said...

Re: Left Bank of the Charles:

And it seems to me a deal was made back in 2013 and the Republicans didn't keep their word.

Huh? Deal? What?? Were there actually Republicans who agreed to abolish the filibuster in 2013? I'm pretty sure you're just making that up, but I'm open to be proven wrong here . . .

rcocean said...

Its laughable to go on twitter and read Liberals writing stuff like "The Republicans have thrown away 200 years of tradition!"

Talk about Hypocrisy.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But when that day comes, the Republicans could just threaten to go nuclear again. So what principle, exactly, would have been preserved?"

-- The problem is the filibuster is meant to be a very rarely used tool. It is an emergency safety valve. Democrats, unfortunately, were using it an unintended way, and threatened to continue to do so.

Let's try an analogy. If you give a kid a toy, and they use it to beat up their siblings, you take the toy away, because even though the toy has a legitimate purpose, you just can't trust the kid with it any more. In this case, the Senate as a whole has shown that we just can't give them nice things, and in this case, it was the Democrats showing why the filibuster, a once useful thing, is no longer useful.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Eventually the minority becomes the majority."

-- Which is why it was incredibly short-sighted of Democrats to start this nuclear train rolling.

Balfegor said...

Re: Inga:

Eventually the minority becomes the majority.

Yes, this is something Obama and Reid seem not to have realised, but then, they were very, very stupid men, so one must make allowances. In this case, I'm pretty sure all the Republicans know this is going to be used against them at some point.

But I think they also realise that this was going to be used against them at some point no matter what. Again, before election day, Democrats were promising the eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

Here's Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine:

"If these guys think guys think they are going to stonewall the filling of that vacancy, or other vacancies, then a Democratic Senate majority will say we're not going to let you thwart the law," he told The Huffington Post.
The historic move would let Supreme Court nominees bypass a current 60-vote procedural requirement and be approved by a simple majority.


Here's outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:

“I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we’re going to be able to get judges done with a majority. It takes only a simple majority anymore. And, it’s clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told 'em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again," Reid told TPM in a wide-ranging interview about his time in the Senate and his legacy.

"They mess with the Supreme Court, it'll be changed just like that in my opinion," Reid said, snapping his fingers together. “So I’ve set that up. I feel very comfortable with that.”

Achilles said...

Inga said...
Matthew,
Eventually the minority becomes the majority.


I know you don't really understand how electing senators works, but just for fun I would like to see if you can pick the 26 states that will elect democrat senators.

There are 30 red states and 20 blue states. Voter ID laws and legitimate elections in 30 states pretty much ends the chances the democrats have in the senate. You will never get 51 senators with an electoral map that looks like this.

Stuffing ballot boxes with illegal votes in large urban centers is not a path to victory in the senate.

Rick said...

mockturtle said...
[Personally, I would like to see us repeal the 17th Amendment and go back to state legislatures electing Senators.]

Do you think this would really make a difference? I'm not so sure.


I don't think repeal makes much difference now. It would have made a great deal of difference had the 17th Amendment never existed. Had it never existed the Senate would never have allowed the Feds to usurp state authority as they have especially with unfunded mandates. It's likely the Fed / State relationship would be reversed with Feds taxing 1/3 of what states tax and states implementing their own programs. We'd have a wider range of programs more satisfying to the constituencies they're serving.

Yancey Ward said...

LeftBankoftheCharles wrote:

"And it seems to me a deal was made back in 2013 and the Republicans didn't keep their word."

Ah, too funny. This goes hand in hand with the NYTimes framing I pointed out above. There was no deal in 2013. All that happened in 2013 is that the Democrats decided unilaterally to go nuclear on all appointments but for SCOTUS. Why not SCOTUS, too? Because the Republicans hadn't, to that point (and still haven't) filibustered a SCOTUS nominee. The Republicans didn't break a deal here in this regard because there was nothing given to them in 2013.

LakeLevel said...

Charles: The Democrat tactical mistake here is that the next Trump nominee may be less centrist than Gorsuch. If they had not filibustered this time, they may have, next time, been able to turn some centrist R Senators to vote against the nuclear option, and thus succeeded in stopping the next nominee. Now there is no reason not to appoint someone more right wing. She won't even need to be an originalist, just a partisan.

Yancey Ward said...

And while we are all discussing this trivia over a rule that Democrats created 4 years ago, the US is being drawn more deeply into Syria by what is almost certainly a false flag gas attack in that country.

Rocketeer said...

I can tell you that if the state legislature in Washington, California, Hawaii, or Massachusetts elected the Senators - they'd be even worse then what we have now.

True enough, but then again, there'd be far fewer of them in the Senate.

Bob Loblaw said...

Personally, I would like to see us repeal the 17th Amendment and go back to state legislatures electing Senators. I even think it might happen if things get even worse. We are close to a Civil War. Anything could happen.

Agreed. This is one of the key facilitators of the concentration of power in Washington. At this point the states are little more than administrative districts of the federal government, and it would be nice to see some of that power shift back the other way.

Clyde said...

Democrashima. Glow, glow, glow!

buwaya said...

"the next Trump nominee may be less centrist than Gorsuch."

Is that possible? Is there a more right-wing judge than Gorsuch, of the right pedigree and status in the pipeline? Given the long-standing state of the academy that doesn't seem likely.

They may be reduced to nominating Cruz.

FullMoon said...

Syria gas attack not Assad?

Gas attack

Michael K said...

I don't think Schumer is. I think he knew he'd been set up to lose thanks to their idiotic choices back in 2013

I agree. He made a few noises about working with Trump and the base came down on him big time.

Inga thinks minorities became majorities. I don't think she is a student of the Civil War, which this most resembles. The Democrats lost the 1960 election and the next one they won was Grover Cleveland in 1884. He was elected again in 1892 then the next Democrat was Wilson and only because Roosevelt turned on Taft, a stupid move. The next was Roosevelt in 1932.

The Senate and House were similar.

Of course, the economy may crash although I am less sure of this than I would have been if Hillary had won.

Bob Loblaw said...

The Democrat tactical mistake here is that the next Trump nominee may be less centrist than Gorsuch.

I wonder if they would have gained much in the way of political advantage by having the filibuster broken on the next guy instead of this one.

Michael K said...

I'd love to see Janice Rogers Brown nominated. She is 67 but I would like to see her get the chance the Democrats denied her with a filibuster back when Bush was going to nominate her for the DC Circuit.

GRW3 said...

Now Trump only has to pick a 50 vote nominee. It would serve the liberals right if his next pick, should he get one, be as activist on the right as Obama's were on the left.

This clearly mainstream, originalist pick was too much for the Republican moderates to break with the party and preserve the filibuster. If they had let this one go, they would have been in better shape if one of the walking dead libs on the court finally keeled over.

AprilApple said...

It's time to NUKE Claire McCatkill(D-MO)

Tho - the stupid GOP will probably let the corruptocrats pick their candidate again.

Bob Loblaw said...

Now Trump only has to pick a 50 vote nominee. It would serve the liberals right if his next pick, should he get one, be as activist on the right as Obama's were on the left.

I've been assured by my friends on the left the constitution is a living document. I wonder how they're react when it lives a bit to the right.

khesanh0802 said...

Trump is raising tons of money from the deplorables so he must be doing something right! Link.

buwaya said...

"I don't think she is a student of the Civil War, which this most resembles."

The Spanish Civil War is more apt. Both "sides" would be coalitions of vastly different elements, ideology and culture and tribal identity are the points of conflict, and the fact that the peoples involved hate each other not just wholesale but retail, so to speak.

And that the government will have flipped from overwhelming left, to very right, and may at some point flip far left again. What will happen then I don't know.

Qwinn said...

IMO the next two supreme picks are obvious. Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown. Both are awesome, both were treated horribly by Democrats, both deserved better. Karmic justice.

khesanh0802 said...

I think the legislative filibuster should go the way of the Dinosaur as well. At the very least if one wishes to filibuster one should to stand on the Senate floor and actually filibuster. Without the filibuster something might actually get done in the Senate. It will certainly be a lot easier to keep score of who actually votes for or against what.

n.n said...

Democrats fear that the twilight interpretation of the constitution will be ruled nonviable, unworthy, and aborted... for the compelling interest of securing human rights and equal rights for our Posterity. Also, that institutional racism, sexism, etc. (i.e. [class] diversity) will be ruled unconstitutional and a gross violation of civil rights.

Balfegor said...

Re: Achilles:

You will never get 51 senators with an electoral map that looks like this.

On the contrary, if Trump fails to step up enforcement of immigration and fails to bias trade in favour of American manufacturing, I strongly suspect that a lot of that middle could be tilted back towards Democrats. Democrats right now are still going mad with the wailing and the gnashing of teeth at the loss of the Precious, but sanity will reassert itself at some point.

The map for 2020 is not terrible for Republicans, but it's easy to see how some of those states could become vulnerable. If Democrats can minimise losses in 2018, I do think they could work their way back to 51. Not, you know, if their supporters continue to express their blind, burning hatred for the working class in print over and over and over, of course, but at some point the fever will break (haha).

Francisco D said...

Ann,

I am looking forward to tomorrow's thread welcoming the Hon. Neil Gorsuch as our next SCOTUS Justice.

He is going to be a good one - for decades to come!

Birches said...

I just realized how nice this comment thread is. Did Althouse go nuclear on some commenters?

Livermoron said...

Bombs away!

If it comes to civil war, I already have a Mattis Plan in place for every liberal I know. And I am very well trained in how to execute Mattis Plans.

I bet that there are a lot like me.

Static Ping said...

It is not possible to conserve what is already gone.

It is even more difficult to conserve something that never existed. Supreme Court nominees have never been filibustered until now, other than the Abe Fortas thing which is not germane. The Republicans have been willing to give every Democrat nominee a vote, including Sotomayor who is well to the left of the left-wing of the court. From a practical sense, nothing has really changed.

It is extremely difficult to conserve something when your opponent has already said the thing will be done away with as soon as it can be stuffed down your own throat.

wildswan said...

I've had it pointed out to me that if LA County and the five boroughs is NYC were taken out of the election Trump would have won a majority of the popular vote. So I don't think the Dems will be winning the House of Representatives any time soon. And they'll lose more Senate seats in 2018. It all reminds me of Wisconsin where the left went berserk and wouldn't accept Walker, demanded a recall, took over the Capital building for months, held giant rallies, was ahead in the polls, had all the newspapers, accused a male conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justice of assaulting a female Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, conducted dawn police raids on the homes of conservative leaders - and lost at the elections - every time.

The elite really is separate from the voters and really has no idea how people are thinking and really thinks it has support for beating up Trump voters, suppressing speech, destroying the lives of young men who kissed the wrong girl the wrong way, sending jobs overseas, refusing to deport criminal aliens and refusing to allow the President his court picks. The leftys will lose every time for some time to come. It teaches them nothing - or anyhow they haven't learned a thing in Wisconsin.

In short, the Senate vote and the general hysteria aren't elements of a deep plan - it's the Academy Awards all over again. The left is just messed up - after all, they hate the workers. How could they be OK with that contradiction in their basic makeup?

johns said...

If the left gets control of the Supreme Court, the Court will decide that the constitution is founded on the principle of equality (Democrats' definition thereof). This will necessitate ruling 95% of the specifics of the constitution unconstitutional.

readering said...

Janice Brown has been sitting on the DC Circuit for more than a decade. As a California Supreme Court justice she already had sufficient stature to be nominated to the US Supreme Court without an appointment to the DC Circuit. (O'Connor went to the US Supreme Court from an intermediate state court in Arizona.) But when O'Connor retired and Rehnquist died Bush went in another direction, two more white Ivy Catholics.

But hey, let those fires of resentment burn away.

eric said...

Blogger wildswan said...
I've had it pointed out to me that if LA County and the five boroughs is NYC were taken out of the election Trump would have won a majority of the popular vote. So I don't think the Dems will be winning the House of Representatives any time soon. And they'll lose more Senate seats in 2018. It all reminds me of Wisconsin where the left went berserk and wouldn't accept Walker, demanded a recall, took over the Capital building for months, held giant rallies, was ahead in the polls, had all the newspapers, accused a male conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justice of assaulting a female Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, conducted dawn police raids on the homes of conservative leaders - and lost at the elections - every time.


Here in Washington state we have something similar going on.

Back when I lived in California, the Democrats raised our car tabs by 300%. The result was a gubenatorial recall and Arnie as the new Gov.

Here in Washington they did something similar. They put a proposition on the ballot that all the good lefty Democrats supported. Raised our car tabs about 300 to 500%.

I haven't met a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian yet who isn't ragingly pissed off at this new reality, that we voted for.

The Republicans have organized a recall effort that the Democrats all oppose.

I'm hoping this is the absolute undoing of the Democrat party in Washington as they get behind this impossible to afford tax increase.

buwaya said...

"if Trump fails to step up enforcement of immigration and fails to bias trade in favour of American manufacturing"

Looking fairly good so far -

https://www.adpemploymentreport.com/2017/March/NER/NER-March-2017.aspx

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/04/politics/border-crossings-drop-continue/

Gahrie said...

Personally, I would like to see us repeal the 17th Amendment

I think we should repeal all three of the remaining Progressive amendments.

Gahrie said...

. But it's not as if the Republicans can come up with anyone much more conservative than Gorsuch next time

Right there is part of the problem. readering probably really believes this. The fact is, Gorsuch is a moderate. But the Left thinks the squish Kennedy is conservative.

I personally hope to see Ted Cruz on the Court soon.

Static Ping said...

From what I see he follows where the law takes him without concern if the conclusion is to his liking. Given that the left rejects that in favor of outcome based rulings, he should be more conservative than the left will like. As a judge, he is more or less what a judge should be so I guess that makes him a moderate.

Rick said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...
The Democrats are being admonished for failing to provide enough votes for cloture so that the Republicans wouldn't go nuclear and the the principle of the filibuster could be preserved for another fight on a later day. But when that day comes, the Republicans could just threaten to go nuclear again. So what principle, exactly, would have been preserved?


They could. But if Dems had already signaled their willingness to accept a moderate without filibustering (a) why would the Reps bother looking for someone more extreme and (b) if they did they would pay a heavier political price.

Balfegor said...

Haha, I am reading the comments now on that Talking Points Memo article about Reid promising Democrats will go nuclear on Supreme Court nominees if Republicans offer any opposition, and they are hilarious in hindsight. One commenter suggests that hey, maybe they should wait until after they've actually won the election to talk about this, since it isn't certain the Democrats will win, and he gets shouted down by everyone else.

Milwaukie guy said...

With Scalia, the high court had six Catholics and three Jews. Just curious, is Gorsuch a Prod? Can this most Protestant nation spare a seat on the court for the tradition and culture that founded the nation? Just askin'?

buwaya said...

"Just curious, is Gorsuch a Prod?"

Episcopalian. Unsound.
(I'm a Catholic foreigner, so take this for what its worth)

Birches said...

Oh Balfegor, those comments are delicious. They should be blasted out across the nation to show just how much the scripts have flipped since November.

buwaya said...

Thanks Balfegor, the TPM comments are very funny.

Someone, maybe, should go over there and remind them. Just a little.

wwww said...


RE: TPM

Democrats have been wanting the Senate to go nuclear for quite a while. This is the precedent they were looking for. Conservatives generally like the filibuster because inclinations for less government power.

I predicted this would happen a couple of weeks ago in this blog. Not surprising at all, considering the current Senate dynamics.

My next prediction is that passing legislation goes nuclear within five years.

Real American said...

"Justice William Pryor" has a nice ring to it. Thanks, Chucky.