Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the obligatory Sunday-show appearance to explain away his attempt to activate the “nuclear option” of altering Senate procedures to put limits on minority rights (in this case, to cap the minority’s ability to filibuster presidential nominations — Democrats are very much perturbed that Republicans are currently stalling a handful of President Obama’s candidates).
The reasoning behind the ostensibly “minimal” changes he’s trying to make on behalf of Obama’s nominations, Reid argued, are, like, totally and one hundred percent different than when Democrats were stalling Bush nominees to which they objected, or something. And, really, “Whoever is president should be able to have the people on their team that they want.” …Uhm, the obvious rejoinder to which, of course, would run somewhere along the lines of: So… why do we bother even having a Senate confirmation process, at all? Why not just skip all of that nasty aggravation altogether and allow any president at any time to appoint whomever he want to whichever position, no questions asked? Does the phrase “checks and balances” ring any bells for this guy, or what? Starting around the 13:10 mark:
The Senate is poised for votes Tuesday on ending debate on several of Obama’s nominees, including his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy, Labor Secretary nominee Tom Perez, Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.
On Monday night in the old Senate chamber, there will be a meeting which all senators have been asked to attend in order to discuss the rules change. …
Reid said his proposed rules change would not apply to judicial nominees – only to appointees to executive branch agencies and Cabinet departments. “We’re not touching judges, that’s what they (the Republicans) were talking about (in 2005), this is not judges, this is not legislation – this has allowing the people of America to have a president who can have his team in place,” Reid said. “This is nothing like what went on” in 2005 when Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist threatened the same “nuclear option” in the face of Democratic filibusters, supported by Reid at that time, of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees.