Hatch: No, the Senate GOP should not “unilaterally disarm” after Reid’s abuses

posted at 4:01 pm on November 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Harry Reid may want to sing “Kumbaya,” but that’s no reason for Mitch McConnell to provide the harmony. So writes Senator Orrin Hatch and former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, in response to suggestions that the new Republican majority move immediately back to Senate status quo ante in January. The damage done by Reid to the judicial confirmation process alone will take plenty of time to reverse, and in order to fix it, Republicans need to keep Democrats to the Reid Standard until a Republican President gets elected:

Specifically, the new Senate must begin by restoring the twin pillars of the institution’s deliberative character: full debate and an open amendment process. Sen. Robert C. Byrd described those two institutional safeguards—open debate and amendment—as bulwarks that ensure “the liberties of the people will remain secure.” In the end, the Senate’s procedural safeguards exist not to protect individual senators, but to preserve Americans’ liberty.

But that fundamental goal—protecting liberty—counsels against blindly returning to the prior status quo. Some bells cannot be unrung. Chief among these is Sen. Reid’s decision to invoke the “nuclear option” to strip minority senators of their ability to filibuster judicial nominees.

The nuclear option allowed President Obama and his allies to reshape the judicial branch dramatically to suit their far-left agenda. And the Democrats were not shy in boasting of their achievement. This summer, after a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the administration’s efforts to extend subsidies to the federal ObamaCare exchange—in clear violation of the plain words of the Affordable Care Act and the stated intent of its architects—the newly minted majority of Democratic appointees on that court voted to rehear the case “en banc.” Sen. Reid announced that the “simple math” of the D.C. Circuit’s new majority of Democratic-appointed judges would serve to “vindicate” Democrats’ use of the nuclear option, presumably by preserving the administration’s signature legislative achievement. …

It will fall to the next Republican president to counteract President Obama’s aggressive efforts to stack the federal courts in favor of his party’s ideological agenda. But achieving such balance would be made all the more difficult—if not impossible—if Republicans choose to reinstate the previous filibuster rule now that the damage to the nation’s judiciary has already been done.

This is Hatch’s response to Reid’s attempt to defuse the issue yesterday. He knows that a number of Republicans want to force Democrats to live under the rules they created for Republicans, and they have every right to demand it just for the sake of justice. As I argued yesterday, they need to make Democrats pay some price for abusing their majority power over the past several years, and especially since last November. Republicans won’t always be in the majority, after all, and the only way to prevent further abuses is to make sure that those who conduct them have to endure the same abuses themselves, at least for a while, or pay some otherwise significant penalty for them. Shunning Harry Reid would actually benefit Democrats, but the end result might be worth forgoing justice if Democrats offered that as penance.

Hatch and Gray make a different argument in this essay, though. The justice they seek is not retributive but normative, in undoing the damage from the court-packing that Reid’s nuclear option produced. That will still end up waiting for at least two years, and depends on electing a Republican President and keeping the Senate in GOP control. The odds of both look at least a little better today than they did last week, but that’s a long time to wait.

In the meantime, though, Hatch would have the Senate return to the status quo ante of 2006, where the minority party got allowed a legitimate opportunity to offer amendments and leadership didn’t short-circuit the committee process. This is a laudable objective and would restore some confidence in the Senate’s ability to effectively govern, especially in the budgeting process. However, it almost seems like a reward to Reid if the GOP begins by allowing Reid the opportunities in opposition that he emphatically denied to Republicans when the GOP was in Reid’s current predicament.

I’m still in favor of keeping the current status quo in place for a while, perhaps until summer, unless Democrats force Reid to the margins. In the long run, though, Hatch is correct — it’s in the nation’s best interest to restore effectiveness and professionalism to the Senate, and in the best interest of the GOP to provide the obvious contrast between governance and Reid’s corruption of the upper chamber. That may end up being the only satisfaction that Republicans get until they can win the White House, but an effective and professional Senate will boost those chances — and then the filibuster “reform” will provide the longest-lasting backfire on Democrats. Can Republicans play that long game?


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Just a thought here – the nuclear option was for judicial nominees, removing the 60 vote threshold. That works when the majority agrees with the President, but with the R’s in the majority and Obama still the President, this could backfire. Obama will still nominate radical judges, and with the nuclear option in place, the 46 or 47 Dem senators would only need to find 4 or 5 Republicans to vote with them. I say reinstate the filibuster on Judicial nominees and Cabinet members, and invoke the nuclear option on legislation.

ConservativeinCO now in ME on November 6, 2014 at 5:43 PM

This, with Joni Earnst close by, with a sharp knife.

Schadenfreude on November 6, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Personally I rather use rubber bands or crush em less messy. Keep the rules in place until reid and his lieutenants are gone.

wifarmboy on November 6, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Time to eat your own dog food, Mr. Reid.

RedHotFuzz on November 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 5:25 PM

No, I understood what he said. Let me put it another way. If the democrats had won big, do you think they would have changed the rule back? Not a chance. The sooner the republicans start to understand that fairness has no bearing when your opponents don’t fight fair in the first place, the quicker they will be to maintain power. That is not to say that we should use their methods (to a degree), but we must become more cutthroat in our dealings with them. We are not talking about some small issue. We are talking about saving our country.

bandutski on November 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM

We should not sabotage the institution for vengeance…

Adjoran on November 6, 2014 at 4:32 PM

In what way is it sabotage?
How does what Reid did violate the Constitution regarding how much power the minority party should have?
If what he did is unconstitutional, why didn’t the Court stop him?

If it’s not unconstitutional, why should we reverse it?
Because of tradition?
Whose tradition?

The people voted for the GOP to check Obama.
They should do so to the utmost of their ability.

itsnotaboutme on November 6, 2014 at 5:25 PM

I don’t know. I’m kind of on the fence about the filibuster. I think it provides some check on unruly mob rule. It was there to try to force the parties to work together. However, that has over time caused a steady erosion of freedom as it seems that anything the Dems win is always in the direction of less freedom and less money in our own pockets.

Bitter Clinger on November 6, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Unruly mob rule? Where & when did that happen?

The parties are not constitutionally obligated to work together.
When Clinton finally signed the desperately needed welfare reform (that ended up helping the economy & helping his popularity), he had already vetoed it twice. He only signed it because an election was approaching.
Clinton wasn’t working together. He was trying to save his own butt.

itsnotaboutme on November 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion
says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

Never trust the Democrats, ever.

Fallon on November 6, 2014 at 5:52 PM

“Make ’em live by their own rules.” – Alinsky

ExpressoBold on November 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Ripley:
“I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

MichaelGabriel on November 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

How about a offer to return to the old rules only after obolacare is repealed.

wifarmboy on November 6, 2014 at 5:58 PM

That this comes up on day two is the reason why I still have zero confidence that the Republicans are going to do anything substantial at all, whatsoever. McConnell’s answer should have been, “75% of this country think we’re headed in the wrong direction, that everything is a mess. We don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. We don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.” End press conference.

And just to throw it out there, a good part of the reason Republicans are in a position to try to win the love of the liberal media again is because of all the people that refused to vote in 2008 and 2012. The lesson, apparently, has not been learned by the Republicans, but the American people got a good close look at what unbridled liberal government looks like, and THAT is why they’ve run screaming to the right. The Democrats lost this election; the Republicans as a party stood for nothing. Nationally, they were “Option B.” And on day two, the champions of one of the biggest wave elections in history are talking about playing nicely with the side they trounced.

Even I expected them to hold out a little longer. God. Ladies and gentlemen, your party of lemmings. Can we start a third party yet?

Zoomie on November 6, 2014 at 6:02 PM

bandutski on November 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM

The ‘status quo’ Ed was discussing is the one that exists now. Not the regular rules the senate had functioned under for some 200 years.

If you’re suggesting that the GOP should leave the changes intact that Reid and company made to hamstring the minority permanently I suggest to you that the GOP may well find itself in the minority again at some point and that not allowing the minority to have any input on legislation means you may as well send everyone home from the opposition party and just let the party that has the majority on election day make the laws, unopposed and without debate or amendment, until the next election.

Looking back over the history of legislation in this nation, having the minority have a voice in the legislative process has been not only beneficial but has served to avoid some disasters that one party or the other would surely have implemented without that further debate and amendment to the basic legislation presented, not to mention the fact that those who support the opposition party in this nation among the electorate have a right to representation in the lawmaking process.

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Ya all talkin bout changing te rules.
.

reid is still there, isn’t he?
.
What says he can’t change the rules again before he is replaced?
.

News2Use on November 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

I’m still in favor of keeping the current status quo in place for a while, perhaps until summer,

Surely you mean “until next summer,” or a year and a half after the new Congress starts, rather than waiting a mere six months.

And even there, I can’t agree. What Reid put in place should be the new standard at least until the next election. Anything else is watching your opponent steal, and then telling him, “next year, you won’t be able to get away with that.”

There must be punishment. In the absence of a higher authority, the only punishment can come from the new majority.

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 6, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Reid wasn’t the only dim that voted for this. You got to know that Chucky , Dicky D, Menedez, etal talk Reid into this and the moron fell for this. Screw all of them. And Manchin is going to flip. He’s just doing the hard sell

rik on November 6, 2014 at 6:20 PM

News2Use on November 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Excellent point, and I’d reply only his own party. Reid is walking on thin ice, even with the Democrats. They’ve openly debated removing him as senate minority leader in the wake of the election results. This would have been unthinkable even a few months ago and it is an indication of the depth and scope of the power shift in the ranks of the senate Democrats.

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

In theory I agree with you. Unfortunately, If we do become the minority again, what’s to stop the democrats from changing the rule back to what is was? They used the nuclear option once and I’m sure if we change it back they will just use it again if they get back in to power. So in the long run, it behooves us to use it while we are in power. By the way, great nick. I love the movie “Stripes”.

bandutski on November 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

“Make ‘em live by their own rules.” – Alinsky

ExpressoBold on November 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Yes, what goes around comes around.

petunia on November 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Shocked coming from hatch

cmsinaz on November 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Shocked coming from hatch

cmsinaz on November 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

That’s what religion will do for you

rik on November 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

They took a dump in our cheerios, and now the electorate swapped the bowls. Eat up, Libtards!

DrunksAndChildren on November 6, 2014 at 6:36 PM

If they do go back to the old rules so that the Senate has the filibuster powers then I will never vote again. I don’t want Democrat light nor do I want to vote for anyone or group that are that stupid.
If they do this, obviously nothing is ever gonna get better or change if we keep shooting our selves in the foot.
I mean could the Republicans be that dumb?

pwb on November 6, 2014 at 6:39 PM

The damage done by Reid to the judicial confirmation process alone will take plenty of time to reverse, and in order to fix it, Republicans need to keep Democrats to the Reid Standard until a Republican President gets elected

Absolutely. And then, after that, reverse it little by little, depending on Dems’ good behavior. If we don’t make them pay, and pay dearly, it’ll become SOP for them from here on out.

petefrt on November 6, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Call it “Reid’s Rule” and leave it intact until its author is out of the Senate forever. I’d invoke it as the precedent for implementing the same rule on passing legislation, but there’s never going to be a Senator Me. Rub it in their face now and maybe the Dems won’t be so quick to implement it again after the old rule is restored.

de rigueur on November 6, 2014 at 6:40 PM

bandutski on November 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

That’s why the ‘punishment’ of making them live with it for the six months. To drive the point home, as pain and experience are the best teachers.

Politicians careers hang, in the final analysis, on the will of the electorate. Those who play fast and lose with senate rules simply to have their way will inevitably be judged by the electorate. They have, in fact, just been judged, harshly. Reid has been the quintessential obstructionist, refusing to allow even bipartisan legislation to be brought to the floor for a vote and denying millions of Americans their rightful voice in the legislative process.

As citizens we elect each member of congress to literally stand as our proxy in congress, making the laws of this land in our best interest and the best interest of the nation as a whole.

I will agree with you that it is possible that the Democrats may not learn the lesson that allowing them to live by their own rule changes for six months is intended to deliver, but to simply become them and allow such behavior to stand is unacceptable. The real loser then becomes every American who finds themselves unrepresented in the well of the senate, and the congress at large, due to the manipulations of the political class.

One of the two major political parties needs to believe in the right of the American people to have their rightful voice in congress and demonstrate that belief in a concrete way. Since the Democrats have already made it obvious that they have no qualms about disenfranchising millions of Americans, I’d like the Republican party to demonstrate that they respect and protect the rights of American citizens to be represented in congress.

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM

..these people — not Hatch, but Reid and the Dems — are absolutely incorrigible. Lord it over the American people with their warped sense of right and wrong and liberal politics until they get their asss handed to them.

I say kick them in the nuts until the fall down and keep kicking them until they gag up a kidney..

..figuratively, of course.

The War Planner on November 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Shocked coming from hatch

cmsinaz on November 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Me too. Score one for Orrin.

petefrt on November 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Don’t hold your breath. McConnell is big on tradition, so it’ll get restored. DO NOT FRET.

SouthernGent on November 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

As long as Reid is minority leader the GOP should not do anything to help the minority. If the Democrat caucus comes to some sense and refuses to keep a senile belligerent fool in charge then things can go back to normal. Reid taints everything though.

cadams on November 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Play like they do. You think they really will ever repent? Goose and gander. Screw them.

CW on November 6, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Shocked coming from hatch

cmsinaz on November 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

That’s what religion will do for you

rik on November 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

And “they” said the TEA Party Movement was dead in Utah after Hatch survived his primary.

Steve Eggleston on November 6, 2014 at 7:09 PM

I say kick them in the nuts until the fall down and keep kicking them until they gag up a kidney..

..figuratively, of course.

The War Planner on November 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I second that emotion as to the anti-liberal, authoritarian, totalitarian, collectivist, statist progs. Their ideology is a cancer on this nation, a cancer on a free society, and it must be crushed. Not thwarted, not delayed, not slowed down, but crushed.

As for the few remaining classical Western libs in the Dem Party, they should either take back their party from the progs or join us conservatives who, after all, now carry the torch of classical Western liberalism.

petefrt on November 6, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Hatch’s course is the correct one. But, to get there the deal is: 6 months probabtion and Harry goes. He gets bupkis.

Frankly, if the Dems were smart, they’d ask Reid to resign from office, hes that politically radioactive.

DevilsPrinciple on November 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Beat the Dems with their own sticks.

Hoist them with their own petards.

Crush them with their egos.

They lost; use it.

profitsbeard on November 6, 2014 at 7:25 PM

We should not sabotage the institution for vengeance…

Adjoran on November 6, 2014 at 4:32 PM

The institution is wrecked beyond recognition. If senate comity and professionalism existed, in the past, they are long-gone virtues, in the current club. This is a bunch of sharpies, out for themselves.

massrighty on November 6, 2014 at 7:31 PM

you keep on making this about Harry Reid, but all of them are accountable they all voted for this

PackerBronco on November 6, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Can Republicans play that long game?

Many can. But the real question is can McConnell and the other GOPe Congressional leaders commit to playing the long game that is needed.

I’m not sure that they can. They’re easily seduced by the K Street money, not to mention the platitudes the corrupt media will give them as they embark on the self-serving ‘go along to get along’ strategy that McConnell was telegraphing at his presser yesterday which differed 180 degrees from the Op-Ed he an Boehner published in the WSJ.

McConnell, specifically, is for McConnell only – and doesn’t appear to be interested in the GOP long game. He got his re-election saying what he had to win, and likely Majority Leader title and office. The only thing missing is to be the ‘great reconciliator’ like his idol. His mission goes beyond ‘restoring the honor of the Senate’ in a post-Dingy Harry era. It requires going along to get along.

He doesn’t get that by firmly advocating and passing bills highlighting core conservative values, values he campaigned on, is doing something – even if Obama vetoes every single one of them.

Athos on November 6, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Frankly, if the Dems were smart, they’d ask Reid to resign from office, hes that politically radioactive.

DevilsPrinciple on November 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

These days, the only ones that the Dems purge, are those who are ideologically undependable or disloyal…like ‘blue dogs’ or ‘centrist’ Democrats.

If one is fully on board the hard left agenda, it doesn’t matter how radioactive they are based on their actions or the results. Loyalty is what counts which is why Dingy will be the Minority Leader just as Pelosi will remain the House Minority Leader.

Athos on November 6, 2014 at 7:57 PM

This only goes one way – Left. Once we bring the Latinos out of the shadows and Obamacare kicks in full swing, we will own the electorate again. Its too late to undo what the People put into motion with the election of President Obama. Democrat rule for many generations to come is right around the corner.

Uncle Joe on November 6, 2014 at 8:14 PM

By the way, to answer Barack Obama’s supposed “message” about turnout and his attempt to claim every un-cast vote for himself and Democrats, these numbers should be of interest to him:

In both 2008 and 2012, Obama only received roughly 30% of the votes of those of voting age in the United States. According to his analysis, I suppose he is unqualified to hold the office of President.

But, then again, we knew that already.

IndieDogg on November 6, 2014 at 8:51 PM

The Republican majority will squander every opportunity to crush the Democrats. I have no faith in them…at all.

Stray Cat on November 6, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Republicans should do everything to make democrats suffer under these rules for as long as they can regardless of 2016 election results.

antisocial on November 6, 2014 at 9:05 PM

The damage done by Reid to the judicial confirmation process alone will take plenty of time to reverse, and in order to fix it, Republicans need to keep Democrats to the Reid Standard until a Republican President gets elected

Make the socialist Dems squirm…they chose to rule the Senate by a different set of rules, they should have to LIVE by those set of rules…

Newtie and the Beauty on November 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM

The Dems made these rules to trash Republicans and Americans. They must play under them.

IF McConnell and company switch back, it will be seen as another capitulation by Rs. We cannot afford that.

Keep the rules until we find out what happens after the 2016 national election.

MN J on November 6, 2014 at 9:13 PM

If you’re suggesting that the GOP should leave the changes intact that Reid and company made to hamstring the minority permanently I suggest to you that the GOP may well find itself in the minority again at some point and that not allowing the minority to have any input on legislation means you may as well send everyone home from the opposition party and just let the party that has the majority on election day make the laws, unopposed and without debate or amendment, until the next election.

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Even if the Republicans revert back to the old rules, what’s to prevent the Democrats from reinstating Reid’s rules should the achieve a majority in the Senate?

bw222 on November 6, 2014 at 9:18 PM

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Yup. But make it come at a price. Make the Democrats publicly eat their shame at having manipulated the rules to deny the minority opposition the right to influence legislation, and make them promise they will never do it again.

The Republicans can say that they are now rolling back to the honored traditions which have served our country well for 200 years, but that if the Democrats ever break their promise, all bets are off the table when the Republicans again hold power.

Then roll back the rules.

We Americans believe in honesty and fair play. If the Democrats renounce their agreement, things will not go well for them in the next election — and the new rules they make will stay.

unclesmrgol on November 6, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Even if the Republicans revert back to the old rules, what’s to prevent the Democrats from reinstating Reid’s rules should the achieve a majority in the Senate?

bw222 on November 6, 2014 at 9:18 PM

It’s in the Republicans’ best interests to reinstate the 60 vote rule. That puts judical appointments of liberals out of range of the Democrats plus a few disaffected Republicans.

unclesmrgol on November 6, 2014 at 9:53 PM

“Make ‘em live by their own rules.” – Alinsky

ExpressoBold on November 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

THREAD WINNER!!

Khun Joe on November 6, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Shocked coming from hatch

cmsinaz on November 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

…he must have had a ‘ball’ grafted!

JugEarsButtHurt on November 6, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Screw Reid and the Dems which supported his perversion of the US Senate. They intentionally subverted a process which served the citizens of the US in order to impose their will on an unwilling populace.
To allow their venal and insidious actions to pass without consequence would fail to discourage them from considering such perfidy again in the future.

bobthm3 on November 6, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Ok, maybe I’m missing something.

Why do we want to keep the changes in place while Obama is president? How does this hurt the Democrats?

I thought the changes only made it easier for nominations to get through the Senate, not legislation. We don’t want to make it easier for nominations to go through!

FlareCorran on November 6, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Ok, maybe I’m missing something.

Why do we want to keep the changes in place while Obama is president? How does this hurt the Democrats?

I thought the changes only made it easier for nominations to get through the Senate, not legislation. We don’t want to make it easier for nominations to go through!

FlareCorran on November 6, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Republican voters have made the mistake of thinking that Republican politicans will follow the mandate the voters established. Republican politicians think that a mandate is something that happens between two gay men.

gryphon202 on November 6, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Republican voters have made the mistake of thinking that Republican politicans will follow the mandate the voters established. Republican politicians think that a mandate is something that happens between two gay men.

I don’t know what this has to do with my question.

FlareCorran on November 6, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Burn the dems not to the ground but burn them out of existence.

gwhh on November 6, 2014 at 11:58 PM

Call it “Reid’s Rule” and leave it intact until its author is out of the Senate forever. I’d invoke it as the precedent for implementing the same rule on passing legislation, but there’s never going to be a Senator Me. Rub it in their face now and maybe the Dems won’t be so quick to implement it again after the old rule is restored.

de rigueur on November 6, 2014 at 6:40 PM

I like this approach – but slow-walked because Democrats must all feel the misery of working under Reid’s Rule. Once he and Nancy are gone, then we can talk about normalizing business. But there is no big rush here to make things nice for corrupt Democrats. We really don’t need their input right now, after the mess they have made running amok as they have, and the country did not just vote to let Democrats have more power in the Senate… the exact opposite mandate was expressed.

virgo on November 7, 2014 at 12:26 AM

A Constitutional conundrum, to be sure.

However, I believe that McConnell can and should retain the current procedures for a maximum of two years. They should open their first session with this as the primary topic: How to restore proper governance to the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress

I also believe that it is crucially incumbent on the GOP to openly declare to the American public that they are standing on measures with which they disagree in conscience, and why. Any argument the Democrats can raise to return to the status quo ante will be a public admission that they have been playing dirty pool since 2006, and will provide the GOP’s justification for sustaining an unwanted system for a limited time, in order to restore a balance of governance, and redress horrible policies enacted without the opposition having a voice.

If they have a shred of backbone, they can make this work, and the people will approve.

Freelancer on November 7, 2014 at 2:40 AM

This is all show, just like Obamacare repeal promises on the campaign trail. It took only one day after being re-elected for Pat Roberts to vow to fix Obamacare to end gridlock

Brock Robamney on November 7, 2014 at 5:29 AM

Shocked coming from hatch

cmsinaz on November 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Truly. I have Hatch as one of the Three Stooges — Cochran, Roberts, Hatch. Old and in the way.

Jaibones on November 7, 2014 at 6:16 AM

Shunning Reid is not enough. All the dems who are still around had a vote and they voted with Reid on every judge. The judiciary must be made non- partisan and blind. I don’t see that happening. We just reelected a state SC judge who blasted outside money and the Koch brothers in an ad. The lib judges have infested every state at every level.

Kissmygrits on November 7, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Never cuddle up to a rattlesnake and never yield or turn your back on Harry Reid or his band of goons in the senate.

rplat on November 7, 2014 at 7:16 AM

Playing fair and nice with the libs because at some future date the gop will be back in the minority so they can expect the libs to play fair and nice in return will not guarantee anything. We are not dealing with the dems of our grandfathers. We are dealing with outright cut throat socialists. Fairness and compromise is not in their dictionary.

Kissmygrits on November 7, 2014 at 7:22 AM

No. Republicans will NEVER be rewarded, in the press or by the Donks, by acting magnamously and going back to status quo atne. That represents the long ago Senate of Bob Dole, et al. Reid has poisoned that well for the foreseeable future. There are no gentleman/statesmen left in the US Senate, I’m afraid…

HornHiAceDeuce on November 7, 2014 at 7:30 AM

And this is why we need new Republican leaders in Congress.

Voters not only resoundingly rejected Democrats, but also their agenda. That agenda was largely put in place by corrupting the rules, laws and traditions of our democracy.

Without that corruption, much of what ails us today would not be in place.

Let me say that again for those in Congress who are slow learners. Without that corruption much of what ails us today would not be in place.

So with that in mind, I am a bit curious how Republicans believe they can simply roll back the corruption of Democrats under the old rules?

Anybody?

This nonsense that Boehner and McConnell peddle about returning to “fairness” is nothing but weakness dressed up as some misguided fair-play concept.

When your opponent uses tactics which are outside the normal course of action, you punish them by making them live by the same rules. That discourages any future deviations.

Real democracy embodies the concept that turnabout is fair play. That is, any “majority” is ephemeral and the “rules” are established to ensure that during those transitions there is order.

If you use those same rules to undo any advantage your opponent has gained by corrupting them, it ceases to be a tactic. It serves as not only a warning, but a sign of strength and determination.

It has zero to do with “fairness” and anyone stating otherwise if a feckless, weak dupe.

Marcus Traianus on November 7, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Just a thought here – the nuclear option was for judicial nominees, removing the 60 vote threshold. That works when the majority agrees with the President, but with the R’s in the majority and Obama still the President, this could backfire. Obama will still nominate radical judges, and with the nuclear option in place, the 46 or 47 Dem senators would only need to find 4 or 5 Republicans to vote with them. I say reinstate the filibuster on Judicial nominees and Cabinet members, and invoke the nuclear option on legislation.

ConservativeinCO now in ME on November 6, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I don’t think this matters though because the vote would only happen if the Majority Leader brings it to the floor. So the 4 or 5 GOP defectors would never get the chance to defect if McConnell never brought it up for a vote.

SoRight on November 7, 2014 at 7:45 AM

A Constitutional conundrum, to be sure.

However, I believe that McConnell can and should retain the current procedures for a maximum of two years. They should open their first session with this as the primary topic: How to restore proper governance to the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress

Freelancer on November 7, 2014 at 2:40 AM

How is it a Constitutional conundrum? The Constitution does not provide for a filibuster. That was created by Senators in the 1800’s. I have always been against the filibuster as anti-democratic, but even more so now. there is no requirement for a filibuster in the Constitution, nor is a filibuster required by history, or by conservative ideology. In fact, the filibuster has been used far more effectively against conservative ideas than it ever has against liberalism.

As far as a liberal amendment process – that too is not called for or required by the constitution. That too is not necessary to preserve liberty. There may be reasons to argue for allowing a liberal amendment process, but those reasons have nothing to do with saving liberty or adhering to the Constitution.

Anyone who believes that either the filibuster or a liberal amendment process is constitutionally required or somehow necessary for liberty are wrong factually, historically, and philosophically.

As far as returning the Senate to its previous rules in case the GOP becomes the minority again – how dumb are you people? The Dems did this once, they will do it again. Basically, you are saying let’s give the dems more power as the minority in the delusional hope that they will do the same for us when we are in the minority. They have already proven once they won’t. The genie is out of the bottle. Unilaterally disarming in the crazy hope that the dems will follow suit in the future is just foolish.

Indeed, the only reason McConnell would do this is the absurd hope that the media would like him. It is crazy. that it is even being considered shows how dumb the GOP is.

Again – there is nothing in the Constitution or the writings of the founders requiring a liberal amendment process or the filibuster.

Monkeytoe on November 7, 2014 at 7:47 AM

When will we ever learn that Reid, Pelosi, or even Obama are not the prime evil. It is the entire spectrum of leftist/Marxist big government enablers, that is America’s enemy–and that includes our neighbors, our relatives, and make no mistake–many in the elitist GOP who only pretend they are on our side.

Don L on November 7, 2014 at 7:49 AM

I don’t think this matters though because the vote would only happen if the Majority Leader brings it to the floor. So the 4 or 5 GOP defectors would never get the chance to defect if McConnell never brought it up for a vote.

SoRight on November 7, 2014 at 7:45 AM

And you trust him?

Don L on November 7, 2014 at 7:52 AM

One of the two major political parties needs to believe in the right of the American people to have their rightful voice in congress and demonstrate that belief in a concrete way. Since the Democrats have already made it obvious that they have no qualms about disenfranchising millions of Americans, I’d like the Republican party to demonstrate that they respect and protect the rights of American citizens to be represented in congress.

thatsafactjack on November 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM

How does loss of the filibuster equal no representation in “the well of the Senate”? Again, the constitution does not call for or require a filibuster. The constitution calls for each state to have 2 Senators, each Senator with one vote. That is representation. The Filibuster does not equal democracy or representation.

How does removing the filibuster “disenfranchise” Americans. Are Americans no longer allowed to vote for Senators? Are the Senators no longer allowed to vote in the Senate?

What about a liberal amendment process? How does not having a liberal amendment process in the Senate equate with disenfranchising Americans or leaving them without a voice? Do they no longer have senators? No longer have the right to vote for Senators? No longer the right for their Senators to vote on legislation?

People confusing the filibuster or a liberal amendment process with the foundation of representative democracy are way, way, way off-base.

Those things were simply parliamentary rules created by the Senate in the past (the filibuster in the 1800s). they are not foundational principals of American democracy nor are they required to “preserve democracy” or “preserve liberty”. They are simply parliamentary rules, which, as we have seen, can be changed at will by the current Senate. Changing those rules does not violate the Constitution or destroy democracy.

So, we should keep the rules that the Dems enacted. Unilaterally giving them more power in the minority is stupid. They will not do the same when they are in the majority again.

Monkeytoe on November 7, 2014 at 7:55 AM

How is it a Constitutional conundrum? The Constitution does not provide for a filibuster. That was created by Senators in the 1800′s. I have always been against the filibuster as anti-democratic, but even more so now. there is no requirement for a filibuster in the Constitution, nor is a filibuster required by history, or by conservative ideology. In fact, the filibuster has been used far more effectively against conservative ideas than it ever has against liberalism.

Monkeytoe on November 7, 2014 at 7:47 AM

to further this thought, Republican Senators love the filibuster because it allows them to NOT pursue conservative policy (reducing spending, cutting entitlements, repealing laws, reducing gov’t). It allows them to NOT pursue those things because they just say “we don’t have 60 votes, we can never pass it, they’ll filibuster it” and therefore they never actually pursue those things. It’s a nice out for them to not do the things they don’t want to do in the first place – yet pretend back home to the base that they do want to do those things.

aside from the filibuster of Obamacare – which ended up failing anyway as Obamacare was passed – when was the last time the republicans truly stopped the left through the filibuster?

How many crazy leftists judges have we truly stopped? Not many – there are tons of crazy leftists judges on the bench right now (not even counting the ones appointed after the Reid rule change).

In contrast, the left routinely stops almost every conservative policy with the filibuster.

The filibuster is no friend of conservatives. It does far, far more harm to conservatism than help.

Monkeytoe on November 7, 2014 at 8:01 AM

I’ve got another idea: let’s nuke the remainder of the filibuster because that will happen anyway the next time Democrats control the presidency and both chambers and another one of their pet projects gets held up.

crrr6 on November 7, 2014 at 8:28 AM

I’m sure it’s been posited by now, but the republicans won’t have a chance to “keep” the reid rule. reid himself will change the rules back to what they were before January then dare the republicans to reimpose them.

When the subject is even brought up after that, by anyone, the leftists and the press (but I repeat myself) will scream bloody murder how republicans are trying to destroy the minority (and by implication, all minorities and women). It won’t matter one bit that reid did exactly the same thing, recently enough for everyone to remember it full well, and to the absolute adoration of the leftists and the press (but I repeat myself).

And it’ll work. Again.

runawayyyy on November 7, 2014 at 8:52 AM

This just in: Republicans to hold the football for Lucy, instead of Charlie Brown.

CoolHandLuke on November 7, 2014 at 9:26 AM

The filibuster is no friend of conservatives. It does far, far more harm to conservatism than help.

Monkeytoe on November 7, 2014 at 8:01 AM

And to further that thought even further, to those who claim that “the Senate is the greatest deliberative body in the world and we need to return it to its glory” – I say pshaw!

I love the Constitution and our form of government (if not how it actually operates), but please, that’s nonsense. The Senate is not an academic debate club filled with scholars actually debating the merits of this and that policy. They are partisan politicians pushing things their party wants. Speeches in the Senate are not to persuade each other, they are for publicity with each party’s base and sometimes independents. Senators decide how they are going to vote on something well before any “debate” on the Senate floor begins. Very occasionally, the “debate” can change some votes because public opinion shifts, but rarely.

the Senate is not a great deliberative body any more than the house is. It is a part of a legislature, nothing more, nothing less.

Returning the filibuster or a more liberal amendment process doesn’t make it a “great deliberative body”. It just fiddles with the parliamentary rules under which they politically operate.

Monkeytoe on November 7, 2014 at 9:33 AM

I’m still in favor of keeping the current status quo in place for a while, perhaps until summer, unless Democrats force Reid to the margins.

NO! HELL NO! Regardless of what happens to Reid, the new status quo needs to be kept for AT LEAST several years. The damage to the courts the Dems (especially Reid) did is not going to be undone for decades if ever.
This also points out a major problem with Republicans. They (including Morrissey) don’t seem to understand how Dems, and in particlar Progressives, regard politics. To distort a quote from Clauswitz, they regard it as ‘war by other means’. Until they fully understand this, Republicans are going to continually screw themselves over. We have seen this time after time. I’m beginning to believe it should be required that all Republicans read and understand A Book of Five Rings by Musashi and conduct their politics accordingly, especially the part about about not letting your enemies recover after they have been defeated. If you think that too harsh then you don’t understand Progressives.

rspock on November 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM

This also points out a major problem with Republicans. They (including Morrissey) don’t seem to understand how Dems, and in particlar Progressives, regard politics. To distort a quote from Clauswitz, they regard it as ‘war by other means’. Until they fully understand this, Republicans are going to continually screw themselves over.

rspock on November 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM

If you start from the assumption that republicans generally have no interest in pursuing conservative ideas/policies, then their constant capitulation to democrats makes much more sense.

Yes, republicans like being in the majority and being “the important people”, but that doesn’t mean they want to pursue an actual conservative agenda. So, they need to split the difference somehow.

giving the dems the filibuster and unlimited amendments does just that. It allows the dems to stop any actual conservative policies/ideas, while allowing the republicans to tell the base “we tried, but we did not have 60 votes”.

Monkeytoe on November 7, 2014 at 9:42 AM

If you start from the assumption that republicans generally have no interest in pursuing conservative ideas/policies, then their constant capitulation to democrats makes much more sense.

While I have no doubt there are some who can be accurately characterized that way (EX: Cristy), I would like to think Morrissey isn’t one of them. Your concerns are another reason I’m a Tea Party fantastic, in spite of the 10thers, nullification proponents, etc. At least they are ‘fighting’ even if not always effectively.

rspock on November 7, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Should read Tea Party fan.

rspock on November 7, 2014 at 10:05 AM

These people – and I use that term ‘liberlally’ when referring to democrats – should demonstrate their good faith by denying Reid any and all leadership positions in the new Senate. In fact, Republicans should demand he quietly resign his seat sometime within the next year.

The voters punished democrats, but unless the majority extracts a pound of flesh from them, it will be a hollow victory. Punitive action is necessary if any order is to be restored to the Senate.

ARMINIUS on November 7, 2014 at 10:19 AM

After enduring such a dishonest, lying, promise breaking, president and his scandal ridden administration any thought to eliminating “Reid’s rule” in some naive gentlemanly desire for traditional normality is just stupidly irresponsible. The lousy precedent has been set and the treacherous ends-justify-the-means democrats would only reinstate it the first chance they get in power and hammer their opponents with it. It’s here forever – part of the sordid life in congress thanks to the democrats.

Chessplayer on November 7, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Needs to stay in place until Ms. Ginsburg and Mr. Kennedy retire.

notalemon on November 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM

This article reads like a naive school child romantically itemizing the tenants of freedom.

Those days are OVER. Without the aid of magical pixie dust the American electorate is not going to see how wise and forgiving the Republicans are by sticking to Senate rules the Democrats denied them.

Barely any Americans can name the three branches of government and yet the prevailing wisdom is that taking the high road in the minutia of Senate procedures will bring the electorate on board with them?

Sorry, but that is beyond naive. It’s naive to the point of being dangerous.

The Republicans have ONE duty; to protect the freedom of this country from being gutted from the inside. They must make changes that are as effective and as permanent as possible.

There is no honor among thieves. The Democrats poisoned the well. As soon as the they’re in control again all the questionable tactics like reconciliation and the nuclear option will simply be the springboard from where they launch their next offensive against the constitution.

We cannot let socialism take over this country simply because we are too chickensh!t to ruffle some feathers.

hisfrogness on November 7, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Chessplayer on November 7, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Brilliant! You said what I said but you said it in 3 sentences :)

hisfrogness on November 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

The GOP will lose again if they return to the BS of reaching across the aisle. This infuriates me that the GOP never learns from its mistakes.

mixplix on November 7, 2014 at 2:32 PM

That may end up being the only satisfaction that Republicans get until they can win the White House, but an effective and professional Senate will boost those chances — and then the filibuster “reform” will provide the longest-lasting backfire on Democrats. Can Republicans play that long game?

This is just silly thinking. Reid never paid any price in either the media or public opinion for his rule changes. The republicans should restore the filibuster for ALL Presidential nominees until sich time as they have control of both the Senate and the Presidency. Does ANYONE think that a democratic senate would not do EXACTLY this in 2016 if the need/opportunity should arise?

As for the ‘x-mass tree filling’ Reid applied for the last 6+ years, the republicans should continue that practice until it no longer helps them. The media has already stamped their APPROVAL on this process so the public, outside the beltway, will simply never care!

Freddy on November 7, 2014 at 8:26 PM

PS: the long term fix for the federal courts is a new RETRO-ACTIVE term limit law. Something along the lines of ‘an appointment by 60+ senators is good for 10 years, all other approvals are only good for 2 years!

Clearly, we will need a new President to sign such a law as Obama will continue to dream that his IGNORANT socialist policies will last forever!

Freddy on November 7, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Here’s the the thing. While the Dems still have the Presidency it’s actually in our interest to restore the filibuster for judicial nominess in order to make it harder for the Dems to poach off a handful of moderates to get their judges confirmed.

That way we will look like we’re restoring the honour to the senate, but we get to block any judges we want more easily.

Does anyone disagree?

Charliecrown on November 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

PS: the long term fix for the federal courts is a new RETRO-ACTIVE term limit law. Something along the lines of ‘an appointment by 60+ senators is good for 10 years, all other approvals are only good for 2 years!

Clearly, we will need a new President to sign such a law as Obama will continue to dream that his IGNORANT socialist policies will last forever!

Freddy on November 7, 2014 at 8:33 PM

You would need a constitutional amendment to do that. Federal Judges are appointed for life under the Constitution.

Monkeytoe on November 10, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Here’s the the thing. While the Dems still have the Presidency it’s actually in our interest to restore the filibuster for judicial nominess in order to make it harder for the Dems to poach off a handful of moderates to get their judges confirmed.

That way we will look like we’re restoring the honour to the senate, but we get to block any judges we want more easily.

Does anyone disagree?

Charliecrown on November 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Completely disagree. You are saying that the republicans will filibuster themselves (they are in the majority and control what will or will not come up for a vote)?

It makes no sense.

Monkeytoe on November 10, 2014 at 7:51 AM

All this BS about taking time to reverse the damsge by dirty Harry cab be done with the stroke of a pen, enough of the BS on the GOP side too.

mixplix on November 10, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Sorry about the big fingers on the keys.

mixplix on November 10, 2014 at 2:45 PM

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