Revealed: The NYT editorial board’s shameless filibuster hackery
posted at 2:26 pm on July 19, 2013 by Guy Benson
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto is often at his best when he’s skewering the New York Times. Thus, his commentary on the Grey Lady’s hilarious flip-flop-flip on “filibuster reform” is priceless. To recap: Times editors supported nuking the filibuster when Republicans were using it to frustrate President Clinton, then decided that it was an important and “effective” tool during the Bush years, only to revert back to their previous position now that the maneuver is again being wielded by the GOP. Taranto concludes:
It’s now clearer than ever that the Times’s guiding principle is nothing other than the tactical interests of the Democratic Party. If the Democrats hold both the presidency and between 50 and 59 seats, as they do today, abolishing the filibuster is in their interest and thus a matter of high principle to the Times. If the Republicans do, as in 2005, maintaining the filibuster is in the Democrats’ interest and thus a matter of equally high principle.
Here’s the money excerpt from the Times’ 2005 editorial, expressing “lessons learned” contrition — which they’ve abandoned now that the roles have again reversed:
A decade ago, this page expressed support for tactics that would have gone even further than the “nuclear option” in eliminating the power of the filibuster. At the time, we had vivid memories of the difficulty that Senate Republicans had given much of Bill Clinton’s early agenda. But we were still wrong. To see the filibuster fully, it’s obviously a good idea to have to live on both sides of it. We hope acknowledging our own error may remind some wavering Republican senators that someday they, too, will be on the other side and in need of all the protections the Senate rules can provide.
That “hope” has become a reality, so the Times has re-embraced its “own error.” I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the Times’ thoughtful re-examination of this critical issue next time someone with an (R) next to his or her name is the Senate Majority Leader. Who needs principles? Ends, means, etc.
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