I clearly need to have some testing done to see if I have an overactive Pollyanna string in my DNA sequence. Once the GOP took control of the Senate, I honestly thought that nobody would consider, even for a moment, undoing Harry Reid’s decision to invoke the nuclear option in terms of the threshold for approval of certain nominations. If anything, I suspected that the members would take a look at expanding the practice so that more initiatives could be put through on a simple up or down vote. After all, isn’t that what Democrats constantly bark about wanting whenever one of their measures is being held up? A simple up or down vote? (Reference Barack Obama on comprehensive immigration reform, backed by Harry Reid himself.)
But it seems that there are Republicans who are willing to turn the knife around and point it back at themselves, including Arizona Senator John McCain.
Republicans are split over whether to change the Senate’s rules to allow filibusters on executive and judicial nominations.
As they head into a conference meeting on Tuesday, some Republicans say it’s time to undo a wrong committed by Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and go back to rules that require 60 votes to clear most nominees.
The GOP was outraged last year after Reid and Democrats used a procedural move known as the “nuclear option” to unilaterally change the Senate’s rules to deprive the minority from being able to block most of President Obama’s nominations.
“I think it’s rank hypocrisy if we don’t,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said when asked about reversing the rule change.
“If we don’t, then disregard every bit of complaint that we made, not only after they did it but also during the campaign,” he added. “I’m stunned that some people want to keep it.”
Here’s the first thing wrong with this line of thinking. I understand the desire to look like the Eagle Scout in this situation and say that we aren’t going to engage in these activities or sink to the level of our opponents. It’s a noble sentiment. But I’m afraid that the battle lines have already been drawn. The opponent in this case has already demonstrated that they are ready and willing to shoot the hostage, so to speak. They pulled the trigger on it and changed the rules, and given the opportunity there is no reason to believe that they wouldn’t do it again. Since that time, the Senate has somehow not melted down or thrown us into a monarchy. We also need to remember the old axiom which remains true to this day: no majority is permanent. The day will come when the Democrats take the majority back in the Senate. Do we truly want to set up a situation of uneven parallel bars where the rule which handcuffs the majority will be in place when the GOP is in charge and then be tossed aside once again when the Democrats outnumber them?
Just how often do you want to be played for a sucker?
The repeating theme since the election has been, America elected us because they want to see things get done. Fair enough. Now you have a tool – handed to you by the Democrats – which will facilitate the getting done of the aforementioned things. And you’re going to toss it into the dustbin? The mind doth boggle.