A few days ago, I wrote about the consequences of individual decisions as they related to the events in Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York and Missoula, Montana. It seems that in our civil society, we no longer place any responsibility or accountability on the person who makes decisions — realizing that there can be adverse consequences to bad ones.But this issue isn’t just playing out on the mean streets of America, it’s on Capitol Hill as well.
You see, awhile back, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made decisions about the procedural operations of the Senate for which he may now reap the consequences — or will he?As reported by the Washington Examiner, “Senate Republicans, who condemned a Democratic decision last year to require only 51 votes to confirm judicial and executive branch nominees, are struggling to decide whether to reverse the so-called “nuclear option” or leave it in place when they take the majority in January.”
“The rules change lowered the threshold for judges and President Obama’s executive branch appointees from 60 votes to 51 votes. Democrats invoked the change with a simple majority vote rather than a typically required supermajority, infuriating Republicans, who promised the Democrats would “pay a heavy price” for the move. But with the majority just weeks away from their grasp, the Republicans are “soul searching” about whether to change it back.”
Yep, the Democrats did pay a heavy price, with the largest GOP House majority in quite sometime and a large swing in the Senate – as a matter of fact, 30 Democrat Senators who voted for Obamacare are now no longer in the upper chamber of our federal legislative branch.And I recall two statements from President Obama early in 2009 after his victory: “elections have consequences” (yes they do) and “I won” (not this time, my friend).
So will there be consequences for the Democrats in losing — after all we’ve already seen the intransigence from President Obama, while Reid has vowed to be an obstructionist for the GOP Senate majority — kinda like those 367 pieces of legislation passed in the House that sit on his desk? Or the fact that the Senate under his purview this year did not pass a single appropriations bill — there are only 12, one per month.
So here is the interesting dilemma –or perhaps not. Should the new GOP Senate majority maintain the simple majority rule, as unilaterally changed by Reid for partisan political gain? Or should the GOP play nice and change it back allowing the Democrats in the Senate to resemble that pesky mosquito that buzzes your head while you’re trying to sleep on a hot, humid summer night? (And being from the South, I don’t like mosquitoes).Should the Democrats be forced to live under the consequences of their decision — as if they read their own liberal progressive press and didn’t believe there would EVER be a GOP Senate majority?
My assessment is that Reid — along with Obama — decided to change the filibuster rule, a time-honored tradition in the senior deliberative body to protect the minority — believing they could have their way and IF the GOP would win the Senate they’d live up to a higher standard — unlike progressive socialists — and change it back. Therefore, no consequences for what the Senate Democrats did and they’d then force the new GOP majority to clear the 60-vote threshold.
Here is clear evidence of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Number 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this, because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)”So you can bet Democrats expect the GOP to change the rule back after their abuse.
Senate Majority Leader West would leave it exactly as it is. Leave it as Harry Reid decided and make the Senate Democrats live under their action. I wouldn’t fall into the Democrats’ predictable trap, who based everything on their own nefarious nature in opposition to the GOP benevolent nature — living up to a self-imposed rule.
Actions and decisions have consequences and that is the lesson to be learned. And consider this, what would the liberal progressive media and the DC liberal pundits say? They were the ones so silent when Harry Reid did what he did – as a matter of fact, I could bet they were cheering and laughing.
While they were in the majority, the rights of the minority party were meaningless. It’s kinda like a “Golden Rule” in reverse — do back unto others as they have so done unto you. And how would Harry Reid or any Senate Democrats be able to say a single word in opposition? After all, they’re simply submitting to the rule he changed….unless at the last minute before the end of this terms Reid changes cit back. And I wouldn’t put that bit of chicanery past him.
So what is the forecast within the GOP Senate conference?
The Washington Examiner says, “meeting behind closed doors Tuesday with soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., most members appeared undecided about what to do, although a few have come out strongly in favor of or against reversing the rules change. “There’s a careful and robust discussion but it’s still ongoing and no decisions have been made,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday evening as he left McConnell’s suite of offices in the Capitol. Republicans don’t really benefit by leaving the rule in place in the short term, since Obama remains in the White House for the next two years. That could all change, however, if a Republican wins the White House in two years and the GOP keeps its majority in 2016. Then it would be much easier to confirm GOP nominees with 51 votes, much the way it worked for Democrats this year, who are on target to confirm a near-record number of judges as well as many controversial executive branch nominees who otherwise would have been blocked by the 60-vote threshold.”
So I say leave it in place as a simple 51-vote majority. “I would not have invoked the nuclear option,” Cruz said. “I think it was a mistake. But, once it’s done, I don’t think we should go back. I don’t think there should be one rule for Democrats, and one rule for Republicans.”
The Examiner says, “some Republican lawmakers reason that if they undo the Democrats’ nuclear option and return to the 60-vote threshold, Democrats will simply reinstate it the next time they are in the majority. “They would be crazy to reinstate the judicial filibuster, because as soon as the Democrats get the majority again, they’ll get rid of it again,” said Roger Pilon, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
In the future the progressive socialists won’t be able to complain — they will anyway — because they were the ones who changed the rule and there shouldn’t be rules for Democrats and rules for Republicans, just one standard. Harry Reid has established that standard. Elections, as well as actions, do indeed have consequences.