Friday, June 29, 2007

Democrats Should Use Nuclear Option

Remember the days when Tom DeLay and Bill Frist ruled Congress with an iron fist? They demanded up or down votes on Bush's horrific judges. They threatened to use the "nuclear option" to end use of the filibuster if the "obstructionist" Democrats didn't roll over for every item on the agenda, including putting Sam Alito on the Supreme Court.

Well, the Democrats peed their pants and rarely used the filibuster.

Now the Democrats are in the majority and guess who all of a sudden hates up or down votes? That's right, the minority party. Republicans are in a state of perpetual filibuster.

From The Nation:
It was not so long ago that Republicans threatened to "nuke" the Senate if Democrats employed the filibuster to block President Bush's judicial nominees, particularly those to the Supreme Court (which in light of recent decisions, they clearly should have).

Fast forward two years later, with Democrats narrowly in control, and the Senate is in a state of permanent filibuster. It takes 60 votes to get "cloture" and pass just about anything.

Do it! Become wrath.

Even if Democrats don't pull the trigger on the nuclear option, they should at least threaten to do it. With more losses projected for Republicans in 2008 (two-thirds of Senate seats in the 2008 election are held by Republicans), and the likelihood that Republicans are going to get sympathy for any reason very low, I fail to see what the Democrats have to lose.

Granted, the filibuster is an important part of a functional democracy, so when and if we ever have a functional democracy, we should restore it.

RELATED: "Latest Filibuster Blocks Free Choice" by Bill Scher.

Crossposted at Ice Station Tango.

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