Past filibuster issue differed

Just recently, the U.S. Senate voted to remove the filibuster rule for appointments by a 52-48 vote (all but three Democrats in favor and all Republicans against). If you go back eight years – when the Republicans were frustrated about the judicial nominees being filibustered by the Democrats – they, too, put forward the idea of removing the rule (the same as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did weeks ago, as he suggested he would move forward on removing the rule).


At the time the Republicans suggested it, anybody with any gray matter at all left in their heads remembers that it was dubbed “the nuclear option” by the media and the Democrats. The media – instead of calling the Democrats “obstructionists,” like they so often do the Republicans – painted Democrats as heroically making the stand against the more powerful juggernaut of the Republican majority.

But when the Democrats’ judicial picks are being filibustered, the media, all of a sudden, purposefully have a short memory, painting the Republicans yet again as the obstructionists, and losing the term “nuclear option” in their lexicon.

Now, I guess the sky does not fall and the political world does not come to an end with the ending of the filibuster rule. Yet now, after all the hype and fight of eight years ago, Democrats will get their way after – with the media’s assistance – having kept the Republicans from doing the same thing.

Lastly, it should be remembered that Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., put together the Gang of 14 at the time the Republicans put forth the idea to remove the rule. The effort was to ensure that judicial nominees will have greater chance of being pushed through (albeit more moderate) but stopped the filibuster rule (a.k.a. “nuclear option”) from being initiated. Even though the Gang of 14 has turned into a Gang of Eight, where were the votes to stop the filibuster rule change from the Democrats? Graham, in essence, stopped Republicans from getting their desired picks through for several years during their majority hold of the Senate.

This makes Graham the actual obstructionist of the Republicans’ will in the Senate. Be thinking of that when you consider his re-election bid. South Carolina can do better.


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Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon