Now, President Obama can nominate the Three Stooges to the federal bench if he wants, and get away with it.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” and the Senate voted 52 to 48 to change Senate rules by reducing the number of votes needed for cloture on nominees from 60 to 51 (which could include Vice President Joe Biden’s tie-breaking vote).
Republicans had hoped in vain that the threat of the GOP wielding this white-hot weapon in 2017 would keep Sen. Reid’s finger off the button. It worked when George W. Bush was frustrated at Democrats blocking his nominees and floated the idea in 2005, prompting the bipartisan Gang of 14 to break the nominee logjam.
Do the Democratic strategists know something we don’t? Why are they confident that, despite the titanic failures of Obamacare, that they can do whatever they want and still hold on to the White House in 2016?
Mr. Obama has already laid the groundwork, hanging a Medal of Freedom around Bill Clinton’s neck while fellow honorees Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem and others applauded at last Wednesday’s White House ceremony. If that won’t persuade millions of undecided Americans to vault Hillary Clinton back into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, then I’m not sure what will.
The Democrats’ narrative is set for the next few years: Obamacare would have worked fine except for the Republicans – especially Tea Party types. Anything that has gone wrong or will go wrong is their fault.
The media, ever faithful to the progressive cause, will feverishly rewrite history to save liberalism from its ever-growing ranks of victims. Future meme: Wasn’t it Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who said, “if you like your health insurance or green eggs and ham, you can keep it?”
Real history can be annoying, such as then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s fiery 2005 speeches opposing the “nuclear option” during a time when Democrats were blocking Bush nominees. Here’s Mr. Obama on the Senate floor on April 13 of that year:
“Everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.”
Not to be outdone, then-Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said a month later,
“We should make no mistake. This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party ... never, to the best of my knowledge, has any party been so bold as to fundamentally attempt to change the structure of this body.” Until now.