Democrats have finally made good on their threat to eliminate the filibuster for judicial and executive branch appointments. Reid had been threatening to strip the minority party in the supper chamber of this important power. McCain is now worried that the change will “strain relations enormously”. The senate is evolving form a legislative body of traditions and rules to one where the exercise of raw political power reigns. As a historical matter, it’s generally acknowledged that judicial and executive appointments were, with few exceptions, a matter of relative comity until dems definitively embraced scorched earth tactics to torpedo Bork and Thomas.
Reid, who was then the senate minority leader, called the attempt to eliminate the filibuster at that time “un-American and illegal.” His office issued at least seven press releases decrying the filibuster. The GOP never followed through with their threat to eliminate the filibuster.
He even tool the unusual move of holding 30 second “pro-forma” sessions, through the Thanksgiving holiday in 2007 to prevent the president form making recess appointments. At that time the dems controlled the senate hadn’t moved on approving a backlog of some 190 Bush nominees.
Reid actually wrote in his autobiography, “A filibuster is the minority’s way of not allowing the majority to shut off debate and without robust debate, the senate is crippled.
The real motivation for dems are currently desperate for anything that will move the conversation away form OBC spectacular failures. Enabling Obama attempts at packing the DC circuit court of appeals, which is responsible for ruling on federal regulation, is an added bonus.
McConnell remarked, “just the way so many dems in the administration and congress now believe that OBC is good enough for their constituents, but then when it comes to them their political allies, their staff, well, of course, that’s the different.”