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2005 Obama: Killing Filibuster Will Poison DC

From Mediaite:

Obama in 2005: If Republicans Kill Filibuster, ‘Gridlock Will Only Get Worse’

by Noah Rothman | November 21, 2013

In 2005, when Democrats were scrambling to halt Republicans in Congress from amending the rules of the filibuster to prevent the minority party from blocking President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, a number of Democratic officeholders cheering the passage of the “nuclear option” once railed against it. President Barack Obama, then a first year senator, told his colleagues on the floor that partisanship in Washington would only get worse if the GOP resorted to the “nuclear option.” …

“I sense that talk of the nuclear option is more about power than about fairness,” Obama said in an April, 2005 speech in the Senate. “I believe some of my colleagues propose this rules change because they can get away with it rather than because they know it’s good for our democracy.”

Obama warned that partisan gridlock would only be exacerbated by a rules change passed by the majority Republicans without Democratic consent.

“The American people want less partisanship in this town, but 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 and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse,” Obama said.

In fact, back in 2005 Senator Barack Obama also said: “I recognize that the filibuster can be used for unfortunate purposes. However, I am also aware that the Founding Fathers established the filibuster as a means of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority — and that protection, with some changes, has been in place for over 200 years.”

But that was then and this is his second term. And he is going for broke.

Meanwhile, we also have this via the Washington Free Beacon:

FLASHBACK: Reid in 2008: ‘As Long As I Am The Leader’ We Will Not Have a Nuclear Option

Reid called it ‘a black chapter in the history of the Senate’

November 21, 2013

Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said in a 2008 interview that as long as he was the Senate Majority Leader, the nuclear option would never happen under his watch.

(This was actually an interview with Tom Daschle.)

“As long as I am the Leader, the answer’s no,” he said. “I think we should just forget that. That is a black chapter in the history of the Senate. I hope we never, ever get to that again because I really do believe it will ruin our country.

Reid railed against Republicans who fought for the measure, saying it would lead to a unicameral legislature and that the U.S. Senate was purposefully set up by the Founding Fathers to have different rules than the House of Representatives. Such a measure like the nuclear option, he said, would “change our country forever.” …

After all, what’s the problem with a psychopath and pathological liar having so much power?

And then there is this from the current President of the Senate, also via the Washington Free Beacon:

FLASHBACK: Biden: ‘I Pray God’ Democrats Never Use Nuclear Option

November 21, 2013

Then-Sen. Joe Biden took to the Senate floor on May 23, 2005 to decry the use of nuclear option, saying such an action would, “abandon America’s sense of fair play.”

“It’s the one thing this country stands for,” Biden said. “Not tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field. “

But Biden warned that Republicans would not “own the field” forever: “And I pray God, when the Democrats take back control, we don’t do the kind of naked power grab that you are doing now.” …

And there are countless other examples, including:

FLASHBACK: Biden On Nuclear Option, “It’s A Fundamental Power Grab”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gagk1ZZVS_k

FLASHBACK: Harry Reid Calls What He Did Today To Senate’s Filibuster Rules “Un-American” And “Illegal"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgTR5YkyZ3Y

But hypocrisy is a badge of honor for Democrats.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, November 22nd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “2005 Obama: Killing Filibuster Will Poison DC”

  1. Petronius

    Apparently Joe Biden didn’t pray hard enough.

    Or God got tired of listening to Joe’s gibber-jabber.

    Memo to Joe: “God” really is a three letter word.

  2. captstubby

    “Damn The Checks And Balances, Full Speed Ahead!”

    The Senate vote Thursday to lower the barriers for presidential nominations should make it easier for President Obama to accomplish key second-term priorities, including tougher measures on climate change and financial regulation, that have faced intense opposition from Republicans in Congress.

    The move to allow a simple majority vote on most executive and judicial nominees also sets the stage for Obama to appoint new top officials to the Federal Reserve and other key agencies — probably leading to more aggressive action to stimulate the economy and housing market. And it frees Obama to make changes to his Cabinet without the threat of long delays in the Senate before the confirmation of nominees.
    The Washington Post November 21

    A Long, long time ago,

    to “give” “the people” more of a direct voice in democracy…

    Progressive Era,

    April 8, 1913

    The Seventeenth Amendment is ratified, allowing for the direct election of U.S. Senators instead of through state legislators.

    Under indirect elections, in the years 1871-1913, 61% percent of elections (461) involved
    incumbents seeking reelection, and 39% were open seat (291); 70% of incumbents (323)
    were reelected. Under direct elections in 2012, 70% of elections involved incumbents
    (23), and 30% (10) were open seat; 91% percent of Senate incumbents were reelected.

    Wendy J. Schiller and Charles Stewart III
    The Brookings Institution




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