The HAMMER notes well in this WASHINGTON POST opinion piece that we should be thanking God for Reid’s power grabs.
…God bless Harry Reid. It’s because of him that Gorsuch is guaranteed elevation to the court. In 2013, as Senate majority leader, Reid blew up the joint. He abolished the filibuster for federal appointments both executive (such as Cabinet) and judicial, for all district and circuit court judgeships (excluding only the Supreme Court). Thus unencumbered, the Democratic-controlled Senate packed the lower courts with Obama nominees.
Reid was warned that the day would come when Republicans would be in the majority and would exploit the new rules to equal and opposite effect. That day is here.
The result is striking. Trump’s Cabinet appointments are essentially unstoppable because Republicans need only 51 votes and they have 52. They have no need to reach 60, the number required to overcome a filibuster. Democrats are powerless to stop anyone on their own.
And equally powerless to stop Gorsuch. But isn’t the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees still standing? Yes, but if the Democrats dare try it, everyone knows that Majority Leader McConnell will do exactly what Reid did and invoke the nuclear option — filibuster abolition — for the Supreme Court, too.
Reid never fully appreciated the magnitude of his crime against the Senate. As I wrote at the time, the offense was not abolishing the filibuster — you can argue that issue either way — but that he did it by simple majority. In a serious body, a serious rule change requires a serious supermajority. (Amending the U.S. Constitution, for example, requires two-thirds of both houses plus three-quarters of all the states.) Otherwise you have rendered the place lawless. If in any given session you can summon up the day’s majority to change the institution’s fundamental rules, there are no rules.
McConnell can at any moment finish Reid’s work by extending filibuster abolition to the Supreme Court. But he hasn’t. He has neither invoked the nuclear option nor even threatened to. And he’s been asked often enough. His simple and unwavering response is that Gorsuch will be confirmed. Translation: If necessary, he will drop the big one.
It’s obvious that he prefers not to. No one wants to again devalue and destabilize the Senate by changing a major norm by simple majority vote. But Reid set the precedent….
What a difference seven months — and an election — makes! Joe Manchin told Chris Wallace on yesterday’s Fox News Sunday that he would have voted against ObamaCare if he had taken the time to read the bill before casting a vote. A year ago, though, Manchin was cheerleading its passage, telling people that no bill is ever perfect but that the time had come to pass this particular government grab of authority. Did he bother to read the bill first before giving that advice, or was Manchin just acting as a rhetorical rubber stamp for Obama? The Daily Caller reports on the flip-flop:
In the final days before the midterm elections, Democratic Senate candidate and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin doubled down on his opposition to parts of the health care law, legislation he supported when it was being debated in Congress last spring.
Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday” that he would not have supported the bill if he had been made aware of everything that was in it at the time. While he still fully supports “the concept” of the health care overhaul, he called the final product “overreaching,” citing the new tax mandate on businesses and the lack of protection against government-subsidized abortions.
“Knowing that, I would not have supported that or voted for that at that time,” he said.
Manchin added that he still supports parts of the bill that halt insurance companies from discriminating against customers with pre-existing conditions and the ability for young people to stay on their parents’ health care plan until they are 26-years-old.
“There’s a lot of good parts to it,” he added. “Why don’t we fix what’s wrong with it and make it better?”
Here’s Manchin a year ago, giving the argument that we needed to pass a bill that he apparently never bothered to read: