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The Republicans have made it official. Mitch McConnell pushed the button and launched the nuclear option in order to stuff a stolen Supreme Court seat with a deeply conservative corporate-friendly pick by Trump. With that, bipartisanship is dead and this is sure to gridlock the Senate for the foreseeable future, so I hope the Republicans feel it is worth it.
What is especially offensive is that Republican officials know this and tried to game for political advantage. During Clinton's administration, dozens of appointments went unfilled due to Republican filibustering with no hearing. When Bush was elected, these missing seats were confirmed without obstruction, amounting to partisan stuffing of many lifetime appointed judges. The Democrats cooperated on all but 10 of them -- giving them all hearings, but declining those 10 as being too partisan. When Obama was elected in 2008, the Republicans were at it again. They blocked many of his appointments and refused to hear many of them. Obviously, they were going to repeat their strategy with Clinton and wait it out until another conservative President took the reigns. It didn't happen. Obama was re-elected in 2012. Following the election, Republicans showed no intention to let up the obstruction. These seats needed to be filled and Republicans were prepared to let these seats remain vacant as punishment for electing the wrong President.
Frustrated by this abuse of Senate rules that were not intended for this, the Democrats exercised a limited nuclear push of their own to get some of those appointments filled. It was a last resort action to work around Republicans who had, up until then, been unwilling to cooperate. This outraged the Republicans. Now, they believe themselves entitled to a uncontrolled detonation of the remaining filibuster rules they pretended to covet and are too fucking weak to own responsibility for it as they still blame Democrats for their own partisan actions.
So what can we expect to happen now. Well, while no actual laws have been broken by Republicans, they have certainly pissed in the Cheerios. What I predict the Democrats will do -- and I recommend they do -- is simply go home. There is no reason to be present at a legislative body that doesn't want you there and will overrule you when it wants.
This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.comments powered by Disqus