This controversy arose when Democratic senators met at a strategy retreat shortly after President George W. Bush took office. There, they made a calculated and historic decision to cast aside more than 200 years of Senate precedent and to openly and systematically filibuster even highly qualified Bush nominees....Curious, yes. Surprising, no. That was then, this is now, and many other cliches apply to how the Democrats run Congress.
The Democrats' tactics were a dramatic change of Senate precedent, which had generally limited filibusters to legislative matters. These were politically motivated obstructions, not thoughtful debates on the nominees' character or judicial philosophy. In the midst of a filibuster of Priscilla Owen's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) suggested that 10 additional hours be allowed before a final vote. Then-Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) objected. How long did he need? "[T]here is not a number [of hours] in the universe that would be sufficient," Reid replied....
So, given this context, it's difficult to understand the majority leader's recent indignation over a Republican attempt to block only one of President Obama's most troubling nominees, Judge David Hamilton (since confirmed). It's curious that the architect of the judicial filibuster is complaining about its use.
The willingness to change or reinterpret Senate rules shows why it is not over until it is over on Reid's health care restructuring bill. What John Hindraker refers to as the "It's B-a-a-a-ack! " nature of Reid's efforts.
Being for something but now against it makes no difference if the goal is achieved, apparently.
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