“Nuclear” Fallout: Republicans Wanted to Act Like Petulant Children, Now They’re Getting Spanked

MITCH-MCCONNELLAs most of you know by now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally went “nuclear” on the Senate yesterday.  What that basically means is that to proceed with judicial or executive nominees (with the exception of nominees to the Supreme Court), which Republicans have blocked at a record pace since President Obama became the president, the Senate will now only need 51 votes to confirm a nominee instead of the 60 previously required.

Was this an ideal move?  Absolutely not.  It opens the door for a possible Republican-controlled Senate in the future to ram through whatever radical right-wing appointee they want.

But after 4 years of record setting filibusters by Senate Republicans, Harry Reid simply had enough.  He changed the rules which will help Democrats bypass blatant Republican obstruction to actually — gasp — get something done.

And of course, Republicans are “outraged.”  But they only have themselves to blame.  For quite a while now this was looming, and they knew Reid had the power to do it.  If anything, he should have done this long ago.  Instead, he kept status quo in a futile effort hoping Republicans might actually just grow the hell up.

They didn’t.

Now they’re acting like children who finally got punished for acting like a bunch of spoiled brats who wouldn’t behave.

Ironically, this “nuclear” option doesn’t even come close to the ridiculousness the Republican majority pulls in the House of Representatives.

As it stands now, Speaker Boehner almost always invokes the “Hastert Rule.”  What that means is that even if the Senate sends the House a bill, which would pass if allowed to come up for a vote, John Boehner won’t allow the House to vote on the bill unless the majority of the majority supports it.

Meaning, as it stands now, unless a majority of Republicans in the House support a bill—Boehner won’t allow it to come up for a vote.

For a great example of this, look no further than our recent government shutdown.  The Senate sent a clean continuing resolution that would have kept the government open, and there were more than enough Republicans that would have sided with Democrats for it to pass the House, but a “majority of the majority” didn’t support it — so Boehner never allowed it to come up for a vote.

The same goes for the immigration reform the Senate sent to the House months ago, but Boehner never allowed it to come up for a vote.

So spare me this “outrage” by Republicans because Harry Reid gave them 4 years to act like adults and they simply chose to continue to act like spoiled children who didn’t get their way.

There’s always going to be some level of partisan gamesmanship as it relates to the minority party in the Senate with filibusters, but Republicans took it to a whole other level.  And for years, Democrats sat back and allowed them to play these kinds of childish games.

Four years Republicans were allowed to play their partisan politics to a point where Harry Reid, as well as almost every other Democrat and much of the country as a whole, was simply fed up.

Senate debate should be about the quality of nomination, not because Republicans don’t want more Democratic judges.

This Senate obstruction has just been one of many examples where Republicans ignore the results of elections and demand to do things their way.

However, like I said before, this “outrage” Republicans are faking all over the right-wing media airways is absurd.  The crap House Republicans have been pulling since 2010 — things like blocking votes on bills that would pass simply because a majority of House Republicans oppose it — is far more outrageous than anything Harry Reid has done in the Senate.

But at the end of the day, Republicans only have themselves to blame.  For years Harry Reid could have done this but chose not to, hoping Republicans might one day act like adults.  They didn’t.  In fact, they’ve acted even more ridiculous as time went on.

What this “nuclear option” really comes down to is this: the majority of the Senate will be enough to confirm judicial or executive nominees.  That’s it.

Votes will still require a majority vote.  Unlike the Republican-controlled House that requires a majority of the majority.

So if you really want to talk about ridiculous, outrageous and absurd — it starts in the House of Representatives and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • hermanprovi

    Republicans, are jumping up and down about the “nuclear option”! IF, they hate it so much, will they take advantage of it, if they ever get control of the Senate? In other words, if you are against something, DON”T INDULGE IN IT!

    • Bine646

      ohh only the democrats can right? biggest change since the 70s, we have seen how well Obamas appointees have performed so far- im sure giving them a greenlight on all will be a good thing….

      • hermanprovi

        I would love to reply to this comment, BUT, I can’t make any sense out of it!

      • Bine646

        cant comprehend english? that sucks

      • Pipercat

        I hate that for you…

      • hermanprovi

        English? Perhaps you should look it up. that is if you can read, and comprehend!

      • Bine646

        Says Fernando the foreigner

      • hermanprovi

        foreigner from hell!

      • regressive rightwing trash

        LOOOOK! bine crybaby is back!!! ever notice anything mentioning regressive crybaby republican in the TRUE light ol” bine crybaby appears? will someone PLEASE change his soiled diapers?? hes very irascible today

      • Bine646

        ahhh nothing like a troll in the afternoon

      • regressive rightwing trash

        im not a troll,,,im a TEGU

      • hermanprovi

        I hope you had a nice “troll”. Was it a relative?

      • lindylou

        I am sure nobody can top Bush’s appointment to head up FEMA. Please remember that the 52 senators who chose the “nuclear” option were ELECTED by their constituants.

      • Bine646

        good so we know who to blame. No one forgets that Obama won by a slim majority and look how many people regret that vote- whats his approval rating at- 39%?

      • hermanprovi

        Poor thing, are STILL sore about Mr. Obama winning the Presidency TWICE? He would probably even win a third term!

      • Bine646

        with his 39% approval rating bahahahah

      • hermanprovi

        And Republican Congress at 9

      • Bine646

        May disapprove but they were right werent they? Govt shut down bc dems didnt want to delay obamacare now they are going to have too

  • jdd

    How is this all the republican’s acting like children? The democrats have been acting like children just as much. Toss the two party system out and start over.

    • lindylou

      That’s stupid. Please provide a REAL solution.

      • jdd

        I did, we start over because no one is willing to work together. The “REAL” solution is for everyone to be willing to listen to the other side and come up with a compromise to get stuff done.

        It is NOT just one side that is at fault here. Both sides need to stop digging in their heels and compromise somewhat.

        And what would your brilliant idea be?

  • johnbuoy

    Whatever you may think, the Republicans in the house DID ask for this. If you can dispute any of the facts in this article, feel free. If you can’t, STFU.

  • Ray Switzer

    Contrary to the author, I’m not blaming the GOP representatives. Their votes represent their constituents and what is believed to be best for the country. It just doesn’t happen to be the same as the Democratic party belief of what is best.

    This country is becoming more and more divisive and to me that is issue that scares me the most. We can no longer work together to achieve a common goal.

    Take this article and comments posted. Pretty much hate and name calling.

    I’m a conservative, Christian Republican. I don’t hate gays or Democrats or people of other faiths or activists for agendas I don’t support. Our diversity is what makes the US great.

    This article incites and divides.

  • HavanaEyes

    And the House send bills and budgets to the Senate that Reid will not put up to vote…so, what else is new here? Both sides are acting like children.