Crybaby Harry Reid - Arrogant Abuse Of A Little Power
It currently takes 60 votes in the Senate to stop debate. Therefore, if any one of forty-one senators wants to filibuster, he can prevent a vote. Democrats hold 45 seats and can prevent a vote on virtually anything they desire. These days the senators don't really have to stand up and talk 'till they drop. Being the sophisticated lot they portend to be, a senator need merely say he will filibuster, and it effectively becomes a filibuster. And for the last few years, the Democrats have been using this ploy to waylay a number of President Bush's judicial nominees.
The Republicans are considering changing the rules so that a majority vote will be able to stop debate, thereby reducing the power of the minority and restoring the Senate to one man, one vote. (There are seven instances listed in the Constitution when a super majority is necessary for an item to pass in the Senate - 'advise and consent' on Presidential nominees is not one of them.)
The prospect of losing more power has the Senate Democrats throwing a hissy fit. In a news conference on the steps of the Capitol, Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called the Republican plan an “arrogant abuse of power.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) said enacting the plan would be “beginning a huge, partisan, cataclysmic event, the implications of which are so profound that none of us really know the answer to it.” Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) before MoveOn.org said changing the rule would "undermine the fundamental tenets of democracy." Chuckie Schumer (D-NY) also before MoveON.org said this would be the "rubber stamp of dictatorship." Oh My God! This may be the end of civilization as we know it...the end of the world, and to my great disappointment, nary a Nazi reference in all this overheated, self-important rhetoric. Where is Senator Robert 'KKK' Byrd (D-WV) when you need him? (My personal suggestion would be to anoint President Bush king. Just kidding...although King George does have a nice ring to it.)
In reality, believing that 41 senators should be able to dictate the agenda to the other 59 senators is the true arrogance here. This almost takes us back to the time when a black man was only 3/5's of a person. Predictably, the Democrats take this arrogant position, and then accuse the Republicans of arrogance. Can you say chutzpah, audacity and temerity real fast three times?
Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is truly showing how arrogant the Democrats in the Senate have become, by threatening to shut down the Senate and therefore the government if the rule is changed. In a letter to Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Senator Reid threatens:
The Senate conducts most of its business by cooperation and consent. The minority provides that consent with the expectation that the courtesies it extends to the majority will be met with respect for minority rights. And no Senate right is more fundamental than the right to debate. Should the majority choose to break the rules that give us that right, the majority should not expect to receive cooperation from the minority in the conduct of Senate business.
Of course Democrats would never block legislation vital to our troops or other national security interests, and we will help ensure that critical government services continue to function for the American people. Beyond that very limited scope, however, we will be reluctant to enter into any consent agreement that facilitates Senate activities, even on routine matters.
Frankly, if Senator Reid were to enact such a limited government policy permanently, it may be, as that noted felon Martha Stewart often says, "a good thing."
Note to Harry: Eventually even the blue-staters are going to get wise to your tired little games. Harry, soon it won't matter if it takes 41 votes to stop a filibuster, 'cause you'll only have 35 Democratic senators. So, Harry, go ahead, make the Republicans day.
You can read more about the news conference here. Be forewarned, it might be best to take an anti-gag pill first.
Posted by Rick | March 17, 2005 09:15 AM