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Now the Minority, Democrats 'regret' using 'Nuclear Option'

Updated on February 1, 2017
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Pres. Trump set to appoint new Justice

The sound of mainstream Democrats running to and fro through newsrooms and cubbyholes pre-condemning Republicans’ threat to use the nuclear option in approving the next Supreme Court justice is nearly audible. Still stunned by the shock and awe of Hillary Clinton’s unimaginable loss in November - despite hundreds of thousands of potential illegal votes cast for her - weepy politicos like minority leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic drama-queen Nancy Pelosi have the gall to lecture Republicans on the simple majority rule they invoked.


Former Pres. Obama has been for and against Nuclear Option, depending on which party was in power.
Former Pres. Obama has been for and against Nuclear Option, depending on which party was in power. | Source

Democrats effectively did away with filibuster in 2013

Flashback three years and the Democrats used the so-called nuclear option to upend Senate tradition by doing away with filibusters against presidential nominations. “I have absolutely no regret,” said Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, who called for Democrats to ignore Republican filibusters by use of a simple majority to get a herd of Obama-appointees through Republican opposition. Defending his party’s move to weaken the filibuster, Merkley said, "We'd never seen abuse of advice and consent in the history of our country so that was a necessary way to correct it."

Democrats counted on Clinton win to use filibuster again

Merkley may have no regrets, but his actions in 2013 set a precedent for the next Republican President to rely on. Of course, Merkley, like most mainstream media outlets and Democratic Party leaders, figured on the political coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016. A particularly low-energy candidate with as much baggage as a coast-to-coast Amtrak passenger train, Clinton suffered a spectacular loss by way of the Electoral College. Fast forward to the present and President Donald J. Trump is set to nominate his first Supreme Court Justice, with one or two more openings expected to open up during his term.

Nearly three months after election, reality sets in for Democrats

Because Democrats were so eager to push through then-President Obama’s nominees, they reset the Senate confirmation threshold from 60 to 51 votes for appointees. Democrats may protest and blame Republicans for their Nuclear Option rule but at the end of the day it won’t make any difference at all. Senate Democrats are virtually powerless to obstruct Republican appointees, by their own hand.

Fast-forward: We’re now 2 ½ months post election and reality is beginning to set in for some Democrats, including sponsors of the nuclear option. "I do regret that," said Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a Democrat who voted for the rules change three years ago. "I frankly think many of us will regret that in this Congress because it would have been a terrific speed bump, potential emergency break, to have in our system to slow down nominees."

Democrats like Coons have no one but themselves to blame for their political impotence. They shot themselves in the political foot and gave their political gun to Republicans.

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    • DougClifton profile image
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      Larry Douglas Clifton 6 months ago from Tampa Bay area

      I think they are doing just that, but since they used the nuclear option one can be certain Republicans will too. And, as far as Dems are concerned, if they "never vote" they will get the same in 2018.

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      Sanxuary 6 months ago

      I think the Democrats even if they can never win should simply never vote. They should say we are waiting for the next President before we decide. I think they should do everything to insure nothing passes and watch the Republicans who have done nothing for 8 years continue to do nothing.