The Filibuster Is Dead (Partly)

CNN reports that by a vote of 52-48 in the Senate, the filibuster of judicial and executive branch nominees has been eliminated. The nuclear option has been detonated.

UPDATE: I was in the middle of writing a post about this when the vote was taken. Here’s what I was writing:

A few minutes before the vote, Dana Bash was on CNN talking about the Democratic effort to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominees. “It’s going to make things a lot more tense in the Senate, if you can believe that,” she said. “I imagine it will provoke a lot of anger on the Republican side,” said another anchor. This was followed by some back-and-forth about just how angry Republicans would get and how they’d take advantage of this during next year’s midterms.

This is typical, and telling. Republican anger is always taken as a given, and always treated as genuine. But for some reason Democrats don’t get the same consideration. This despite the fact that Democrats stepped away from this brink several times already earlier this year, and the only reason they’re going forward now is because Republicans have finally pissed them off beyond endurance. Even the moderates have reached the end of their ropes. If things are tenser now in the Senate, Republican need only look in the mirror to find the cause. They’re no longer even pretending that they’ll allow President Obama to perform the normal functions of his office—functions that every other president in history has performed without any serious obstacles.


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