Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is no stranger to political confrontation. He had some doozies (including two shutdowns of the Federal government) back when Bill Clinton was President.
But he says nothing that happened back then can match the Democrats latest power grab. In a column titled “The Death of the Senate,” he wrote: “No one should be confused about what happened [November 21]. The Obama Democrats killed the United States Senate as a deliberative body 226 years after the Founding Fathers created it.”
What happened eight days ago to lead to this harsh appraisal? After years of threatening to employ the “nuclear option” to limit debate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally pushed the button. The Democrats rammed through a resolution on a straight 52-48 party-line vote that will keep Republicans from using filibusters to prevent confirmation of various Presidential appointees.
They did this in part so they could finally get the additional liberal votes they want on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. I mentioned in last week’s column how vital they think this is to protect many of Barack Obama’s unConstitutional usurpations of power. As The Wall Street Journal pointed out: “[T]he D.C. Circuit in particular will now have more liberal judges to hear challenges to [the President’s] unilateral climate-change power grab or his rewrite by fiat of the Affordable Care Act.”
My, how times have changed. Back in 2005, the shoe was on the other foot. Republicans controlled the White House and had a majority in the Senate. So the Democrats used the filibuster, or the threat of doing so, to prevent votes on dozens of George W. Bush’s nominees.
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