Democrats & Liberals Archives

Critical Mass On the Nuclear Option

About eight years ago, we had this debate, and it was resolved in favor of most of the few nominees blocked being allowed to move on. Now, things are different, and Republicans will likely call Democrats hypocrites for taking the nuclear option. However, Republicans had to be hypocrites first, in absolute and historic excess, for this to have occurred.

Especially with Harry Reid!

The Republicans did not have the Constitution on their side here. There is no sixty vote requirement on the advise and consent measure. Simple majorities were intended.

Before Republicans became the majority, they bitterly opposed even the partial, small scale filibustering of nominees. That's where we get the term "the nuclear option" from.

But what was this about? Well, it wasn't about Democrats trying to wholesale prevent Bush's congress from working. It was about a few dozen Republican nominees to the courts. Republicans had basically blocked much of Clinton's appointees, and Democrats were concerned about Bush packing the courts.

The Republicans pushed this Nuclear Option, and warned that if they didn't get what they wanted, Democrats would simply no longer have the power to get in the way. Democrats relented, and all but the most objectionable candidates were confirmed.

Republicans insisted that this was the only right way. They threw around terms like "Democracy", and "constitutional options".

Then they lost an election, and wouldn't you know it, things changed!

Suddenly, it became utterly necessary to block everything the Democrats in Congress pushed. Guess Republicans wanted to deprive Democrats of the ability to say they were useful. Only trouble was, the next couple of years, with the financial collapse and everything, got people thinking that the Republicans were absolutely useless, and Democrats surged to victory with a Democrat winning back the White House.

That, of course, would not do. Suddenly, what had been called anti-democratic, the tyranny of the minority by the Republicans (when times were good for them) was now a necessary check on majoritarian power. Suddenly, America was no longer a Democracy!

The legislative filibuster, which is still in effect, was used to unprecedented effect. But especially problematic were the stalled appointments.

The Republicans have allowed all kinds of positions and agencies to become compromised in the name of preventing Obama from having his constitutional due. Where Bush got many of his appointees confirmed despite Democrats sometimes filibustering them, Obama's appointees have faced near universal obstruction.

Republicans really have abused the Filibuster, turning it from a procedure sometimes used to start a negotiation, to something always used to prevent this President from having his due effect on the shape of his own branch. Advise and Consent was never meant to be subject to a veto, or a vote requirement of sixty.

This was a power grab on the Republican's part, one that in effect rendered inoperative part of the Constitution that was meant to function.

I know Republicans don't like this. But I didn't like Bush's approach either. I appreciated something, though: that when these sort of procedural tricks are overused, especially to the point of nullification of a constitutional power, that creates a strong incentive to destroy that procedure.

Democrats know that a Nuclear Option could be turned against them, that the Republicans might retaliate. But there, too, Republicans have overplayed their hand. They've already made things incredibly difficult, virtually impossible to get through. There is no functional difference between retaliation and what's come before.

Republicans seem very unwilling to admit that the legitimate conduits of power run through appeal to the public. They've decided that what's right (from their point of view) is right, and letting public opinion sway them would be a failure of principle. Trouble is, at the end of the day, If power isn't built on the social contract, our Constitution is designed to make it that much more difficult.

Republicans want to be apart, to hold their power over and above those whose ideas and principles they consider bad. They don't want to have to be bothered with the niceties, even in a Republic like ours, of compromising or negotiating for what they want, giving and not just taking.

They took too much, and for too long, to the point where Harry Reid, who from the beginning resisted this, decided this was necessary. I mean, It's taken seven years of him enduring what is literally the worst obstruction the Senate has ever seen for this to occur. Everybody else lost patience long ago.

The Republicans, in their extreme hypocrisy, have provoked the very nuclear option they once threatened us with, made it to where the Senate could not perform one of its fundamental duties without resorting to this drastic measure.

I don't carry much hope that Republicans will respond maturely to this. Their behavior over the last few years has been appalling, in terms of civility and putting the interests of the nation above their political agenda. For me, the philosophy has always been that governing comes first. Fulfilling an agenda is something you really can only do well if the voters back your play, and as the Bush Administration demonstrates, trying to push that agenda anyways as the failures of government pile up is generally a bad idea.

Republicans have caused a failure here, left Obama without the ability to appoint or replace many of the necessary leaders and judges our system needs to function. Why? Simply to deprive Obama of the ability to rollback what Bush, Reagan, and the Republican Congress did. But people change their minds, and for this to be, as the Framers would define it, a government by the people, of the people, and for the people, requires that the government be able to change, however incrementally, with them.

Americans want their government to function. They want them to take care of business, to make sure the system runs like it needs to. Fulfill that, and they will give you the power, or let you keep the power, to get what you want. Try to hoard all the power to yourself, regardless of their sentiments, and things like this will happen. People from the other party will decide that enough is enough, and that they want something more to show for their terms other than a list of failed cloture votes.

This failure for the Republicans was a long time coming, but when you sabotage the government, don't be surprised when somebody becomes sick of it and does something to fix your problem.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 21, 2013 2:25 PM
Comments
Comment #374478

Once again, it’s all the Republican’s fault, they made them do it. Stephen cannot just admit that the Democrats have ANYTHING to do with the dysfunction in the Senate now. Ignore Harry Reid’s exponential increase in moving bills through without debate, ignore the inability or unwillingness of the Senate Democrats to meet any of the Republican’s demands or even talk about them. No, it’s all the fault of the Republicans…

Don’t misunderstand, this doesn’t FIX anything, just makes it all much worse. It will hurt Democrats in the long run as much if not more than it hurts Republicans now. But hey, then they can say that they need the switch turned back off because, well, it’s all the Republican’s fault!

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 4:30 PM
Comment #374480

This action taken today was precipitated by the House of Representatives action during the debt limit showdown. The Speaker changed the rules during the debt showdown. House Rule 22 Clause 4 was changed two weeks prior to the government shutdown. The rule used to allow any member of the House to call a resolution for an up or down vote (remember that rhetoric) if the Senate will not go to conference. The continuing resolution would not be discussed in the Senate so the House changed the rules to read that only the Speaker or his designate can call forward a resolution for an up or down vote.
We are very pleased that the person elected to appoint nominees by executive order will now receive a fair and just nomination approval process and allow the work to be started that he envisions for our country.

Posted by: Speak4all at November 21, 2013 4:35 PM
Comment #374481
We are very pleased that the person elected to appoint nominees by executive order will now receive a fair and just nomination approval process and allow the work to be started that he envisions for our country.

I’m glad you are, Speak4all, just remember that joy when it is being used against you to pack the courts with Republican ant-choice judges in the future and you can’t do anything about it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 4:38 PM
Comment #374482

Exactly Rhinehold the Democrats forget that someday they will be the minority in the Senate and what happened today will come and bite them in the A**.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at November 21, 2013 4:46 PM
Comment #374483

Yah, another warning. Look we got tired of this nonsense and made changes so that they can’t stop the duly elected President of the United States by opposing and obstructing everything. This was brought upon themselves and we shall see what it has wrought in the future. I know it seems scary right now but just wait things will hopefully get better. I can always do something about things I don’t like, it’s called vote.

Posted by: Speak4all at November 21, 2013 4:47 PM
Comment #374484

Two interesting issues related to filibuster reform that I have not seen addressed:

1) How fast will Kathleen Sebelius resign? Under the previous rules, Obama could not fire her because the Senate would filibuster all attempts to replace her, as another method of sabotaging health care reform. That is no longer a problem. She should update her resume ASAP.

2) Why were the Republicans willing to let this happen? They literally gave up their ability to prevent 90 other current vacancies from being filled, as well as future appointments, all in order to prevent a change in the balance of power on the DC Court of Appeals.

The DC Court of Appeals rules on matters involving federal agencies. Financial regulations & oversight and environmental regulations are particularly high profile areas affected by the court. So! Follow the money. Who demanded the Senate Republicans filibuster those appointments despite the great risk? Wall Street interests? The US Chamber of Commerce? The Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel entities? All of the above? Someone pushed for those filibusters- hard- beyond all common sense- but why? Perhaps this is just another example of unhinged Obama hatred causing another GOP derailment. Stay tuned.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2013 5:09 PM
Comment #374485

Daugherty writes that their hypocrisy has become necessary because of Republican provocation.

He writes; “Republicans really have abused the Filibuster. Republicans have caused a failure here…”

This has provoked Reid. He hypocritically endorsed today what he derided only a few years ago.

The position now for the libs is that the Republicans provoke and the dems vote.

Provocation has now become the spin of the day for the libs who are losing in public opinion. I wonder when there will be enough provocation for the libs to begin dismantling our Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 21, 2013 5:14 PM
Comment #374486

“I urge my Republican colleagues not to go through with changing these rules. In the long run it is not a good result for either party. One day Democrats will be in the majority again and this rule change will be no fairer to a Republican minority than it is to a Democratic minority.”

obama from the Senate floor in 2005

Just another lying frigging hypocrite.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 21, 2013 5:36 PM
Comment #374487

It is now 2013 not 2005. The world changes, as do we. Keep your stupid opinions about the President of these United States to yourself. Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and not be observed as a fool rather than spouting off nonsense and removing all doubt of how foolish you are.

Posted by: Speak4all at November 21, 2013 5:43 PM
Comment #374488

RF,
The Democrats kept their word. They observed their agreement with the Republicans during the last half of the Bush administration about not abusing the filibuster. Unfortunately, the GOP failed to observe their agreement this time around. Too bad.

But cheer up. What is good for the good is good for the gander. If the GOP ever takes control of the Senate AND the White House, they will be in position to fill judicial and executive level slots, just like they did under Bush.

All the GOP has to do is win some elections.

Oh, gosh, now I’ve done it. Conservatives are going to be all depressed again, because their ideas are absolutely toxic to the majority of Americans, especially the young, the old, blacks, latinos, the poor, women, gays, Asians- in fact, everyone not old and white. Well… re-cheer up. All conservatives have to do is stop enough of the WRONG people from voting, and it might work out. In Ohio, the Republicans reduced the number of voting machines. Remember all those long lines in OH? Well, now they will be even longer! And in NC, the Governor called the elimination of seven days of early voting (despite already long lines) “compacting” the calendar. Meanwhile, the Republican House has shelved immigration reform, so no need to worry about those nasty Latinos votes.
Ah… those terrible Latinos. In Albuquerque, they just had a special election on one issue, and only one issue- a measure restricting abortions. Now, Albuquerque is 47% Hispanic, and voter turnout was heavy, so guess what happened? In NM they voted 55 - 45% against the measure.

Just keep calling Obama a liar and keep denouncing health care reform. See how it works out.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2013 5:52 PM
Comment #374489
Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and not be observed as a fool rather than spouting off nonsense and removing all doubt of how foolish you are.

I agree completely Speak4all. I mean, coming onto a political debate website and daring to speak your mind if you disagree with the ‘approved opinion’? How dare someone do that…

And yeah, it’s 2013 not 1789, who needs those stupid bill of rights with their promise of freedom of speech anymore, they are just getting in the way of what this great American president, the savior of us all, without whom we would all be living in caves trying to light a fire with two rocks banging together, from enacting whatever the hell he wants? Who cares what the original intent of the government was, surely we should have a totalitarian dictatorship with this person in charge!

I agree, it removes all doubt when some people speak…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 5:52 PM
Comment #374490

Speak for one is calling obama a fool for his position on filibusters back in 2005. I agree.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 21, 2013 5:55 PM
Comment #374491

The funny thing is, phx8, that the young are finding the Democrats just as toxic, if not more, than the Republicans. In fact, what we are seeing is that more and more of them are becoming either independent OR libertarian. You can keep on thinking that you are set for decades because you have the youth, but I’m warning you that it isn’t what you think it is…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 5:55 PM
Comment #374492

phx8 can’t even mount a cogent position for ending the filibuster rule but does mount a litany of supposed conservative wrongs. Thanks for the laugh.

He writes; “Cheer Up”

Silly boy, I am rarely ever depressed. It’s just my nature and belief system that keeps me happy and contented regardless of what happens here or in the world.

I suspect his “Cheer Up” comment reflected what he himself would like to do.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 21, 2013 6:01 PM
Comment #374493

I hope no one forgets what our little tyrant announced…

“If congress won’t act, I will.” Hussein obama

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 21, 2013 6:09 PM
Comment #374496

Rhinehold,
Rule of thumb: When young people vote the same way in two consecutive presidential elections, it tends to set their preferences for life. Thanks to the War in Iraq, social issues, and Obama, this generation of young people has been pretty firmly embedded in the Democratic Party.

The funny thing is, there are real issues that could make hay for the Democratic opposition, whether that is Libertarian or Republican. I am talking about issues like the War in Afghanistan (which may or may not end next year), drone warfare, banks ‘too big to fail,’ and the NSA/privacy rights. But the GOP is so distracted by Obama hatred it gets caught up in reflexive opposition, even when it is clearly unwise.

This filibuster issue is a perfect example. The GOP leadership should have cut a deal to keep their ability to filibuster the judiciary (assuming that is even a good idea in the first place). They should have given up control of the DC Court of Appeals, you know, chalk it up to the old mantra that ‘elections have consequences.’ Maybe they could have even extracted some minor concessions out of the deal. But no. They had to go the Full Monty, and threaten the nominations of Yellin, and then all nominations, because… Benghazi!!! It was a particularly stupid piece of political maneuvering. First the government shutdown, then the threat to tank the economy over the debt ceiling, and now this. Ugh.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2013 6:19 PM
Comment #374497
Rule of thumb: When young people vote the same way in two consecutive presidential elections, it tends to set their preferences for life. Thanks to the War in Iraq, social issues, and Obama, this generation of young people has been pretty firmly embedded in the Democratic Party.

You can go on thinking that all you want, feel free. It’s not true, but hey, whatever makes you sleep better at night.

The funny thing is, there are real issues that could make hay for the Democratic opposition,

Oh don’t worry, there are people doing that, people who don’t have the baggage of social retardation that the Republicans have. Your thought is that the Republicans are the only option that these people have, they aren’t. More and more young people are voting libertarian.

That shouldn’t bother you you think… but it should. The VA race is a perfect example. The win by the Democrats should have been much greater than it was, but younger people voted libertarian in that election almost costing the Democrats the win. This is going to happen more and more, I’m warning you, if you keep running over those people’s concerns. Like the concerns that you have mentioned, including the War in Iraq that we are still waging, even though you think we left and it is over… You do realize that we just traded the military for hired mercenaries there, right?

So you can continue to think that all you have to do is paint the Republicans as worse than the Democrats and you’ve got it made, but that won’t work much longer…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 6:29 PM
Comment #374501
Just eight years ago, Senate Democrats - including Barack Obama - were dead-set against the so-called nuclear option, which would have disallowed filibusters on judicial nominees. What a difference being in the majority makes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sZwfvgnXzDQ

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 6:39 PM
Comment #374502

Good news for our young and unborn…

“From the last day of January 2009 through the last day of September 2013, the total debt of the federal government climbed from $10,632,005,246,736.97 to $16,738,183,526,697.32—an increase of $6,106,178,279,960.35.

That equaled approximately $53,091 in additional debt for each of the 115,013,000 households that the Census Bureau now estimates there are in the United States.

Since the last day of September, the federal government’s total debt has continued to increase, hitting $17,200,725,370,597.56 as of Tuesday—or approximately $149,555 per household.

More good news attributed to our little Tyrant obama…

“In each of the five fiscal years Obama has served as president, the trust fund has run a deficit as the number of people receiving disability benefits has surged. The Disability Insurance Trust Fund has never before run five straight years of deficits.

In fiscal 2013, which ended on Sept. 30, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran a record deficit of $31.494 billion, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration. That followed deficits of $8.462 billion in fiscal 2009, $20,831 billion in fiscal 2010, $25.264 billion in fiscal 2011, and $29.701 billion in fiscal 2012.

From fiscal 1995 through fiscal 2008, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran surpluses, as receipts from the disability insurance taxes paid by people who were working exceeded the value of the benefits paid to those claiming disability.”


- See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/under-obama-disability-trust-fund-runs-record-5-straight-yrs-deficits#sthash.WI02dLAd.dpuf


Posted by: Royal Flush at November 21, 2013 6:40 PM
Comment #374505

Another $1000 million taxpayer boondoggle

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given an award of $1,123,463 to the University of California, Davis to develop “relatively small, inexpensive robots” to aid in harvesting strawberries.

- See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/eric-scheiner/govt-pays-1123463-develop-strawberry-harvest-aiding-robots#sthash.MWfDXthx.dpuf

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 21, 2013 6:51 PM
Comment #374506

BTW, pxh8, did you really think that we were leaving Afghanistan in 2014, after Obama tried everything he could to stay in Iraq?

If a draft agreement between the Obama administration and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is finalized, U.S. troops will remain in that country indefinitely — instead of being withdrawn at the end of 2014, as the administration has said.

This is a confession of failure. America’s longest war is nowhere near its end.

The draft agreement dated July 25, 2013, which was obtained by Richard Engel of NBC News, states,

This Agreement shall enter into force on January 1, 2015.… It shall remain in force until the end of 2024 and beyond, unless terminated pursuant to paragraph 4 of this Article [requiring two years written notice]. [Emphasis added.]

Under the proposed agreement, the U.S. government would continue to train, arm, and assist the Afghan military. “In addition,” the unsigned document continues, “the Parties acknowledge that continued U.S. military operations to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate and agree to continue their close cooperation and coordination toward that end.”

“Continued U.S. military operations” reportedly includes raids on the homes of Afghans, which have created so much anti-American sentiment. The issue of raids has held up a final agreement, but the New York Times reports that the logjam was broken when the Obama administration agreed to write a letter “acknowledging American military mistakes in Afghanistan and vowing not to repeat them.”

The Times said the two governments have agreed to terms “allowing American-led raids on Afghan homes under ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to save the lives of American soldiers.” That language is not found in the July 25 draft agreement, which instead contains an Afghan government insertion stating, “No detention or arrest shall be carried out by the United States forces. The United States forces shall not search any homes or other real estate properties.” This restrictive provision must have been dropped from a later draft in return for the U.S. pledge to write the letter conceding “mistakes.”

http://reason.com/archives/2013/11/21/the-us-isnt-leaving-afghanistan

The only way we are leaving is if the Afghan tribal leaders say no. And that is actually a possibility considering the terror campaign we are waging on them, but I doubt Karzai would put it to them if he didn’t think it would fly.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 6:58 PM
Comment #374517

Libertarians will take over the world!! Yah, not in a very long time and there will be porcine flights in constant array. Libertarians would be wise to use this filibuster ruling to draw the distinctions between them and the ruling two party scenario. Trying to act like it’s an outrage is about as stupid a move you could make. It would be a better position if they could acknowledge the abuses that forced this ruling and condemn that, then it is to jump on the bandwagon of “it’s Obama’s fault, he’s a dictator”. People young and old see through that nonsense for what it is, hatred. I heard an interesting take on the ruling from Steve Kornacki. There have been multiple attempts to force this ruling in the last 3 years, since the crazy obstruction/opposition party began this crusade (2010). Every time before this time someone from within the Republican party was able to convince Harry Reid that they would play by the rules and only use filibuster in extra-ordinary cases of opposition. This time that did not happen. Kornacki’s take is that the moderate Republicans realized that they were appearing to not be able to wear the mantle of governance in any appreciable manner and the voting public would see that. They in fact wanted this filibustering to be busted up so that the government can resume the job of governance and the Senate could start using advice and consent in a responsible manner. This gives the moderate Republicans the ability to say “Democrats are doing this and our hands are tied” while at the same time being able to appeal to the sensible voting public that they are reasonable legislators that can be re-elected. Please stop with the warnings, we shall see what happens. And you haters, just keep ginning up the hate and you shall also see “when you sow the wind you reap the whirlwind”.

Posted by: Speak4all at November 22, 2013 9:49 AM
Comment #374520

Have to give liberal democrats credit for one thing: when they took over the once reasonable Democratic Party, they successfully convinced their drones that supporting the Constitution and respecting our nations history, meant one was some kind of a “hater.”

Posted by: kctim at November 22, 2013 10:32 AM
Comment #374521

No we believe that the haters are the one’s that have unreasonable hatred of everything that this administration has worked for. Now if you can consider yourself part of that bunch go for it. If however you can disagree with the policies supported and implemented by this administration without accusing anyone of dictatorial or subversive methods then you can come across as a thoughtful and reasonable opposition to that which you oppose. I don’t see much of that here however, and I wish I did. Hey things can change, I’m ready.

Posted by: Speak4all at November 22, 2013 10:47 AM
Comment #374522

Rhinehold, yes at one time the Dems were against the nuclear option, the tool used by the repubs to get the process moving, and today the repubs are against the nuclear option. The difference is back then the dems worked out a comprise with the repubs and the nuclear option was set aside. Today the repubs couldn’t do the same. Wouldn’t do the same. They have taken obstructionist to a much more serious level, why do you support the repubs in their radically extreme approach to running the government?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 22, 2013 11:34 AM
Comment #374523

Sorry Speaks, but that is BS.

People pointing out that the President lied aren’t doing so out of “unreasonable hatred,” they are doing so because it is fact. But you still claim they hate.
People pointing out that the ACA takes away choice aren’t full of hatred, they are stating fact.

People on the right not supporting huge government and the control it has over its people is not new. Neither is supporting low taxes and personal responsibility. But you guys act like this just started happening under this President.

Fact is that while you may not care if people disagree with you, you do care ALOT when they prove you wrong and that is when you resort to emotion.

Posted by: kctim at November 22, 2013 11:41 AM
Comment #374524

Rhinehold-
You’re engaging in a particularly senseless kind of argument here.

You’re saying Stephen’s blaming Republicans for this because he’s a Democrat. Well, you might be able to argue this, if it weren’t for the fact that there are several factors at work here.

First, the Filibuster has not been used this way, to this extent by previous Senate Minorities. The worst Democrats did affected a handful of circuit court judges, a few dozen federal judges, most of which actually ended up getting their confirmation votes in the end. The most cloture votes EVER made during a Congress by the Democrats was 58. republicans, by contrast, pulled nearly twice that in the 2007-2009 Congress, and in the Congress that followed. This current one’s not much better, still worse than the Democrats ever got.

When the Nuclear Option was threatened, we backed down. We agreed to only use the filibuster for extraordinary cases.

Then Republicans turn around and break records. They knew exactly what they were doing, and they were not following the agreement they made with us. They were not reserving the filibuster, the other obstructions, just for special occasions.

Instead, it’s been open season on all our policies. Only when the political pressure on them has been unimaginably high, as with the Tax Cuts and the Debt Ceiling showdowns, have they broken ranks. The deals are rare, the waits for these appointments to go through intolerably long.

The Numbers alone reflect a double standard. Republicans get to express their conservatism, get to demand and get compromises from the other side, from the President, and Democrats are just supposed to accept having their balls cut off by the Republicans, the President’s appointment power not merely moderated, but largely cancelled out by a mere procedure. We’re supposed to accept the denial of a legacy in the courts, the cancelling out of our extraordinary mandate in Congress after 2008.

You may not sympathize, but if the same was done to you, if the Libertarians had earned the majority in Both Houses, attained the Presidency, and then had bitter Democrats stall all your appointees, cancel out all your legislation, you would be screaming bloody murder!

You may have gotten it into your head that your position is an objective one, that your politics represent the axis around which the world turns, but not everybody agrees. The Constitution lets us voice that disagreement, even to the point where we’re the majority and we control the mechanism of government that the Constitution gives to those who win the elections.

There is supposed to be at least SOME net gain in political power when you win elections!

If the Republicans win the requisite power in the next few years to get what they want, fine. And then, when we win the next elections, we get what we want. If one party gets excessive, it’s up to the people to rein them in. It always was.

You want this Constitution Republic to work one way when people you like are in charge, and another way when the folks you don’t are. Me? I want consistency. Majority rules with minority rights. You win the elections, you get the same power that I get. I win the elections, I get the same power you got.

I mean, has it occurred to you that I may have been satisfied if Republicans had just moderately, strategically employed their tactics, if it was occasional frustration and compromise, rather than the demand that we simply abandon any hope of changing things?

What we were looking for out of this is nothing more and nothing less than what every President before Obama had, what the Republicans were taking away with the unprecedented use of a procedural trick.

Royal Flush-
Hypocrisy? Your side objected to any filibustering of your judges. Your side didn’t have to object to the almost TOTAL filibustering of those judges. Your side objected to Democrats filibustering your bills. But then you went and set a new high for filibusters.

If your side had acted with consistent principles, not changing the rules of what constituted proper deference, Democrats would have been making all kinds of deals with you. After all, Obama and company wanted to look like they were uniters, not dividers.

But then you took that filibuster, which you had so objected to, and you changed the way it was being used. Now rather than responding to some of our judges being blocked, all of them were being blocked. Now rather than responding to some of our bills being delayed by filibusters, a few killed, we had to deal with an attempt to completely and utterly stall ALL legislation.

You changed the rules of the game. Is it hypocrisy to respond to that drastic change with measures no less drastic than what Republicans threatened in order to respond to the much more minor obstruction of the Democrats? Are we not holding Republicans to the standard they held us, inflicting no more of a punishment on them than we would have seen if we had refused to give way on Bush’s federal judges?

And that, only after they did much, much worse to us?

As for your ending melodrama, give it a rest. You’re just ticked off we stood up to you finally, and put an end to your cynical attempts to deny Obama control over his own branch. We ended this Constitutional Crisis you created, get over it.

The government can’t just operate when we like who’s in the majority or in the White House. I opposed calls for all out obstruction back in the last decade just because I knew the Republicans wouldn’t hesitate to end whatever procedural political hack we used. I told people it would be pushing our luck. Republicans, in turn, have done exactly what I would have warned them they shouldn’t have done.

They overplayed their hand on obstruction, and they’ve paid for it. They’ve taken the one man who might have valued the argument that we needed to keep this powder dry, and driven him to the point where he’s willing to do this. You had somebody in Harry Reid who was willing to put up with this for several years. That you finally lost him, that he finally was able to turn around and say, “this has got to stop”, just shows how much the Republicans overstepped the bounds of civility.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 22, 2013 12:03 PM
Comment #374526

I’m not saying Republicans will ever be in power again, it’s pretty doubtful seeing how so many people are dependent and worthless nowadays, but IF they do it’s going to be quite entertaining to watch the lefts 180. The hypocrisy will be epic.

The good news for the left is that they can use these same posts and just switch the names around.

Posted by: kctim at November 22, 2013 12:22 PM
Comment #374527

Lots of rheorical words being thrown around here.

Here are a couuple of facts. The whole purpose here was to get a 4-4 split on the DC court of appeals changed to 7-5 by packing it.

Now 215 appointments to courts here and only 2 rejections.
You on the left call that obstructionism. You are re-defining the word.

SD is trying to rewrite the facts and history. Oops, I said SD was not telling the truth. A I going to get censured.

SD you make absoulutely no sense. Just rhetorical nonesense.

Above speak4all said:

“It is now 2013 not 2005. The world changes, as do we. Keep your stupid opinions about the President of these United States to yourself. Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and not be observed as a fool rather than spouting off nonsense and removing all doubt of how foolish you are.”

In the above quote he referred to others as stupid and foolish. Why was he allowed to make that statement and not be unpublished per the editor?

I have an answer. He is using a liberal rhetorical statement, and getting that unpublished just is not kosher.
If I were to make that statement I would get unpublished and it has happened before.

Posted by: tom humes at November 22, 2013 12:33 PM
Comment #374529

You are proven wrong daily, your unwillingness to accept the facts does not change that, Speaks. For Gods sake man, you argue that the President didn’t lie even though the audio and everybody else in the world disagree with you.

“That’s not what good thinking adults do.”

No, good thinking adults respect each other and don’t use government to force their beliefs onto each other.

“You seem to be one of the worst offenders in this thought process although you do not take the rhetoric to the extreme as some do, you only contribute in your own simple way.”

The desire to retain our Constitutional rights never used to be considered unreasonable, the fact that it is now speaks volumnes about the mess our nation is now in.

Oh, and thanks. I find facts to be the simplest way to ones point and the truth across to people. Well, MOST people.

“Stop with emotion malarkey, that is Rush’s schtick and his Rush-mush is unbecoming to any reasonable argument…”

Sorry to burst the little Rush stereotype you are trying to fall back on, but I don’t listen to him. In fact, I’d wager that you have heard his voice more than I have.
The reason I bring up emotion and liberals at the same time is because liberalism is entirely based on emotion. That may be ‘unbecoming’ to you, but it is fact.

Liberalism cannot co-exist in a Constitutional Republic such as ours, sorry. The desires of society do not trump the rights of the individual in a Constitutional Republic. You should know this, seeing how the extreme left has spent decades transforming us into a quasi Constitutional democracy.

“but use the tired rhetoric of the haters to explain that.”

FACTS are not rhetoric, nor does quoting them make one a “hater.”
Sorry, but I can’t do any better than the FACTS.

Posted by: kctim at November 22, 2013 12:54 PM
Comment #374530

I was able to be published because I didn’t allow the foulness in my brain to be communicated to my keyboard by the use of inappropriate language. Give it up on this problem you have with having your inappropriate attitude put under supervision. You would be wise to follow my earlier advice and try to keep all of the piss and vinegar you bring here to yourself and just concentrate on making your point with words that may offend but are not offensive.

Posted by: Speak4all at November 22, 2013 12:56 PM
Comment #374531

tom humes-
The President appointing judges to fill vacancies in Federal courts and circuits of appeal is the President doing his job. You might be able to come up with rationalizations as to why he should be prevented from doing that job, but it’s not a “packing of the courts.”

He is not, for instance, proposing an expansion of the federal judiciary, with new judges for him to appoint.

The argument is dishonest. It doesn’t acknowledge the simple truth that the fact you don’t like who would appoint or who would confirm these nominees is irrelevant to the Constitution’s non-partisan grant of power to do so. Just as it would be if the shoes were on the other foot.

I’ve unpublished the offending comment, and hope both you and Speak4all take that as a cue.

As for the Circuit court judges, your Senate Minority has obstructed the vast majority of the judges EVER blocked. We’ve gotten some judges through, but many more remain to be appointed. Clinton’s problem with getting judges appointed is that Senate Republicans wouldn’t give him the time of day on that. Not much he could do. But Obama? He’s never had a Senate that wasn’t his party’s, so it’s kind of absurd that this senate has been deprived of the ability to confirm his appointees.

Seriously, if y’all don’t quit arguing over who’s the worse users of bad rhetoric, I’ll pull this car over and slap you both upside the head.

There’s always places for liberals and conservatives to argue who’s got the biggest crown of doo-doo upon their brow. This isn’t one of them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 22, 2013 1:30 PM
Comment #374532

Excuse me if I don’t take your description of liberalism to heart or mind as you have no idea of what it entails. Nor do you get to decide if there is a place for liberalism in this country today, sheesh speaking of being a dictator. Strange that you don’t listen to Rush, but espouse his thoughts, even using the same vernacular descriptions. Perhaps you have some uncanny psychic connection with the fat, drug addicted blowhard with questionable sexual desires. All I can say about that is, ewwwwww! I seem to have again made an error in judgment in attempting to have a discussion with you. You could have that discussion without me since you seem to put your ideas about my words in place of my words, carry on. With that said I will have to bid adieu for a while, grandchildren and their needs are a priority for me when the weekend starts. And it is much more rewarding then what I go through here. On the 50th anniversary of one of our greatest President’s assassination I will quote lines from a poem by one of his favorite authors, Robert Frost:

But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep

Posted by: Speak4all at November 22, 2013 2:29 PM
Comment #374534

Stephen, I addressed most of your nonsense in the comments of my article in the middle, but you said a couple of things that points out where your head is at…

The worst Democrats did affected a handful of circuit court judges, a few dozen federal judges, most of which actually ended up getting their confirmation votes in the end.

The numbers I posted in the middle column show how this statement doesn’t match reality. In fact, more judges were blocked under Bush than under Obama, Obama has had the majority of his nominees end up getting their confirmation votes in the end.

Then Republicans turn around and break records.

As did the Democrats with Harry Reid trying to abuse the amendment tree more times as all Majority Leaders combined. None of this stuff operates in a vacuum and when you are not willing to see the whole picture because of partisan politics, it’s hard to take anything you say seriously.

Details:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has regularly used a procedural tactic called “filling the amendment tree” to restrict Senators’ right to debate and offer amendments. While previous Majority Leaders have occasionally used this tactic, Senator Reid has used this tactic often—more than all of his predecessors combined. This tactic combined with another parliamentary maneuver and demonization of the filibuster threatens to squelch dissent in the Senate and further constrict the national debate on important political issues. (emphasis added) The Senate could better serve the American people by ending the use of this tactic.

In 2012, Sen. Reid worked to limit debate in the Senate by changing the Senate rules – which, ironically, he could only accomplish by disregarding the Senate rules in the first place. Legal expert Hans von Spakovsky noted:

Reid wants to severely limit the minority’s ability to filibuster, and his plan for doing so would itself violate the Senate’s rules on rule changes. If successful, he would destroy a critical element of legislative procedure, one designed to prevent the “tyranny of the majority” that the Founders feared above all else.

I see these maneuvers as a part of politics and relatively harmless in the end scheme of things, until one party does something so brazenly stupid as what Reid did yesterday and effectively eliminate the filibuster completely.

I may not agree with Ezra Klein very often, but at least he has enough sense to see this as what it is, a huge loss for Democrats:

There’s a lot of upside for Republicans in how this went down. It came at a time when Republicans control the House and are likely to do so for the duration of President Obama’s second term, so the weakening of the filibuster will have no effect on the legislation Democrats can pass. The electoral map, the demographics of midterm elections, and the political problems bedeviling Democrats make it very likely that Mitch McConnell will be majority leader come 2015 and then he will be able to take advantage of a weakened filibuster. And, finally, if and when Republicans recapture the White House and decide to do away with the filibuster altogether, Democrats won’t have much of an argument when they try to stop them.
Posted by: Rhinehold at November 22, 2013 3:17 PM
Comment #374537

Rhinehold-
Really? You quote Ezra Klein?

Two can play at that game:

7. Republicans take a lot of the blame here. They’ve used the filibuster more aggressively than Democrats, by a wide margin. They’ve also been less willing to cooperate with Democrats on general legislative efforts, making the presence of the filibuster more costly to the Democratic Party. And they’ve been so unwilling to work with Democrats this year that they essentially removed all reason for Democrats to stay their hand. The way Senate Democrats saw it was that if they weren’t going to get immigration reform or gun control or jobs bills or anything big that they cared about, then at least they would get their judicial and executive-branch nominations.

Yes, it may help the Republicans. If they can get the Senate. But if they fail to get the Senate this time around, there’s little hope of getting it 2016 when most of the disputed Senate seats are in blue state territory.

Then you have the point right after:

. With gun control dead, immigration reform on life support and bitter disagreement between the House and Senate proving the norm, it looked like the 113th Congress would be notably inconsequential. Today, it became notably consequential. It has changed how all congresses to come will work. Indeed, this might prove to be one of the most significant congresses in modern times. Today, the political system changed its rules to work more smoothly in an age of sharply polarized parties. If American politics is to avoid collapsing into complete dysfunction in the years to come, more changes like this one will likely be needed.

The takeover of the Senate will require that Republicans win each of six major pickup opportunities. If they fail to, They’re really out of luck. I’ve heard the song and dance about them threatening to take the Senate before, and the truth is, They’ve got to hatch these chickens before they can count them.

The whole Amendment tree thing is likely a response to the Republican’s abuse of the filibuster. You take it as another sign of tyranny, But do you know who you’re getting that from?

You’re getting that from the organization led by former Senator Jim DeMint, who some have said on the Right is responsible for tarnishing the brand of the Heritage foundation by running it to push political strategies like the recent Shutdown.

He can decry Amendment Trees, but then that’s just Harry Reid using a procedural tactic to counter another, to prevent Republicans from having more opportunities to filibuster the bills in question. There are drawbacks to that approach, but when the other side is very opportunistically obstructive, that’s simply the way things break down.

There’s more than one side to this story, and you’re unwilling to recognize it, to recognize that was being done was unprecedented, that, as Ezra Klein also argues:

4. The practical end of the Senate’s 60-vote threshold is not plunging the chamber into new and uncharted territories. It’s the omnipresence of the filibuster in recent decades that plunged the chamber into new and uncharted territories. At the founding of the Republic, the filibuster didn’t exist. Prior to the 1970s, filibusters — which required 67 votes to break for most of the 20th century — were incredibly rare.

He continues and relates the point from a political scientist who said that what the Republicans were doing was creating a new veto point for any legislation that could pass.

You’re treating it as if he’s trampled a sacred tradition, but this was hardly anything of the kind. It was a de novo use of the Filibuster power, over and above how any Congress before used it.

He essentially says what I’m saying: the Republicans pushed their luck too far on the filibusters, and the Democrats, in self defense of the Senate’s ability to function, acted.

Now, if the Democrats lose the Senate, it’ll certainly be a problem. But given the fact that we’ve got a good chance of getting it back in 2016, that may just be the price we pay for removing this obstacle.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 22, 2013 4:21 PM
Comment #374548

Stephen

There is a good chance that Republicans will regain the Senate in 2014. We can say that because we know many of the variables. 2016 is a long way off. We don’t know which seats will be held by incumbents and which will be open. There is a good chance that people will be mightily sick of Obama. His numbers are looking a lot like George Bush’s. Just as Bush dragged down the party, so Obama will do so for Democrats.

If Republicans have a strong presidential contender, he will draw others with him. IMO, Republicans will win in 2016. I know it is a long way off, but it looks like Hilary Clinton is already taking all the air in the Democratic race. She is getting to be an old lady and he lackluster record as SecState will make a difference. She is beatable in the general, although she will dominate the Democratic primaries.

Posted by: CJ at November 22, 2013 8:49 PM
Comment #374549

BTW - according to Washington Post polls, Romney would win if the election was held today. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/11/19/president-romney-yes-if-the-election-were-held-today

Obama has really screwed the pooch. He is unlikely to recover. The American people forgive a lot, but once the president shows himself to be both incompetent and dishonest, they don’t come back.

Posted by: CJ at November 22, 2013 8:55 PM
Comment #374552

CJ, there is nothing for Obama to RE-Cover. He is in his last term. No reelection bid stands before him. Every president has been incompetent at some point, and the very definition of a politician is ‘dishonest’ according to Samuel Clemens and a great many Americans. The question is not whether Obama will recover, but, whether the Congress can recover from its single digit approval rating? Obama has Congress beat several times over where approval ratings are concerned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 23, 2013 1:12 AM
Comment #374553

David

We need to look at parallels. Obama stands almost exactly where Bush did in 2006. He will not run again, but presumably he wants to leave a legacy.

The Obama over reach has has the salutary effect of teaching a generation of young Americans about the limits of government power. We can thank him for that. This is what my generation learned in the 1970s. I each generation needs its own lesson. Good intentions and great speeches do not make things happen in the real world.

Posted by: CJ at November 23, 2013 4:42 AM
Comment #374555

Remer writes; “The question is not whether Obama will recover, but, whether the Congress can recover from its single digit approval rating?”

Is it your congress critter or mine that is in the single digit approval rating? Foolish comment as measuring the approval of a body of politicians compared to an individual means absolutely nothing.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 23, 2013 2:52 PM
Comment #374560

RF doesn’t know his Congressional election record where approval rating has changed majority parties in Congress.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2013 3:52 PM
Comment #374561

CJ, legacy is not determined by the opinion of the opposition party. Future historians will, as they have with previous presidents, contextualize Obama’s presidency within the GOP’s commitment around his first inauguration to insure a failed presidency no matter what he does. They will also take into account his being America’s first African American president, and the tightrope he walked in that regard. Plus much more. I don’t have a crystal ball on what future historians will write about Obama, but, I know what current historians are writing about Obama’s current and completely dysfunctional Congress. That legacy is already writ.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2013 4:00 PM
Comment #374564

David

My experience with historians is that they judge by results, not by how hard people tried or how they might have done under better conditions with more cooperation.

He will be remembered for what he is, i.e. black, but not for what he did. Thin gruel for a man so promising.

Posted by: CJ at November 24, 2013 5:35 PM
Comment #374566

“… health care costs have been growing more slowly over the last three years than any other time period since 1965. More recently, yearly health cost growth slowed from an average rate of 3.9 percent between 2000 and 2007 to 1.3 percent between 2011 and 2013.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/20/this-chart-is-amazing-news-for-our-health-cost-problem/

Yes, Obama will be remembered, all right. He broke the back of rising health care costs with the ACA, which in turn broke the back of the increasing national debt, and, by the way, reduced the deficit every year in office. At the same time, his administration put together a long string of uninterrupted job growth and GDP growth, with all time highs in the stock market, low interest rates, and low inflation.

Osama bin Laden is dead. Khaddafi is dead. US foreign policy goals have been advanced without American casualties, while simultaneously strengthening bonds with allies. The Syrians gave up their chemical weapons arsenal without a shot. The Iranians elected a more moderate government and have turned away from the path of developing nuclear weapons. Gee, I though conservatives told us they would already have one by now! Wrong again. And it looks like Obama will earn that Nobel Peace Prize after all. The Iraq War has been wound down, and hopefully Afghanistan will be wound down next year too.

On the domestic front, a raft of new legislation- mostly from the Democrats in Congress- has advanced the rights of minorities of all types.

It has been a good, solid performance, and one of the best presidencies we have seen in our lifetimes.

Posted by: phx8 at November 24, 2013 6:37 PM
Comment #374567

phx8

The rate of health care cost increase began to decline in 2008. When did ObamaCare go into effect?

Generally speaking, results do not precede causes. Of course, Obama is different. He got the Peace Prize before he did anything. Some people are giving him credit for energy from oil and gas, which was in process before he took office and which he even opposed.

But while he gets credit for stuff that happened before him or even in spite of him, he avoids being accountable for things like the Obama doldrums that happened when he actually took action.

Perhaps Obama is like anti-matter. Only things he doesn’t do count.

Posted by: CJ at November 24, 2013 7:11 PM
Comment #374576

I look at Republican Priorities, and they seem to be set on the negation of the Democrats’ Agenda, and the Nullification of the Obama Presidency.

Unfortunately, things are more complicated in politics than simply removing your opponent’s ability to govern. You have to also give people a sense that you can govern, too, and not how you like it, but how they like it. Through certain dynamic processes, you might get them to agree, but if you don’t, then you’re holding on to your power in the face of people’s resistance, and your ability to do things how you would like will sooner or later be curtailed.

That’s what Republicans aren’t getting. They could crush Obama flat, but if they don’t retain popularity, the other shoe can still drop on them.

I don’t know what will happen, but if Republicans and Tea Partier continue to behave the way they are, it won’t matter how badly they make Obama suffer, they’ll still lose. They won’t gain long term support of women, Hispanics, young people, or other minorities. They won’t shake their regressive image.

If the Republicans’ biggest policy victories are halting reform, rolling back Obamacare, or destroying Obama’s legacy, then they’re still screwed going into the next decade, because none of those are reasons to think Republicans are the best leaders.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 25, 2013 8:31 AM
Comment #374584

Stephen

Some of us don’t believe Obama’s reforms are improvements.

Posted by: CJ at November 25, 2013 6:12 PM
Comment #374603

http://www.hkneo.com/camera-battery-grip/

Posted by: photography equipment at November 26, 2013 1:14 AM
Comment #374620

CJ, but the majority did, and in a democracy, that justifies the reform. Got a better system? Love to hear it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 26, 2013 4:42 PM
Comment #374623

I have an idea! I know it’s crazy but hear me out…

How about a system where by the rules are established to limit the ability of the government to use coercion in the citizens lives, any changes to that system would require 2/3 of the states to approve, ensuring more than a simple majority are voting to change it. By limiting the government to defined areas, specifically those areas of ensuring that individuals don’t inappropriately interfere with other individuals, but otherwise leaving people to live their lives freely, associate freely, think and believe freely and not put guns to other’s heads to get something for themselves that they haven’t themselves earned.

We could call this imaginary system of government a ‘constitutional republic’ or some other fancy name like that and codify it in a define set of rules that could be called a ‘constitution’…

Naaaah, you’re right, it would never work.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 26, 2013 4:49 PM
Comment #374630

David

About 51% of American voters chose Obama over the other guy. But a majority of Americans disagree with Obama policies. In any case, just being in the majority does not entitle you to do exactly what you want. We learned that in 2004, when Bush won by about the same % as Obama did in 2012.

Neither Bush nor Obama had a mandate for radical reform.

Beyond that, each member of Congress is elected by a majority of his/her district. They have the right and duty to oppose Obama if they feel it right.

David and Rhinehold

Rhineland’s point is correct. We have a constitutional republic. The best in world so far.

Posted by: CJ at November 26, 2013 6:17 PM
Comment #374631

Rhinehold-
The Constitution both empowers and constrains. That complementary nature, I think, is part of why we have such an effective, stable basis for government. You act as if change isn’t part of it, as if it’s a heresy that Americans changed their attitudes and interpretations of the Constitution over time.

I think the framers built that into it. I think people accept the basic constraints, while trying to adapt and interpret that fundamental law in order to handle things as they are now.

Much as we might want to, the world of the Framers is dead. We don’t know, on a visceral level, what it was like to live in their age. We eat, breath, live in an age almost completely different from theirs.

That is not an argument that the Constitution is outdated. It deals in some basic matters common to all times. Privacy is important now as it was then. Our right to due process is as important now as then. But we have different circumstances to judge, and different challenges to deal with, so the look of our interpretation will be different. We also have what I would unabashedly term a superior notion of human equality, where equality is at least nominally extended to all women, and people of all races by most Americans.

I think we should recognize that government has changed in America for more than just the reasons that people paranoid about political changes they don’t like would imagine. The industrial revolution changed how people worked, how people related to those they worked for. It extended more of daily life into the realm of interstate commerce, making travel between the states and expanding the power of corporations and the businessmen behind them. People responded to restore, I would submit, some of the fairness, bargaining power, and respect for things long treasured, like nature and personal dignity, that the new mechanized systems were disrupting.

The government is supposed to be by the people, for the people, and of the people. Their modern concerns and challenges, quite intentionally, have suffused this government, and legislation has evolved that government to fit the necessities of this time.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 26, 2013 6:26 PM
Comment #374634
You act as if change isn’t part of it, as if it’s a heresy that Americans changed their attitudes and interpretations of the Constitution over time.

You know, it gets old having to say the same thing to you every time the Constitution is brought up…

No one has ever said that the constitution should or couldn’t be changed. There *IS* a mechanism within the constitution that allows for that very thing.

And there are some interpretations that can come out of the constitution based on new things that come up, but as with all things we should go back to the INTENT of the constitution to determine how it should be interpreted, not just make up interpretations out of whole cloth for partisan political purposes. Which is what you propose and support.

An example. There is NOTHING in the constitution itself about a ‘separation of church and state’. So if it was determined one day to say “hey, let’s make a law that says everyone has to go to church on Sunday”, as long as the majority of Americans agreed to this, you would be ok with it, right?

No, the ‘separation of church and state’ comes from taking the words of the founding fathers and applying them to constitutional interpretation by gleaning for us the INTENT behind sections and application of the constitution. You continually say that there were old men of their time and know nothing about our time, how could we go to them for interpretation now… yet if we did what you suggest and ignore what they INTENDED with the constitution, we could have just what I suggested. Because nothing in that law states that there is a national religion, only that everyone attend a church. If we can be compelled to buy insurance, why can’t we be compelled to attend a church every week on Sunday? All it takes, in your mind, is a simple minuscule majority vote, right?

The government is supposed to be by the people, for the people, and of the people. Their modern concerns and challenges, quite intentionally, have suffused this government, and legislation has evolved that government to fit the necessities of this time.

No, it has just evolved in the most cowardly and simplistic way possible. By ignoring the intent of the constitution we have put into place precedents that forever change the intent of the constitution so much that today most people think that the Bill of Rights is a section of the constitution that lists our only freedoms as Americans. Not understanding that the constitution itself is a detailed constraint on the actions of the federal government, that it does not have a right to do what it wants, only what it has been specifically proscribed to do.

Our country was suppose to evolve and grow, but through the process of amendments that require a super-majority because those changes affect EVERYONE, not just the people voting for or against a change, therefore a change to the FOUNDATION of our lives in regards to the government must be agreed to by 2/3 of the states.

Unfortunately, the progressive totalitarians, just like the conservative totalitarians, are unwilling or unable to convince that many people that a change needs to be made, so they simply ignore those proscriptions and enact whatever they want knowing that the totalitarians on the other side of the aisle also get a win in an advancement of power once they get into control of the government.

I have a PERFECT current example. The FDA came out yesterday and told a company that was selling $99 kits that could map their genomes and warn of any potential risks to diseases like cancer, etc. that they could no longer do so. Now, tell me *WHERE* in the Constitution the federal government was given that power? I would be interested in seeing it. And no, I’m not kidding, if you do nothing else from this comment, I want you to show me the section of the constitution that gives the federal government that power.

Unfortunately, here we are, preventing the potential saving of millions of people’s lives with an early warning system because the FDA is tweaked that it didn’t get to approve or disapprove the procedure first…

And yes, I know you are most likely going to say ‘interstate commerce’, but if we go back to the INTENT of the founding fathers when they wrote that clause, it was intended to ensure that the states didn’t get into trade wars with each other, because this was a failing of the Articles of Confederation. It was *NEVER* intended to be used to tell an individual what they could or couldn’t sell. Yet, in order to fix some perceived wrong early last century, the decision was made to ‘re-interpret’ the constitution’s meanings to be exactly opposite that of the intention of the document because it was SIMPLY EASIER THAN FINDING AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION THAT DIDN’T DESTROY THE ENTIRE MEANING OF THE CONSTITUTION.

You see how that works? Instead of respecting the constitution and its intent, it is seen by the two parties as a hindrance to getting what they want. And it SHOULD because it was SUPPOSED to be. It was suppose to require that government find solutions to problems that went around those limits so that it could help protect our liberties in addition to ‘solving problems’. And if it was discovered that the limits were too restrictive and needed to be lessened, then 2/3 of the states would have to agree to that change.

Instead, today, we simply do what we want and ignore the constitution when we want and then feign false hypocritical shock when someone from the other party does the very same thing, because THEY respect the constitution and what it stands for. When they decide to…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 26, 2013 10:40 PM
Comment #374643

CJ, once again a conservative pulls numbers from the air, instead of research. 53% of Americans have a wait and see position on ObamaCare. A larger majority of Americans polled believe the Iranian provisional agreement is a GOOD thing. The majority of American voters elected Obama not once, but twice. Elections tend to be the most concrete poll of all in American politics with the most impact. Delude yourself all you wish into believing that the American majority has always stood in opposition to OBama and his policies, but, with the polls that really matter and aren’t transient, election polls, the majority factually stood behind Obama and his policy directions over all other contenders.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 27, 2013 10:53 AM
Comment #374654

David

Polls show and have shown since ObamaCare that most people don’t like it. I suppose that 53% might want to wait and see if it works. I would be curious about that too. It is not working yet, but may. Reminds me of the man who falls off a 50 story tall building. As he passes the 25th floor somebody call out, “How is it going?” to which the reply is, “Okay, so far.”

Re Iran - I hope it works and wrote that. I think Kerry is much more competent that Hillary and I like to give him a chance. I don’t trust Obama. He seems to have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to these things and keeping the Iranians in line is going to require a lot of presidential attention, more than I think Obama will muster.

Posted by: CJ at November 27, 2013 2:23 PM
Comment #374658

This is what Limbaugh thought of the nuclear option in 2004;

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2004/12/24/rush_s_bullet_points_on_judicial_filibusters

Apparently something has radically changed in the last 9 years.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 27, 2013 7:48 PM
Comment #374659

rhinehold

I want to back you up with your explaination to those who have a brain fart now turning to brain gas.

There are some people who just cannot or do not want to understand the simple principle of INTENT when the constitution is mentioned. They seem to come up with all these hair brained reasons for the mess this country is in.

Those founding fathers were brilliant. Todays politicians are corrupt. What a difference. Is there any wonder that todays’ “leaders” (sic) so beholden to those who exhibit mush for brains.

The other part of the thought process is integrity. Doing what is right and completing it to the end. What the heart says is what should be done. Yet there are many who look thru a mirror darkly and find something that is not right.

Posted by: tom humes at November 27, 2013 7:53 PM
Comment #374725

CJ, but it is working for a great many. And will work for many more as time passes. To deny the many who have already benefited and focus only on the parts that are not yet working as intended, is to deny reality for a political purpose. Other polls demonstrate most Americans are tired of the political bullshit. They want reality faced, and its challenges and obstructions overcome. Gotcha politics ain’t furthering the majority’s objective. Guess that is why ObamaCare polling is higher than the GOP’s and Congress’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 1, 2013 5:40 PM
Comment #374726

For the many who are already benefitting from Obama care Remer are those getting on Medicaid.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 1, 2013 6:34 PM
Comment #374727

David and KAP

Indeed, people “already benefiting” are getting stuff free. Somebody needs to pay for that. The weakness of ObamaCare is not that it is giving stuff away free; it is finding ways to pay, mostly getting healthy young people to pay more than they were.

Posted by: CJ at December 1, 2013 6:40 PM
Comment #374728

A video of ObamaCare - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxwot4sGTrM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DHxwot4

Posted by: CJ at December 1, 2013 6:46 PM
Comment #374735

CJ, the essence of the concept of insurance is pooling shared risk, meaning premium payers are covered when they need to be covered while paying premiums when they don’t need the coverage. Healthy young people were mostly NOT insured before, and now they will be, and NO, it is not free. It is paid for. But, one must ask what one is paying for. And the answer is laudable. One is paying for health care when needed, One is paying for lower costs incurred by health care centers who won’t be out of pocket for the previously uninsured. One is paying for the moral obligation to insure that no American is forced to suffer and die for lack of financial resources. One is paying America joining the ranks of many other modern nations who protect their citizens from financial ruin due to injury or illness. That is a lot for what one is paying in ObamaCare premiums.

Don’t like it? Give us a better plan that accomplishes the same results at a lower cost for all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2013 12:29 PM
Comment #374746

David

Perhaps the result Obama promised cannot be achieved at an acceptable cost. Politicians can make big promises that may not be fulfilled.

What we should have is a bare-bones coverage with risk pools, much like they have in Holland but a little more spartan. Lots of things don’t need to be covered by health care insurance.

Posted by: CJ at December 3, 2013 11:32 AM
Comment #374751

I’ve posted this several times, but here is a “wingnut” proposal for unisveral catastrophic insurance.

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-health-insurance-solution

Or David Goldhill’s solution. He’s a Democrat but Forbes, Cato, Weekly Standard etc. have taken note of his ideas:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2013/01/23/david-goldhills-dream-for-universal-consumer-driven-health-care/

Point is there is plenty of support on both sides for bare-bones coverages for all, but this isn’t the road half of us chose to go down.

Posted by: George in SC at December 3, 2013 2:10 PM
Comment #374755

The first policy proposal assumes, I believe erroneously, that healthcare costs will stay stable. The problem is that they do not have to. What will pressure insurers to keep the costs low?

The same question, in my view, shows up in that next proposal. But there’s something else at work with that one. First, the assumption is that consumption of healthcare is like any other consumption. It’s not. If you break your arm, you have to get it set and immobilized for it to heal and function right. If you have a heart attack, you need to go to the hospital. It’s not an optional good or service.

People don’t typically know what a hospital charges them out of pocket ahead of time, especially when they lack insurance. The chargemasters are not typically public knowledge, which makes them all the more shocking when you realize that many of the medical expenses are in “thousand-dollar toilet seat” territory.

The main question concerning whether market forces would change things, I think, can be answered by asking ourselves whether the average consumer’s in a good position to bargain when they encounter the operation in question.

In the case of healthcare, you don’t typically seek it out until you need it. Because people are typically missing work, or suffering some kind of potentially crippling or lethal health problem when that occurs, they don’t bargain from all that marvelous of a position.

I tend to see new regulation as a sort of means of strengthening the consumer’s bargaining position. That should be the aim, Unless and until somebody has a reason to control costs on the health insurance and healthcare side of the equation, while giving quality care, consumers will continue to get screwed. The ACA reforms are only the beginning of this process of trying to create a sustainable, affordable system that doesn’t hurt the consumer’s interests. If the mandate and insurance market don’t work, we should try something else, but also keep in mind what we’re actually trying to do.

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