Remember This? Right-Wing Filibuster Reform Demands Of 2005

(Novak: Because the whole system (inaudible) you're not going to have -- like going to a concentration camp and picking out which people go to the death chamber. You're not going to let the Democrats do that, say, 'We're going to -- we're going to confirm this person, we're not going to confirm the other person.' )

After Harry Reid led the charge to change the filibuster rules, Rush Limbaugh went nuclear:

Democrats abruptly changed the Senate's balance of power by reducing from 60 to 51 the number of votes needed to end procedural roadblocks known as filibusters against all presidential nominees. Folks, this is part and parcel of why the Democrats are so hell-bent on winning the House in 2014. This -- winning the House would give them total authoritarian non-challengeable control over the US government. Quite literally, there would be no way to stop them. None whatsoever.
When the minority is Republicans, they don't even exist. And they're not due any respect, constitutional or otherwise. Constitutional or human. And so basically what this means, with a president like Obama, is there's no stopping -- he can nominate anybody for anything in the judiciary ... cabinet, whatever. There's no way he can be stopped. Democrats have made it plain they're not interested in democracy. And that really is what this means. Not interested in democracy at all. Total state-ist authoritarianism. And frankly, I'm being kind with that terminology.

Back in 2004-05, Limbaugh had a very different opinion on the nuclear option when he wanted the GOP to trigger it. Here's Rush's Bullet Points on Judicial Filibusters from Dec.24th, 2004.

Conservatives have been screaming bloody murder since Harry Reid was forced to change the Senate rules over judicial filibusters because of unprecedented Republican obstruction, but, oh, how they forget how they acted in May of 2005. The rank hypocrisy is down right disturbing. Here's a flashback to Robert Novak, appearing CNN's The Capitol Gang discussing the nuclear option in May, 2005:

Novak: Because the whole system (inaudible) you're not going to have -- like going to a concentration camp and picking out which people go to the death chamber. You're not going to let the Democrats do that, say, We're going to -- we're going to confirm this person, we're not going to confirm the other person. They're going to -- they're going to say that this is not the way we're going to do it. They've had all kinds of different offers of that kind.

Now, as a matter of fact, I believe that this -- this constitutional option is going to work. I think it's going to -- they're going to get the 50 votes that are needed....

I did a round up of conservative blogger reactions back on May 22, 2005, when the Senate filibuster compromise was reached between Bill Frist and the Democrats.

James Dobson via AmericaBlog:

This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats. Only three of President Bush’s nominees will be given the courtesy of an up-or-down vote, and it's business as usual for all the rest. The rules that blocked conservative nominees remain in effect, and nothing of significance has changed. Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist would never have served on the U. S. Supreme Court if this agreement had been in place during their confirmations. The unconstitutional filibuster survives in the arsenal of Senate liberals. read on

LaShawn Barber: Date Rape:Republican Senators Willingly Date-Raped By Democratic Senators

Rambling Journal says: Wannabe-Moonbat McCain spearheads filibuster compromise deal

Conservative Outpost: GOP grabs the ankles.

Daily Pundit:

Still, the true driving force behind all this is John McCain, who can rest assured he will never receive my vote in any Presidential election for any reason, including that of his opponent being Hillary Clinton.

This deal is a load of cr@!` It is not compromise, but capitulation. And I say that as somebody who did agree that a certain form of compromise was acceptable. But this comrpomise treats a couple of nominees, Saad and Myers, as pawns. It makes them not people, but expendable objects. And that is unconscionable.

Hugh Hewitt of course doesn't have a clue:

It is impossible to say whether this is a "terrible" deal, a "bad" deal, or a very, very marginally "ok" deal, but it surely is not a good deal. Not one dime more for the NRSC from me unless and until the Supreme Court nominee

Scared Monkeys puts it succinctly: Compromise reached! Republicans screwed!

The Buzz Blog: Sellouts!

Power Line's John Hinderaker: What a hideous deal.

Michelle Malkin:

My two cents: Ditto to all of the above. The GOP parade of pusillanimity marches on. With this pathetic cave-in, the Republicans have sealed their fate as a Majority in Name Only.

Captain's Quarters:

Frist: Deal will require "careful monitoring". For what? You just gave away the store! Frist is continuing to spin this into a win for the nominees, but it's not going to fly. The Democrats blocked at least two of the nominees and made no substantive guarantees to stop their obstructionism. This, in short, has been a clear victory for the Democrats and a massive failure for the GOP and the White House. The GOP just endorsed the filibuster, and will have no intellectual capacity to argue against its use later on. They sold the Constitution just to get less than half of its blockaded nominees through, and the result will be much less flexibility on future Supreme Court nominations.

Free Republic:

here Jelly F-ing spined jacka**es!!!!!!!!!!! Any compromise on THIS issue is SURRENDER. Frist just lost the RNC nomination. He's the fool who dragged this out until the f***ing RINOs got their posies arranged all on

Ankle Bitting Oundits: Cowards. A Bunch of M-Fing Cowards!!!! "Trust"? This Is A Nightmare. '


As I've said before, I'd probably care more about this issue if Bush looked likely to appoint some small-government libertarian types to the bench. Since he doesn't, I don't.

Joe Scarborough calls it a "win for the Democrats and a loss for George W. Bush"

But in 2013, Joe Scarborough has changed his tune mightily:

But the clearest howl of rage that greeted Reid’s decision comes, of course, from Joe Scarborough, a veteran of the legislative body that eliminated the filibuster in the 19th century.Scarborough says it’s an unconstitutional power grab by the president, somehow.

Health care reform itself was passed by blowing up the filibuster. They couldn’t go regular order in the Senate. So they blew it up to get this unpopular health care reform bill. The president over the past year has been unilaterally making one change after another without any approval from the United States Congress. Howard Dean even coming on this show suggesting he may not have the constitutional right to do that. And now the very judges who will be determining whether what he’s doing and these changes, whether it’s Constitutional or not, they are only going to get through by a nuclear option.

You look at the history of this presidency and look specifically how he has handled the messy rules of the Senate; I think historians will find him to be a breathtaking grab of power.

Isn't it shocking to see these opinions now? I wish the rules didn't have to be changed, but Reid was faced with out-of-control filibustering as a tactic, not a sincere objection to nominees. The Republicans admitted as much.

What else could he have done?


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