Thursday, February 2, 2017

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Unintended But Predictable Consequences

Democrats, during the Obama administration, initiated or
overused several legal tactics, especially in the Congress and
in presidential executive orders, to impose their will. I was
not alone in pointing out that, in the long term, they might
well rue the consequences of these tactics. Now, Republican
roosters have walked into the Capitol coop and asserted
themselves, employing some of these same tactics, many of
which they would not have otherwise used.

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, especially the former, initiated
this state of affairs. Mr. Reid upset the proper deliberative
function of the senate using arcane and hitherto rarely used
rules to “close down the U.S. senate” to bipartisan debate not
just for a single issue, but totally for years.

Still reeling from the upset victory of Donald Trump last
November, congressional Democrats, particularly in the U.S.
senate, are trying to block not only many of President Trump’s
cabinet choices, but now his first choice for appointment to the
U.S. supreme court. After boycotting confirmation hearings,
the Democrats were treated to a suspension of the committee
rules by the Republican committee chairs, and the nominations
proceeded. The minority party now threatens to filibuster the
nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court, and by the
current rules could do so, but Mr. Reid established the means
and the precedent to cancel the filibuster. Seven (of the eight
needed) Democratic senators are already on the record
opposing the use of the filibuster --- although they could change
their minds in this case. If they do change their minds, and the
filibuster is then repealed, they will only have themselves to

The way to promote partisan ideas, and to employ individuals
who will implement them, is to win elections  From 2009
through 2011, Democrats controlled the executive and
legislative branches of government. In 2010, the GOP retook the
U.S. house, and in 2014, conservatives retook the U.S. senate. In
2016, A Republican was elected president. The way back for the
Democrats is to win elections in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

It’s that simple. What is complicated is how to do it.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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