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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Creators.


On the gloomy gray morning the Senate changed its ways and character forever, John Glenn, the legendary astronaut and senator from Ohio, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery across the river. One Senate village elder was there to shed a tear for his friend — Senator Pat Leahy, 76, of Vermont.

Leahy had to book it back in the rain for Senate floor votes that extinguished the right of the minority to block a Supreme Court nominee. That may not sound like much, but the Court has had many contentious, big-deal 5-4 votes recently, like Bush v. Gore in 2000. Across the way from the Capitol, the creamy marble Court is sacred, contested ground.

Stepping into the solemn Senate chamber, you feel the weight of the moment. It’s rare to see the 100 senators gathered and seated — and suspended and soundless in their fury.

It’s not every day at the Capitol that the Senate buries its right to an old-fashioned filibuster any Supreme Court confirmation. It took long journeys into night to go “nuclear,” but that’s what happened in their high-flown room.

Smooth-talking Neil Gorsuch, the Colorado judge nominee named by President Trump, is already a change agent in the capital. Of course, he was not present in the room

Then Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stood and said, “It’s unfortunate that (Democrats) have brought us to this point.”

Of course, it was the culmination of McConnell’s shrewd gambit. He played to his party base by denying the usual hearing to President Obama’s nominee to the same seat, Merrick Garland, last spring. A young Democratic senator, Christopher Murphy of Connecticut denounced McConnell’s refusal as “unforgivable.”

Murphy declared the center of the Senate might not hold any more, if the rules were changed for Gorsuch to be railroaded through. Once the rule changes, it is permanent. The rules changed by a series of votes Thursday. The final Gorsuch vote will move ahead Friday night — before they break for Easter and Passover. Even a Colorado Democrat, Michael Bennet, is expected to vote against him.

Actually, all Democrats did was assert their right to require a 60-vote bar for passage — in this case, Gorsuch’s confirmation. In the lore of the Senate, the filibuster forces the Senate to be more bipartisan, open to debate and deliberation. So much for that. The 52 Republicans could not muster enough “aye” votes, with the Democrats almost all together in newfound team spirit.

Now comes their worst fear, voiced in the halls as the Gorsuch votes hung heavy: Soon they would have the partisan squabbles of the House. The Senate prides itself on its dignity in the upper chamber.

Chief Justice John Roberts, his critics charge, runs a corporate high court that has opened the gates to endless “dark money” as political speech in campaigns. The empty seat, once taken by Gorsuch, tilts the court hard right, 5 to 4.

The Republican Senate, too, is closely divided, 52 to 48, and it quickly became clear that the Gorsuch nomination was going to break the parties apart like a canyon. Gorsuch, 49, spoke well without giving anything away, to the frustration of Democrats who believe he is opposed to the rights of women, workers, detainees and autistic children. They see him as staunchly on the wrong side of progress and human rights.

Gorsuch was asked many probing questions at his hearing, but not the one I have: Is he related to a wealthy Baltimore, Maryland, slave owner, Edward Gorsuch? In a well-known legal case back in the 1850s, Gorsuch went to court to reclaim some fugitive slaves. He was later killed in a large slave uprising that fanned the flames of the slavery issue.

The man with dazzling credentials, from Harvard and Oxford, Gorusch may or may not be descended from this man, but he might as well be. He occupies the same privileged white male heights of society. He loves to ski and look down on us all from a distance. In his perfectly blessed life, he has not shown much sympathy for those born to a measure of struggle.

Republican senators, as if they won a game, high-fived. Long live the old Senate.


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34 responses to “The Senate Changes Its Ways For Gorsuch”

  1. kep says:

    It was the extremely corrupt democrat Harry Reid that originally changed the senate rules to favor Democrat appointees. Now that the Republicans are in power, Democrats are crying foul.. Such hypocrites.

    • Thoughtopsy says:

      You are a sad astroturfer with almost zero ability to sway anyone.
      Why your handler keeps deploying you to embarrass yourself is beyond understanding.

  2. itsfun says:

    The Republicans only learned from the Democrats

  3. sigrid28 says:

    More proof that Republicans can only succeed by cheating, because their ideas are so unpopular.

    • kep says:

      It was Harry Reid that changed the rules to get liberal judges appointed.

      • sigrid28 says:

        Reid changed the rules after years of Stonewalling by Republicans in the Senate, Merik Garland-style.

        • kep says:

          So now that the communist libs are stonewalling, the Republicans aren’t waiting. Good for them.

          • sigrid28 says:

            You conveniently forget that Republicans were stonewalling confirming Obama’s appointment of judges because O’Connell declared that Obama would be a one-term president and he would keep Republicans from doing anything to advance Obama’s agenda. Why? Because McConnell like all Republicans can see the writing on the wall: Republican policies are so unpopular they have to be rammed them through Congress and set out in presidential orders, before demographics and the decency of Millennials render Republicans obsolete. In the meantime, Obama’s federal judges will form a powerful firewall until Republicans finish killing off their base by destroying the ACA, Medicare, and Social Security.

          • kep says:

            Funny that Trump was elected seeing republicans were sdo unpopular. Decades of brainwashing our kids to liberal indoctrination might turn the tables, but I think Americans have gotten smart to the ways and failing communist policies liberals want.

          • sigrid28 says:

            Trump did not win the popular vote, after all. Now he seems to be determined to become the poster boy for the least attractive aspect of Republican ideology, welfare for the super wealthy. Only a few members of the Republican base fall into that 1% of 1%–not enough to keep winning elections. Because of policies that hurt the base rather than helping its aging majority, Trump’s approval ratings are falling and taking down the approval ratings for Republicans nationwide. Meanwhile, liberal policies have, at least for now, a much higher approval rating and a much more vocal following. But you needn’t let that worry your pretty little head. Just keep repeating to yourself, “Communist, communist, communist . . . . “

          • Aaron Zanzibari says:

            Trump was elected with lots of help from Putin. You see—Putin has electrodes placed in many of Trump’s supporters and gauged how easily it would be to deceive them. He read you like a book, something(reading a book) we could never accuse Trump of having done.

          • Independent1 says:

            Trump was not elected – the GOP stole the 2016 election just like they’ve stolen a number of elections since 1995: via gerrymandering, voter suppression, outright elections fraud in and out of the voting place and even via hacking the vote counting computers.

            It’s all been nothing but the GOP cheating in every election.

            Can We Count on the Election Results? Exit Poll Discrepancies and Voter Suppression Are Serious Issues

            US elections still vulnerable to rigging, disruption

            Hacking voting machines: Easier than ever imagined

            How would computer hackers have rigged the US election against Hillary Clinton? A computer scientist explains

          • Independent1 says:

            And by the way, why would you support a political party that has turned virtually every state it governs into essentially a hellhole in which to live??

            Gallup-Healthways surveys found that it’s 10 GOP-run states where people are the most miserable and are living under the worst quality of life.

            And those 10 Most Miserable states to live in include Ohio #2 and Indiana #3 with Louisiana in as #7 – states governed by Kasich, Pence and Jindal – three 2016 presidential wanabees!!!

            And WalletHub in analyzing economic results for the states found that it’s 25 GOP-run states that have the largest portions of their populations broke and on the verge of bankruptcy because the GOP dumbs down economies and runs states with high levels of poverty, and unemployment with the most people making below poverty level wages and generally in poor health with high rates of drinking and doing drugs; and just generally having very poor overall social environments with high crime and violence..

            And you support a political party that has done the above to virtually every state it governs??? Why????

            Can you give us some reasons that you support a political party that’s nothing more than a disaster waiting to happen???

          • Independent1 says:

            And your post by the way – has to be one of the dumbest most obviously delusional posts I’ve ever read on the NM – anyone who thinks today’s conservative indoctrination isn’t borderline criminal is a total moron.

            The conservative ideology promotes: violence, incompetence, high rates of crime, high rates of murder, high rates of premature death, high rates of women and babies dying during childbirth, high rates of poverty, high rates of unemployment/low job creation and more.

          • kep says:

            God you people are as stupid as lemmings.

          • Independent1 says:

            And as a typical mindlessly ignorant conservative, all you know how to do is deny reality!!!! It’s your early funeral: on average the majority of conservatives live 2-6 year shorter lives than liberals.

          • Dapper Dan says:

            Can’t they die off any quicker? ????

          • Independent1 says:

            Something surely needs to happen before their life destroying fascist ideology overtakes the entire country.

          • Thoughtopsy says:

            Yeah… It just means Republicans are gullible as f**k.
            Ironically some of them are waking up.
            President Snowflake’s approval ratings show that.
            Currently 35%.

    • Anncjames says:

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    • itsfun says:

      How is what the Republicans did any different than what the Democrats did to get federal judges appointed and the ACA passed? Harry Reid changed the rules to get the liberal federal judges appointed, and Harry Reid used bribery and a rule created to settle financial issue to get the ACA passed.

  4. Thoughtopsy says:

    It’s pretty simple.
    – The Republicans began a campaign of blocking almost everything Obama wanted when he won 8 years ago.
    – Part of this campaign was Filibustering almost all his lower court nominees, especially those on the DC Court of Appeals (The most important lower court), irrespective of their merits, and irrespective of the desperate need for more judges causing a massive backlog in the courts.
    – The Republicans used the Filibuster against Obama lower court nominees MORE TIMES THAN THE ALL PREVIOUS PRESIDENTS PUT TOGETHER. Yes… that’s right. If you add up every single lower court filibuster since the birth of America, it is less than the blockade by the Republicans.
    – The Republicans were warned that, if they didn’t allow the President his desperately needed lower court nominees, there would be open recognition of the GOP Blockade and the political pressure would force the Dems to change the rules.
    – McConnell laughed at them. He only does things that directly benefit his party, don’t ya know. Screw the courts and the massive wait times.
    – The Dems reluctantly changed the rules to a simple majority for lower court nominees simply to try to get positions filled and bring the justice system back from a state of chronic shortage. (Of course the multiple emergencies declared by the Courts due to being short staffed didn’t move the Republicans from their blockade and chance at personal political gain… Country before party? That would be crazy…)
    – The Dems deliberately preserved the Supreme Court filibuster… even though they had the majority and could have changed that as well.
    – McConnell blocks Garland from even getting a vote. States that “It’s an election year” and it’s “too close to the Election” and refuses to do his job with zero precedent behind him… and gambles his reputation and personal ethics and oath to the Contitution on the dangling fruit of possibly holding the seat open for the Republicans to fill if Orange F**kface wins.
    – Should he have done his job? Yes.
    – Should he have brought Garland up for a vote, and told his own Party to vote against Garland because he felt it was “too close to the Election”. Yes.
    – Did he? No… because that left open the possibility that some of his party may have considered his position ludicrous and voted Garland in anyway… and he wanted the seat left open for a naked GOP power grab later.
    – Was his justification that “the American People should decide” honest? F**K no. If Hillary had won, he OPENLY STATED THAT HE WOULD KEEP THE SEAT OPEN THROUGHOUT HER ENTIRE PRESIDENCY. Don’t even pretend there was a reason for this other than screwing the system and breaking the rules just to get more power for him and his party. This is open contempt for the Constitution.
    – President F**kface Von Clownstick wins with help from Putin and nominates a Heritage Foundation Plutocrat Judge in Gorsuch.
    – Gorsuch refuses to answer any real questions other than about his childhood or skiing. Most particularly he refuses to answer any question related to key Democrat issues like Abortion or Citizens United.
    – The Democrats suggest they will exercise their right to block him for being too extreme and also because they feel that the seat was stolen from Obama’s pick, Garland.
    – McConnell (and McCain earlier) warn them that if they don’t let him through the Republican base will not understand, and will force them to change the rules.
    – The Democrats filibuster.
    – McConnell changes the rules to a simple majority.

    Who started using Judicial Filibusters as a political weapon? McConnell in the Minority.

    Who first changed the Rules? Democrats, when it become clear that McConnell would not listen to reason, or prioritize the Justice System itself ahead of what he felt was a winning strategy for the Republican PARTY.

    Who escalated this Filibuster/blockade strategy? McConnell. This time in the Majority, he refused to do his job and bring Garland to a vote. Effectively a “Super-Filibuster” because he blocked any action at all. Even his own party voting on whether it was too close to the election. All for more power.

    What was the Dems response? Nothing. They were the minority. There’s nothing they could do. It did make them extremely angry though.

    And now we are here. Where the angry Dems have filibustered Trump’s pick and McConnell, realizing this is his only chance to pack the court with Conservatives for the next 10-20 years, has forced Gorsuch through… where he will be a corporate-loving, anti-progressive stain on the US Supreme Court for generations.

    Here’s the lesson: Once McConnell decided on blocking everything so his party gained power, no matter how much damage it did the country or the court system, and suffered no damage at election time because of it… then it was always going to end up here.

    Republican politicians have shown that they will openly lie, pander to the worst impulses of humanity, funnel money to the rich and blame immigrants and brown people, and put their personal wealth and power above everything else, including the Country.

    I don’t even know the words to describe how much of a disgusting and sad sell-out of real conservative and American ideals that is… but I will say this:

    Trump suits them perfectly as their leader.

  5. PatrickHenry says:

    After years of Democrat-Socialist Party’s getting their way, they got bit in the ass. Democrat-Socialists always block Constitutional Conservatives for the Supreme Court, but get their Liberal, partisan, political choices approved. Dems used the filibuster for the first time in 2 hundred years to try & block Gorsuch. And the Supreme Court already has 4 pure Liberals on it, and Gorsuch is just replacing a Conservative, not a Liberal.

    • Dapper Dan says:

      How bipartisan of you. For the record Gorsuch will now be sitting in what would be Merrick Garlands seat. That was no longer Scalias seat when he passed away. That seat belongs to the people not one party. Too bad so many people have forgotten what’s in our US Constitution of We The People. We may as well be the Divided States of America. Democracy died with this power grab by McConnell as we hurtle towards an unavoidable Civil War

      • PatrickHenry says:

        Why should the Republicans let Obama have his 3rd. Liberal pick, when they expected Trump to be President? The balance of power is much more in the hands of Liberal Justices that like to Legislate from the Bench instead of just ruling on the Constitutionality of Legislation.
        There right now are 4 pure Libersls in: Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer & Ginsburg. Kennedy is a Moderate, as Roberts is somewhat. The Division of the U.S. increased dramatically under Obama & the Democrats.

        • Dapper Dan says:

          I get it you hate America and Democracy. Obama was President at the time of Scalias passing. He had every constitutional right to name his replacement not his successor whether Republican or Democrat. Just burn the flag and US Constitution since you don’t believe in their values

          • PatrickHenry says:

            Obama had the right to nominate a replacement, but the GOP had tge right to BORK him. They learned these things from the leftist, Democrat-Socialists. On the contrary, Patriots as myself expect OUR Constitution to be upheld, by just interpreting OUR Constitution, not legislating from the bench. Leftists try to get their way by using our Courts & Federal Government to transform OUR values!

          • Dapper Dan says:

            Seriously? Your trolling me a week later on Easter no else ? Please go away and get to Church and ask your Lord and Savior for forgiveness

          • PatrickHenry says:

            Went to Church, as I always do. Hope you went as well.

    • Independent1 says:

      “After years of Democrat-Socialist Party’s getting their way, they got bit in the ass.”

      Right!!! with Emperor Mitch using the fake filibuster over 430 times to prevent the Democrats enacting any legislation the GOP didn’t want to be enacted!!!

      All you conservatives fools can do is post one pathological lie after another!!!

      The GOP has controlled Congress in one way or another for more than 20 straight years!!!!!!!!!!!

      • PatrickHenry says:

        This is for you Dummy, the biggest Liar of all, LMAO.
        How many years did Democrats control Congress? | › Government & Politics › US Government
        Since the Democratic Party first controlled both houses in 1837 under the 25th Congress, it has held control of both houses for over 75 years under 35 …

        • Independent1 says:

          Sorry lowlife, but the key word here is’CONTROL’; since the time of Gingrich, having a majority in Congress has not been ‘Controlling Congress’!!!

          Although the Dems have had years when they have had a majority in Congress, given the proclivity of the GOP to use the fake filibuster to prevent legislation from being enacted the GOP did not want enacted, the Dems only had CONTROL of Congress, that is, a super majority capable of overriding a GOP filibuster, they’ve only had that super majority, for less than 5 months in the past 22 years.

          They had a super majority to override the GOP’s fake filibusters only from the time Al Franken’s Senate win was confirmed in the middle of July of 2009 until Ted Kennedy died about a month later on August 15th. And then it took Deval Patrick almost 2 months to get a replacement for Ted which again gave them a super majority for about 1.5 months until their recess in December.

          I could care less what your idiot link says BECAUSE EVEN IF IT’S FACT IT’S DOES NOT REPRESENT REALITY OF THE SITUATION!!!

  6. itsfun says:

    Republicans only used the example Harry Reid set.

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