Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Media Hypocrisy: Filibuster Judicial Nominee

Now, with Senate Republicans poised to use the “nuclear option” to quash a Democratic filibuster against Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the media is portraying this as some sort of radical coup d’état. But back in 2013, when the Democrats used the same tactic to get Obama judicial appointees approved, the media spin was much different.

From the Media Research Center, a roundup of media reaction from the time the Democrats went nuclear.



The print media were equally bad.
. . . the cable network news hosts and analysts weren’t the only ones championing the nuclear option. On the pages of the Los Angeles Times, Reid’s move was celebrated in a November 22 editorial “Democrats bust the filibuster, and good for them.”

The Times editorial board crowed: “We welcome this action not because it represents a comeuppance for arrogant Republicans but because filibustering presidential nominees is undemocratic and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution, which says that the president shall appoint judges and other officials ‘by and with the advice and consent of the Senate’ — not by and with a supermajority of the Senate.” The Times went on to call it “a victory not just for the Democrats but for good government.”

That same day, The New York Times championed the procedure in an editorial headlined “Democracy Returns to the Senate.”
Of course, the Republicans would be foolish to let the Democrats use the “nuclear option” and not use it themselves. That would simply make them suckers. Of course, often the Republicans have acquiesced in the role of suckers, but they seem to be wising up.

Even if one believes that requiring sixty senators to confirm a presidential appointee is appropriate, what the Republicans are doing will make that outcome more likely. So long as the Republicans fail to retaliate for the Democrat’s use of the tactic, the Democrats will have no incentive to stop using it.

For readers with a tolerance for academic jargon, the proper tactic in a Prisoner’s Dilemma is “tit for tat.” Or in everyday language, “we are not going to let you get away with screwing us over.”

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1 Comments:

Blogger G. B. Miller said...

From what I read elsewhere, the filibuster is a modern phenomenon, as it wasn't even in the framework of the Federal Papers. Originally, I believe it was used by the Democrats to oppress the very people they currently champion during election season.

But as they same, memory loss is the 1st thing to go with people who tunnel vision and believe they are right 100% of the time.

6:35 AM  

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