A Bill Comes Due: Reid’s Folly Becomes The Democratic Nightmare

225px-harry_reid_official_portrait440px-Judge_Brett_KavanaughIn 2010, I (and others) criticized the Democratic leadership (including then Majority Leader Harry Reid and many of the continuing Democratic senators) for their use of the “nuclear option” in curtailing the power of the filibuster. I was equally critical of Republican leaders who previously suggested such a course of action. The Democrats acted with little concern that they might ever be in the minority and need this critical power. They muscled through the Affordable Care Act on a marginal vote that cost various members their seats and passed a highly flawed bill that was plagued by problems of bad drafting and poor planning. Moreover, they secured relatively few confirmations to federal office.  The result was the final demise of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees when the Republicans took power.  The result for the Democrats is Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed by a 50 to 48 vote.

Kavanaugh was confirmed by the smallest margin since 1881. In 1881, Justice Stanley Matthews was confirmed in a vote of 24-23.  Matthews served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 23rd Ohio in the Civil War under the command of Rutherford Hayes and with fellow officer William McKinley.  He also was a student with Hayes at Kenyon College.

440px-Thomas_Stanley_Matthews_-_Brady-HandyIn 1881, Hayes nominated Matthews for the Supreme Court but his close association was viewed as cronyism.  Like Merritt Garland, the Senate never acted on the nomination.  However, Matthews was then nominated again by James Garfield — leading to his narrow margin of confirmation.

Here is Harry Reid and the Democrats throwing caution and self-preservation to the winds in a move that would ultimately put Kavanaugh on the Court — and may open up a new conservative era of the Court.


283 thoughts on “A Bill Comes Due: Reid’s Folly Becomes The Democratic Nightmare”

  1. Ugly win, but a win. Both sides looked bad but relative to far left lunacy, Reps looked good. Lefties jumped the shark when they resorted to 1980’s ice throwing in bar when gang rape crap failed. Reps can learn from their own mistakes going forward (bad coaching of candidate, etc) but take the win and not look back. Reps got bailed out by unlikely heroes Flake & Collins. Now lefty loons like LateForYouKnowWhat will probably go back to the Hate-Trump playbook and again desperately push Russia collusion, Stormy Daniels, etc.

    1. Neither Flake nor Collins is a ‘hero’. Collins and Murkowski are political temporizsers who are commonly a problem for party whips. They’re just doing what they do normally. Flake’s career in electoral politics is over and he’s striking poses on his way out the door.

      1. Again Tab you are not being objective. Flakey Flake did the right thing for once by tapping the brakes for a week – that gave time for pendulum to swing in Kav’s favor. And Flighty Collins did a better job of laying out case for Kav than any other Rep. Not healthy to go all team politics with blinders on. Even winning Reps need to honestly self-reflect and get better,.

        1. Again Tab you are not being objective. Flakey Flake did the right thing for once by tapping the brakes for a week – that gave time for pendulum to swing in Kav’s favor.

          Bill, it added 1 week of pointless delay. He gets kudos under only one circumstance: the delay persuaded Manchin and Collins to vote yea. Don’t recall either one were pushing for another FBI rodeo, but I don’t work for them so I don’t know.

        2. “tapping the brakes for a week – that gave time for pendulum to swing in Kav’s favor. ”

          It also put the election closer so that the Republican surge might be stronger when voting occurs.

          I do not give Flack any positive credit for any positive effects from the time delay.

      2. DSS, their votes were not heroic, but Collins speech was because she put in the time and effort to summarize the entire episode without compromising the nature of her vote. If you didn’t hear the speech it is worth listening to on fast speed. She is a very slow talker.

        1. Allan: Sen. Collins suffers from a disorder called spasmodic dysphonia, which causes the muscles that generate a person’s voice to spasm, making it difficult to be understood. She deliberately speaks in a slow, measured manner to keep the condition under control.

          1. Thank you TIN. Interesting. I didn’t know that. She does a good job because when one speeds up her speech it sounds pretty good. The content of her speech was excellent. Did you listen to it in full?

            I don’t think she has legal training but the statement sounded as if her idea was to cover all the elements clearly and then draw a conclusion without the usual political wavering.

            What is amazing is that some with the worst problems speaking, reading etc. can do so well in jobs that require talent in those areas. David Boies is dyslexic.

    2. Reps can learn from their own mistakes going forward (bad coaching of candidate, etc)

      Yeah, Brett Kavanaugh, who has been through grueling confirmation hearings multiple times and held consequential positions in the federal government for 28 years, is going to learn from you how to handle a Senate committee.

      1. Dude, Stop being so defensive. I voted for Trump and want him to win and glad top see him get a win here. I provided an objective observation on how Reps could do better. Kav’s defense testimony was cringe-worthy when he went conspiracy theory and girly-man emotional in front of the committee. That was a bad look for a future supreme court justice and future nominees need to learn from that and Reps need to do better job of prepping candidates.

        1. Kav’s defense testimony was cringe-worthy when he went conspiracy theory and girly-man emotional in front of the committee.

          The term ‘conspiracy theory’ does not mean what you think it means.

          1. Now you are splitting hairs Dude by trying to play word games. His testimony in extended session was awful. It was bad tape and Reps need to learn from that and be thankful that it did not completely sink Kav. He should include Collins on his Christmas list for helping to bring focus back to his 12 year judicial record.

            1. His testimony in extended session was awful.

              No, his testimony bothered you. You’re not the world.

            2. Bill, nothing wrong with your opinion but what you think applies only to those that think similarly to you. We will never know, but had he acted in the fashion you would have permitted perhaps the vote would have gone another way.

              1. Allan, Reps got the win which was a good outcome. Just compare and contrast Gorsuch and Kav demeanors. Kav did not help himself in extended testimony – he picked up no extra votes by way of his awful testimony. The one week cooling off period (thank you Flake) and logical case laid out by Collins are what got him over the goal line.

                1. Bill, we don’t know what would have happened had Kav provided a speech more to your liking which might have caused him to lose. I thougt his testimony was good. That testimony was not supposed to appeal to fixed minds that were the vast majority. It was aimed at a couple of minds because those were the only minds that were in flux.

                  I think you mentioned earlier that you didn’t like that he cried a bit. I’ll bet that crying influenced Susan Collins speech even if it didn’t influence her vote. What counted most was that daily the credibility of Ford fell, her witnesses abandoned her dreams, witnesses lied and more and more crazy witnesses came forward. That is what sealed Kav’s victory though he should have been confirmed by a near unanimous vote.

                  Lindsay Graham who is not a favorite of mine said it all very correctly and earned a lot of respect. He actually told some people to shut up and according to your views might have even thrown in a bit of conspiracy theory himself.

                  1. Allan, You are demonstrating how political discourse has gotten out of hand. We are on same side regarding outcome but you push back on constructive criticism. Kav was sloppy and cliche. Collins and Flake saved the day = team win. Sometimes that is how ugly wins happen but they still count as wins. Star player has bad game and role players step in to save the win. Let’s live and learn from ugly win and do better next time. Bye.

                    1. ” but you push back on constructive criticism.”

                      No. I provided an alternative viewpoint which IMO is better.

                      “Kav was sloppy and cliche.”

                      No. I disagree. Kav is not a robot. He is human.

                      “Collins and Flake saved the day = team win.”

                      That they voted the way almost all Senators should have voted is no big deal. If they voted no and promoted character assassination that would have been America’s loss!

                    2. I should have added we are not disagreeing rather providing alternative view points of what we saw and our mutual perspectives. We both agree that he should have easily passed the committee.

                2. ” Just compare and contrast Gorsuch and Kav demeanors. Kav did not help himself in extended testimony – he picked up no extra votes by way of his awful testimony. …”

                  All of your conclusions are conjecture. However, one cannot compare the Gorsuch to the Kav’s trek to the SC. All stops were pulled out in an attempt to stop Kav. The same didn’t occur with Gorsuch. Change positions and Gorsuch might have been bloodied just as much.

                  1. “Change positions and Gorsuch might have been bloodied just as much.” I doubt that. Gorsuch came across as a much cooler cat during the regular session and I doubt he would have uttered the word “Clinton” as part of his defense. That’s all folks. As Mike Ditka once said: “A win is a win is a win”

                    1. Bill, the reason to attack one and not the other had to do with the presumed optics at the time. Kav was replacing Kennedy and putting the Court back into what it is supposed to be. We hear a lot of speculative commentary from people that know little more than anyone else. The reson for so much commentary is to fill the airways with commercial time. We shouldn’t sit there adopting all these talking points trying to use a microscope to look at what happened but with a media that is non stop that is what seems to be happening.

    3. Bill M: I agree with your take on Kav’s performance, It was too emotional and almost unhinged when he started alluding to Clinton conspiracy theories. He’s lucky he barely squeezed through the process. But you’ll get no objectivity from Tabs. He’s so blinded by his infatuation with Kav that he’s like a 15 year-old with his first girl friend. Kind of weird, really. Tabs gets truly emotional at the slightest suggestion that anything about Kav isn’t perfect. And Allan, he’s more rational, but still a blind follower.

      1. This from the man who was spinning spinning spinning to try to shame people into taking Chrissy seriously.

        1. “Trying to shame people?” Damn, you’re even nuttier than I thought. “Shaming” is not something I do. I’m not a girly-man. I state my opinion and move on.

      2. ” Allan, he’s more rational, but still a blind follower.”

        TIN, what are you talking about. Do you presume to have the ability to read minds and the future. I accept both Bill and your interpretations of how you felt and I am sure some of the Senators felt that way as well. What we don’t know is how that affected (if it did at all) the minds of those whose votes were open to change.

        You guys seem to want to assume you know more than you do. My answer is I believe but I do not know.

        The fact is that I am not sure how Kav will vote in the long run. He is acceptable to me but I don’t know if his interpretations will match what I believe. AS I said before, if you divide the court into thirds IMO he would be in the middle third.

    1. Betty, You are as delusional as Late4Yoga if you believe Harry Reid precedent played no role in where we are today. You and rest of lefty loons have to learn to get game after yet another bad loss instead of resorting to delusion and excuse-making.

      1. In 1917 Senators adopted a rule (Rule 22), at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote, a device known as “cloture.” The new Senate rule was first put to the test in 1919, when the Senate invoked cloture to end a filibuster against the Treaty of Versailles. Even with the new cloture rule, filibusters remained an effective means to block legislation, since a two-thirds vote is difficult to obtain. Over the next five decades, the Senate occasionally tried to invoke cloture, but usually failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote. Filibusters were particularly useful to Southern senators who sought to block civil rights legislation, including anti-lynching legislation, until cloture was invoked after a 60 day filibuster against the Civil Right Act of 1964. In 1975, the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds to three-fifths, or 60 of the current one hundred senators.

    2. The fact is he didn’t. You are looking into your dark heart and assuming it belongs to another.

        1. Excerpted from the April 6th, 2017, NYT article linked above:

          WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Thursday engineered a dramatic change in how the chamber confirms Supreme Court nominations, bypassing a Democratic blockade of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch in a move that will most likely reshape both the Senate and the court.

          After Democrats held together Thursday morning and filibustered President Trump’s nominee, Republicans voted to lower the threshold for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes to a simple majority.

  2. Trump promised better health care for much less money. GOP controls senate, house, and SCOTUS. Trump hasn’t been indicted, so where’s the better, cheaper healthcare? Rx companies are still getting huge tax breaks. C’mon trumpsters.

    1. Trump has not had the support of either party that is necessary for the President to revamp a system that involves around 18% of our economy. The Democrats passed Obamacare despite the knowledge that the American people would never support it absent the lies provided by the administration and despite the fact that the way it was written it was doomed to fail. Republicans who promised to get rid of Obamacare didn’t. At present all of Congress, the branch responsible for legislation, has done too little. Congress has been in the habit of not doing its job while watching the executive and judicial branches doing their job instead. That is a broken system.

      Trump has not been inactive. He has however, been involved in a lot of nonesense created by those who have yet accepted defeat at the ballot box. In fact one party has tried to slow him down with actions that are illegal leading to the firing of members at the FBI and a liklihood of conviction of some of those members.

      I don’t want to burden you with too much because you always walk away from fact. I will go further after you demonstrate some type of intelligent argument. Trump is acting to lower pharmaceutical costs. They are higher than needed because of protectionism and too much government interference. Limiting Trumps actions on the insurance sector until you follow through with your arguments I will mention one thing that has been done. Trump has empowered people to buy extended short term insurance while at the same time not financially penalizing them for doing so. In other words he has expanded opportunities for insurance, lowered the cost and got rid of government penalties for the many that wish it.

      1. Again, 7% of gross output and 12% of gross value added. Please learn to use the right denominator with your numerator.

        1. Firstly DSS your posting here is in the wrong place. Secondly in the right place I didn’t bother using fractions nor did I bother trying to link how Gross Output or Gross Value Added (totally left out of my discussion) orGDP were related. That is a figment of your imagination. If you wish to delve into the various ways of calculating or looking into the GDP do so but in the meantime please learn to read the written word instead of looking for opportunities to demonstrate whatever expertise you might have.

          1. Allen, Gross Domestic Product and Gross Value Added are more or less the same thing. The “18% of the economy” meme is just false and you should stop using it.

            1. We both know that DSS, but how many members on this list know it? That is your problem. You wish to talk so that your presumed expertise is known. I like common language and facts. The 18% which is the approximate equivalent of 12 + 7 doesn’t lead to most understanding what you are talking about.

              If we got into the specific details of health care costs and things of that nature maybe your type of numbers would be appropriate but we are nowhere near that level.

              1. I don’t know why you’re adding 12% and 7%. That’s not a valid operation.

                Gross output in this country – calculated from the sum of outputs without differentiated intermediate goods from final demand – is $33.7 tn. It’s not an oft used statistic. The gross output of the sector labeled ‘health care and social assistance’ is $2.43 tn. That’s 7.2%.

                Gross value added – a metric similar to gross domestic product, does take account of the difference between intermediate goods and final demand. Value added in ‘health care and social assistance’ is currently $1.4 tn, whereas gross value added in the economy is $19.36 tn. That’s 7.2% (not 12%. I’ve been confused).

                The figure of “18%” comes in the first instance by using an inflated definition of health care, then by comparing total expenditures in this realm to gross value added rather than gross output, then exaggerating a tad further.

                (All data from the bureau of economic analysis).

                1. “I don’t know why you’re adding 12% and 7%. That’s not a valid operation.”

                  I don’t disagree but that seemed to be the the direction you were taking. It also doesn’t lead to a more general understanding on a list of this nature.

                  Why don’t you provide a list of sectors of the economy so we can see what % is being spent for comparison and make sure they all add up to 100%. That may be a bit difficult and involve a lot of defining of terms and methodologies. You should do that if you wish to push your numbers.[Take note of the huge tax deductions for healthcare or insurance that also greatly impact how one views all these numbers.] As far as the definition of healthcare is concerned, yes, that number is totally inflated in part because tax deductions are involved. However, government has created that mess and to sort it out better tax policy is required. Gym memberships are not healthcare unless one wishes to assume the relaxing nature of a movie is healthcare as well. But, some gym memberships are paid for under the column of healthcare.

                  %GDP is a term much more common and more widely used and understood. None of these numbers provide an exact picture so you can ahead and use whatever metric you wish, but when using long term and international comparisons one is left with %GDP unless one is dealing with a group of economists and even then one doesn’t expect total agreement.

  3. It is not possible to go back in time, but there was a time when it took 2/3 of the Senators present in the chamber to stop debate. The filibuster was the act of keeping the floor by speaking nonsense in the name of “debate.”

    Can’t go back in time to when the Senators represented their state government. They were appointed by the governor (or legislature) of each state. That feature is what made the United States a Republic and not a Democracy.

    Back in time the House of Representatives were only taxpayers. This is why the House has the power of the purse whereby all bills involving spending tax money must originate in the House.

    Way back when the Executive branch was expected to enforce all laws. All of them. All the time. Whether they agreed with them or not.

    There was a time really long ago when the legislators themselves were responsible for ensuring that their bill met the provisions of the Constitution.

    There was a time when every single new debt had to be approved by Congress in a vote.

    There was a time, in my lifetime even, when currency could be exchanged for money — silver or gold coin.

    We are not the United States of my youth. The lessons I learned in civics class are moot now.

    Two thirds, not a majority, to stop debate back then. Two thirds of the states’ senators representing their state government.

  4. The filibuster was an undemocratic vestige of antiquity stretching back to the Roman Senate. In modern usage, from the Spanish word “filibustero,” it refers to freebooters or privare armies who wage unjustified war on unsuspecting towns and villages. It’s an apt etymology. I’m glad it’s gone. Harry Reid shot himself in the foot but did the country a favor. It’s “majority rules,” not “supermajority rules.”

  5. It’s a new personal best for Turley: Three logical fallacies in one original post. 1) Tu Quoque; 2) Argumentum ad consequentiam; 3) Post hoc ergo prompter hoc.

    What’s really amazing, though, is the circular support that each of Turley’s successive fallacies lends to the previous two; each of which, in turn, lends support all the way back to itself, around and around in a circle just like a braided pretzel Let’s count that as yet another fallacy. Call it what you will. So. Four, count ’em, four logical fallacies in one blawg post from Turley. How he do dat?

    1. Turley is using the negative form of the appeal to consequences. Some observers call that the appeal to force, instead.

      If P, then Q will occur.
      Q is undesirable.
      Therefore, P is false.

      Appeal to force (argumentum ad baculum) is a special instance of this form. This form somewhat resembles modus tollens but is both different and fallacious, since “Q is undesirable” is not equivalent to “Q is false”.

    2. L4Yoga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – JT did it purposely and slowly. It was a test of the Turley Early Warning Logic System.

      1. Technically speaking, the argumentum ad consequentiam is permissible in public policy debates. However, the idea that Reid ought not to have changed the cloture rule does not lead to the conclusion that Reid is responsible for McConnell changing the cloture rule, yet again, for the sake of Gorsuch’s confirmation, which, in turn, does not lead to the conclusion that Reid is one, too, while McConnell is not one, too, because Reid changed the cloture rule first and McConnell changed the cloture rule second.

        If changing the cloture rule was undesirable when Reid did it, then changing the cloture rule was undesirable when McConnell did it. Did you know that the cloture rule used to be Two-Thirds of The Senate? Somebody changed it to Three-Fifths of The Senate before Reid ever came down the turnpike.

    3. L4D:
      As one who once taught formal logic, I’d like an explanation of how this article employs these three informal logical fallacies. Especially the tu quoque fallacy. As you know, this particular fallacy occurs when the opponent argues that the proposition of the proponent should not be believed because the proponent has not acted in accord with the proposition in the past. Where does JT fault Reid for not acting in accord with his premise that filibuster borne deadlock will make the Senate an irrelevant body? I agree JT did not take Reid’s proposition on directly but where does he criticize Reid for not acting in accord with his premise.

      1. In addition to the title of Turley’s original post–“A Bill Comes Due: Reid’s Folly Becomes The Democrats Nightmare”–Turley also wrote that, “The Democrats acted with little concern that they might ever be in the minority and need this critical power.”

        Turley’s rendition of the tu quoque fallacy absolves McConnell of the same “folly” for which Turley condemns Reid. Turley would have us imagine that Reid’s change of the cloture rule was a precedent that somehow commanded, rather than merely enabled, McConnell’s change of the cloture rule. In that way, Turley argues that The Democrats and Reid have no one but themselves to blame for McConnell and The Republican’s action. Ergo, McConnell and The Republicans are blameless. That’s classic tu quoque thinking.

  6. I agree. I submitted what I felt was a much better health package which covered more, avoided the headaches their package encountered & was funded better to the DNC & it was rejected out of hand. The beltway, as evidenced by Trump does not like outsiders and is a rude, crude crowd and certainly not of the people.

  7. There will be more SC appointed

    Ruth Ginsburg is not in good health. Sotomayor is not in good health either.

      1. Meso: Sotomayor has diabetes and recent fainting spells. Not long ago, she blacked out, fell and broke her shoulder.

    1. “Two old maids… laying in a bed…. one rolled over to the other and said:
      Let’s stop. My fingers getting tired.”

      And with that, they each announced that they were retired. Not retarded. But retired.

  8. When it comes to Harry Reid, karma is a bitch. It really is too bad he is not in office so see this happen.

  9. PH, why don’t we have 2 separate healthcare systems. One completely run top to bottom by the federal government. And the other run by the private sector with no government interference. The government would own their hospitals, and the doctors, nurses and the rest of the staff would be government employees. Better yet unionized government employees. The privet sector healthcare system would have to work like a business. They would have to compete for patients and stay within budgets. We all would like to use the government system because we all( most off us) have to pay for it. But most of us would carry some private insurance also. This basic approach would would be a lot more honest and strait forward than than the totally dishonest fraudulent system that Obamacare(ACA) was.

      1. Peter, What a stupid ignorant person you are.

        Can a person decline insurance without penalty? No.
        Can an insurer offer a good policy without approval by the government? No.
        Can an insurer offer a better policy at a lower cost while improving their profit above federal guidelines? No.

        You are like a rat in a maze where there is only one way to the cheese and you think the rat has a choice. You are just like the rat placed into such a maze by the left wing spinners and you don’t know it any more than the rat does.

          1. Medical care finance has been an issue – not a problem, as problems have discrete solutions – for nearly 80 years now. There have been piecemeal adjustments which addressed one or another aspect of the issue. The trouble with Obamacare is that in an attempt to address one issue – continuity of coverage – they generated a series of severely troubled state markets which may reach either a hopeless equilibrium or collapse entirely. The Republians haven’t offered anything to repair matters – it was all talking points and slogans. Obama held off intelligent restructuring of the financial sector to built this policy monument to himself and the monument is tipping over.

            1. There’s no profit in healthcare if everyone is covered. The math just never works. One patient needing open heart surgery is going to negate the premiums paid by the next 100 subscribers.

              So anyone who thinks that a market-based, for-profit system can cover the masses needs to find an example of ‘where’ that is true.

          2. The healthcare payment system has been problematic from the start of modern healthcare. Overinvolvement by government hasn’t helped. Third party payer has been inflationary. I can go into much more detail but you are unable to understand it. Obamacare didn’t solve problems though it did weakly show that classic third party payer need not exist. It was an absolute failure and made it much more difficult to create a good system.

            One has to understand how insurance works. One pays to reduce risk in circumstances where the future is unknown. That is something I think is too hard for you to grasp.

            Insurance covers the unknown sick. If the known sick had insurance it covers them as well. The problem we face is covering those that are sick, without insurance and without necessary financing. That group is not as large as many think and should not destroy the healthcare marketplace. Those peole should be managed slightly differently. There are risk pools, subidies, Medicaid etc. The idea is to bring the price of insurance low enough so that almost all will buy it. That leads to almost total coverage of all people in the future. If one chooses not to buy insurance that is his problem not society’s.

            I have already told you more than you can incorporate so why not think rather than type.

  10. Kavanaugh was confirmed with a vote of 50 – 48. We have been told repeatedly that the so-called nuclear option meant that a SC nominee needs a simple majority of 51 yes votes to be confirmed. Kavanaugh did not get 51 votes. He got 50. One Republican dude who would have voted yes was at his daughter’s wedding and did not come to DC to vote – that would have given Kavanaugh the full 51 votes required to confirm. But it now appears that the “51 vote simple majority” phraseology contradicts itself. Is it the “rule” that 51 votes are needed, or is it that a simple majority of those showing up to vote are needed?

    Because if the threshold is not 51 votes, but instead a simple majority, then that means there is no reason to mention any specific number at all, which the nuclear option rule does. Supposing that only 10 senators showed up to vote on a nominee’s confirmation – would he still be confirmed if the vote were 6 – 4? (Or a scenario where all 100 showed up, but 90 of them voted “present”, with only 3 actually casting yes or no votes as another example.) Would that still count as a legitimate confirmation vote?

    So is the rule “51 votes”, or is it a “simple majority of whomever bothers to cast a vote”? Because if it’s the latter, that renders the whole idea of mentioning a specific threshold number moot. And all along the way of this process, as with the nomination of Gorsuch, the public has been told repeatedly that the nominee needs 51 votes, and the media and politicians spend a lot of time counting the possible yes votes in advance to predict if the person would meet that number.

    Seems to me someone just arbitrarily changed the “51 vote simple majority” to mean “simple majority” without explanation.

    1. Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides that:

      The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

      Thus, when the Senate is in recess, the President may make a temporary appointment to any office requiring Senate approval, including filling vacancies on the Supreme Court,

      The Senate may also fail to act on the nomination, which expires at the end of the session

      Once the Committee reports out the nomination, the whole Senate con-48 and considers it. A simple majority vote is required to confirm or to reject a nominee.

      The vote was 50 to 48 with two absent.


      All of that is rules of the Senate. The Constitution only states. President Nominates, Senate Confirms.

      1. Yeah, but the Senate rule itself, called the “nuclear option”, that they invoked is defined as a “simple majority of 51 votes”. But apparently they don’t mean the “51 votes” part of their own rule.

      1. Her complaint is silly.

        However, in a better system, a majority of the elected members would be required to pass statutory legislation and appropriations, with it being a requirement that the yays and nays be recorded. Viva voce or a majority of a quorum could suffice for floor amendments. In a better system, the two chambers would be functionally differentiated, with the (popularly elected) House responsible for fiscal plans and statutory legislation and the (not popularly elected) Senate responsible for vetting and recomposing administrative regulations. In a better system, few offices would require confirmation and confirmation would be a House function which could be delegated to the Senate, as would compact and treaty ratifications In a better system, the executive would participate in the legislative process by negotiating treaties and drafting regulations, but have no veto.

  11. Democrats have been hooked on instant gratification for a long time, with no regard for future consequences. Most recently demonstrated in the Kavanaugh hearings, the Democrats on the committee (and others) were willing to sacrifice everything, even fundamental American values, for the instant gratification of defeating confirmation. There was no consideration of the future consequences of turning a confirmation hearing into a forum for character assassination in which the accused and the accuser were abused unconscionably. But, this was only a continuation of a pattern of conduct throughout the Obama years. The guiding principle was to do whatever it takes– whatever it takes– to secure the short term goal, whether it was paying Iran $1.5 billion for the nuclear deal, or telling a bald faced lie about the cause of the Benghazi attack not only to the American people but even to the mother of one of the dead contract special forces just so the political narrative could be kept alive through the election. The examples are legion. The remarkable thing about this pattern of conduct is that Democrats are not stupid. They must know that ultimately “the truth will out.” The only explanation I can come up with is that Democrats entertain the cynical belief that the attention span of the American people is so short that after only a few weeks things will be forgotten. For the sake of our democracy, I hope they are wrong.

    1. nice for your democracy where ever that is. But it applies equally or with greater impact to our Constitutional Republic. Say… where is this Democracy anyway?

    2. Honestlawyer:
      “Most recently demonstrated in the Kavanaugh hearings, the Democrats on the committee (and others) were willing to sacrifice everything, even fundamental American values, for the instant gratification of defeating confirmation.”
      Will to Power is a “powerful” thing. For a lot of people in power, it’s the only principle. But it’s machinizations are deceptive and ultimately collaborative. Nietzsche understood this:

      My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (–its will to power:) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement (“union”) with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on–
      ~ Nietzsche, Will to Power

      Beware the “arrangement.” Ending the filibuster busted the “arrangement.” See my Rules Of Power, Supra.

      1. Mespo– Excellent points. It sounds like a political application of the physics principle of equal and opposite force. Does this mean that stalemate is the desired (or inevitable) result?



    Professor Turley pretends that Obama and Reid were somehow incompetent at getting nominees confirmed. The reality was known as ‘Republican obstructionism’. Republicans adopted an official strategy of stalling Obama judicial picks.

    Furthermore, Republicans did everything possible to sabotage Obamacare. To make sure it would be more expensive and less user friendly than designed. And Professor Turley argued against Obamacare in one of many challenges.

    So when Turley tells us Obama was incompetent at judicial picks, and Obamacare was merely a boondoggle, Turley is being nakedly disingenuous.

    1. The Repubs learned those tactics from the Dems in halting the nomination of Miguel Estrada.

      No matter how you look at it, the Dems started all of the problems that we experience today.

    2. The author of Obamacare, after the fact, later admitted he intentionally and publicly lied about the bill solely in order to get it passed, because Americans were too stupid to know what was good for them. The past and progressive hopeful future Speaker Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill to know what’s in it.” One Democrat Senator blackmailed Obama to make his own State immune from tax burdens to finance Obamacare just because he could (translation: other Senators stupidly expressed their public support from the start, solely to get Obama’s magical goodness to rub off on them). Obama promised the Catholic Church they’d avoid all form of support of abortion rights for employees in trade for their support, after which he promptly forced them to participate in providing abortion services (lawsuit pending). Obama promised Americans, “if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance,” after which millions of Americans lost their insurance because their employer lowered their hours below the threshold requiring the employer to offer insurance.

      And yet, progressives still lie and blame the rest of the world for Obamacare’s many failures.

      1. Joseph, feel free to describe the Republican alternative to Obamacare. And don’t expect me to believe tax credits are a workable solution. Neither are cheapie plans with numerous holes. Though Trump is trying to push those as realistic healthcare.

        1. Peter, you don’t know a thing about healthcare nor do you recognize alternate solutions that have been made. Jones is right. Gruber said the Obama administration lied because otherwise Obamacare would never have been passed if the people knew the truth. Now ordinary citizens on Obamacare have premiums and deductibles so high they feel they don’t have any insurance what so ever and their choices if any are poor.

          Dems totally messed up with Obamacare but some of their blind supporters like Peter don’t recognize what is obvious to everyone else.

          1. Allan, one of my closest friend just had cancer surgery. It was the lowest point of his life. But the one bright spot in his ordeal was the coverage he received from Obamacare. He can’t stop saying how grateful he is for having had Obamacare.

            So when aggressively ignorant fools like you try to tell me Obamacare is a ‘lie’, it just shows how stupid right-wing media is. And how stupid it makes ‘you’.

            1. Peter, the question is what about the much greater number that have suffered because of Obamacare along with the nation whose economy was hurt by Obamacare when it needed expansion?

              The chances are your friends medical outcome would have been no worse had Obamacare not existed and the nation would have been better off.

              Your n=1 tells us how bad your understanding of logic and numbers really is. You and the rat have a lot in common. Neither one of you has intellect, but the rat is much better at surviving.

              1. Allan, so my friend shouldn’t have minded bankruptcy??! What a jerk you are!! Just a totally callous jerk!!!

                1. Peter, stop striking poses. You’re never going to design a system of health-care finance which get satisfactory results in every contingency. You can get one where your friend might have to pay nothing – but wait in a queue. You can get one where he gets service with dispatch at the lowest feasible cost – but is left with a crippling debt. You can get one where he gets service with dispatch (in a system which carries some deadweight loss), where the bulk of his costs are covered, but where he has current year and perhaps future year charges in five digits. There are going to be unfortunate features everywhere you turn. It’s just a question of a social optimum (which might not be your friend’s personal optimum).

                  1. “It’s just a question of a social optimum (which might not be your friend’s personal optimum).”

                    This might seem like a useless comment to some but it is at the crux of the issue.

                2. You are an idiot. How much did your friend earn? He could have bought high deductible health insurance and the deductible could have been paid off over a number of years if high deductible insurance was permitted. If he didn’t buy health insurance that means he didn’t want to share the risk with anyone else.

                  In any event bankruptcy is better than death. If he has a lot of money that money could pay his bills. If has very little money he hasn’t lost that much in bankruptcy. This might seem a bit harsh but the alternative you have been talking about has been putting people into bankruptcy that you don’t care about. It’s endangered the economy of the nation that you also don’t care about.

                  You are the type of stupid individual that talks without knowing anything.

        2. Why waste the time trying to convince you of anything? Minds full of cement long since set and dried are long since past understanding.

          No… instead explain nothing but use for ‘fill.’ Obama had after sine die in 2016 until noon January 20th 2017. A rather large number of clear days in which the Senate did met from Jan 3 to Jan 19th and did nothing.

          He also had the chance to appoint a temporary Justice in that time period.and seat Garland himself. But he did nothing.

          Just like he did nothing about the DACA program. HIS DACA program from 2012 to Jan 19th 2017. Nor did he present to the Senate the Iran Deal, The Paris Deal, the Pacific Partnership Deal. For Advise and Consent. So there were no deals because Obama DID NOTHING.

          Being of the same mold why bother.

          Instead we got someone who woud do ‘something’ The fact that you didn’t like it adds up to a big OH zillch bupkis cerro goose egg Bama Zero Nothing.

          Instead just look at the moon and bark.

    3. There was only one Obama nominee. He was deemed unworthy of a job interview. Obama failed to submit another. That went strictly by the book that counts Apparently it also went over the heads of some.

      There is NO requirement to conduct a job interview in the section on confirmations. In fact the only requirement is ‘confirmation,’ If one does not materialize well up to the Prez. The record so far is 435 days. No one coimplained nor filed for a constitutional amendment.

      It’s not rocket science. Straight foreward and simple. Prez nominates Senate confirms. No other rules.

    4. Turley often misses important points when it comes to the behavior of Republicans.

  13. I think that Harry Reid’s single most despicable act was his speech on Senate floor (protected speech) during 2012 campaign when he accused Mitt Romney of not paying taxes and averred that he had proof of non payment. He never offered the proof (because it did not exist) and when questioned later that all that matters is that Dems won and GOP lost.

    He is a low life and bottom feeder and it is sad that such person can attain such a powerful position.

    1. I agree with you. That was despicable. But it was also one of the most honest things that a Democrat ever said, that the only thing that matters is WINNING. Like I have said, numerous times here,

      “Expecting Democrats to care about concepts like right and wrong, good and bad, consistency and inconsistency, truth and falsehood, legal and illegal, or morality or immorality, is like expecting a Bad Wrestler to care about those things. The only thing a Bad Wrestler cares about is winning the belt. If his girlfriend whacks the Good Wrestler over the head with a folding metal chair while the referee is not looking, so what? As long as he wins the match, nothing else matters. So it is with Democrats. They will say and do whatever it takes to win. They have no shame.”

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  14. Blaming good people for opposing evil simply demonstrates the complicity of the author with evil. Reid never forced the right to elevate tainted candidates and corrupted frat boys to positions of power. Turkey is simply blaming the victims for not having the ability to stand against a corrupt army of billionaire’s lickspittles and vicious authoritarian toads.

    Power is not going to reveal these men as good or honorable. GOP policies will drive us to economic, environmental and civil ruin like every other time. I’m sure Turkey will have some I told you so comments then as well

    1. Judge, now Justice Kavanaugh has been tainted with uncorroborated stories which have all turned out to be false.

      Shame on you for attempting to put aside all of his accomplishments because you can’t accept the Repubs are in power.

      But maybe you forgot about Robert Bork, Miguel Estrada and Clarence Thomas.

      1. I would say that Kavanaugh has been tainted by uncorroborated stories that have turned out to be…. uncorroborated. It is still possible that some ironclad and provable accusation will surface about him, even though he is now on the SC. If so, then we can look forward to Mitch McConnell saying “Nyaa Nyaa Too Bad !”

        1. It is still possible that some ironclad and provable accusation will surface about him, even though he is now on the SC. If

          You keep hoping. The same ‘possibility’ exists in re all of the judges, including Kagan and Sotomayor. Kavanaugh is a controversial figure who has been a federal employee for 28 years, been subjected to 7 background investigations, and passed through two sets of grueling confirmation hearings. He’s about the last person on that court likely to have undiscovered skeletons in his closet.

        2. Jay S., it’s possible that tomorrow you will be arrested for child pornography. Has the FBI checked your computers recently?

          No? Then that makes it even more possible that child pornograpy exists on them.

          You are at least as guilty as Kavanaugh except he has had 7 FBI background checks and you have had none.

  15. I could never get past the fact that he was a dead ringer for Wally Cox on “Mister Peepers”.
    The Dems wanted someone with no spine, someone that they could control. They found the guy and he was more than happy to let them Lucky break for the Republicans.
    And, Harry always acted like he had a crush on Obama, IMO. That didn’t hurt his abiding obedience to the cause.

    1. I don’t think so:


      Mr. Peepers’ signature (at a time when a comfortable majority of men under 40 had been in the military) was his diffidence and his goofy, childlike, almost effeminate delivery. The horn rims were a small part of the image.

      1. Taborrok………Thank you but I meant dead ringer as far as meekness, voice, demeanor. Not physically. I watched Mister Peepers as a child…..and the first time I heard Harry give a speech, I thought Mister Peepers!

        1. Your memory is fooling you. He doesn’t sound like Wally Cox. Not sure Wally Cox offstage sounded like Wally Cox onstage (His mundane life was devoted to woodworking, motorcycles, and palling around with his buddy Marlon Brando).

            1. Cindy Bragg – God I hope not. I have been spacing out. Did someone take notes?

              1. LOL Paul! I have always liked Teaching/Tabarrok, and admire his intellect, but to this day, Harry Reid still reminds me of Mister Peepers. That’s not really a right or wrong fact. It’s just a fact that Harry reminds me of him.

                  1. Paul C……LOL….Yes, very appropriate….but I didn’t know about the eye….I just thought someone had socked him!

                    1. Cindy Bragg – supposedly, and I say supposedly, he was hit in the eye using an elastic exercise band. Personally, I think the Mafia dotted his eye.

  16. A hearty thank you goes to the evil Senator, Harry Reid, whose braggadocio allowed the Repubs to take away his power and help put this country back on the right track.

    Karma can be a bitch.

    1. Michael,

      Hitler promised to MGGA after the WW1 defeat. Are you saying that all America needed was a strong leader to MAGA?

      1. There are indeed certain parallels between the Mango Mussolini and a certain Austrian Corporal. If the stock market should suddenly crash and middle-class wealth wiped out, we might well see another Enabling Act.

        1. If the type of Enabling Act seen in Germany is your fear then you should be in solid agreement with me. The Legislature should NOT be permitting the judicial branch or the executive branch to usurp its power. They should not be idle and if necessary cancel every holiday until the affairs of the nation are settled.

          The Obama administration relied on a Democratic legislature to pass a bill involving 18% of our economy without even reading it. The Obama administration deceived the public to get Obamacare passed. Judge Roberts changed the Bill so it would be legal even though its passage was fixed to the fact that there was no tax on those not carrying insurance rather it was a penalty which was unconstitutional.

          To summarize:

          1)The Supreme Court changed the law to make it constitutional against what those that passed the law wanted.
          2)Congress reneged on their responsibility to read the law before passing it.
          3)The administration lied to the American public knowing that the truth would prevent its passage. (See Gruber video)
          4)The law itself in many areas was a shell that turned over Congresses responsibiities to the executive branch.

          1. The Obama administration relied on a Democratic legislature to pass a bill involving 18% of our economy without even reading it.

            ‘Health care and social assistance’ accounts for 7% of Gross Output and 12% of Gross Value Added.

            1. DSS, that may be so but the sector involves ~18% of our economy. We can involve Gross Output if you prefer but that involves a lot of number games to lead to the conclusion that government shouldn’t be involved in controlling so much of our economy. I thnk the 18% is a better number unless we are on an economics list. In the end using your alternative numbers or my number leads to similar conclusions.

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