On Appointments and Filibusters and Recesses

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There's nothing new under the sun. Five years ago, the Republicans were using recess appointments to avoid (then unprecedented) Democratic filibusters. Now we're looking at a reversal. Then, Democrats lambasted Bush for undermining democracy with his use of the recess appointment; now, surely, Republicans will do the same to Obama.

I do love Harry Reid's completely incredible claim that while recess appointments under Bush were an "an end run around the Senate and the Constitution," now he supports them because, well, "what alternative do we have?"

How about ... not doing what you believe is an "end run around the Senate and the Constitution?" No one is forcing Obama to do what you believe is an "end run around the Senate and the Constitution."

Unless of course, you never actually believed that. Which is, of course, true.

Please, Senator Reid, realize that no one, of any political stripe, believes you when you pretend that this is not pure partisanship. And let's be further clear here that never before in our history had judicial nominees been blocked from a vote by filibuster until the Democrats, led in part by Reid, did it under Bush. So not only is Reid being a hypocrite, but let's face facts here: in this war over nominees, he started it.

Not that the Republicans are blameless, of course. There's more than enough blame to go around.

For those who want to end filibusters, my plan has been -- for many years -- and remains this: end the ability of Senators to block a vote on anything, using the filibuster. There's various ways to do this, but the key point is this: change the rule now, but don't have it take effect for two more legislative sessions. So if you do it now, it would take effect in 2014. That way no one knows who would be in the majority or minority by the time the rule change takes effect. slashdot.org

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