Ain’t it funny how times change?
Earlier today, the Senate followed through with the Dems’ “nuclear option,” making it possible to limit filibusters with a simple majority of 51 rather than 60. But it wasn’t so long ago when those same Democrats were whining about the havoc such a rules change would wreak. Join us, if you will, for a stroll down Memory Lane:
“I rise today to urge my colleagues to think about the implications of what’s been called the ‘nuclear option’ and what effect that might have on this chamber and on this country.”
“The American people want less partisanship in this town, but everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse.”
“But if the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party, then the millions of Americans who ask us to be their voice, I fear that the already partisan atmosphere in Washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. That doesn’t serve anyone’s best interests, and it certainly isn’t what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind. We owe the people who sent us here more than that. We owe them much more.”
But it wasn’t just then-Sen. Obama who wanted to protect the filibuster. His Dem colleagues did as well:
“We’re gonna remember our founders, we’re gonna remember what made this country great, we’re going to maintain the integrity of the United States Senate.”
“Once you change the rules and surrender the Senate’s institutional power, you never get it back. And we’re about to break the rules to change the rules … Under our rules, you’re required to get a two-thirds vote — I mean, excuse me — 60 votes to change the rules … Isn’t what really is going on here the majority doesn’t want to hear what others have to say, even if it’s the truth? … A nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play. It’s the one thing this country stands for … I say to my friends on the Republican side, you may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. And I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”
Well, so much for that prayer. A whole bunch of Senate Dems should be shocked with their 2013 selves:
Guess 2005 was a long time ago. Or something.