"Just give 'em an 'up or down' vote."
Threats of invoking the 'nuclear" option.
These are just some of the views of the Republican Congressional majority over the last six or so years about attempts by their counterparts in the Democratic minority to use Senate filibuster rules to block votes on highly suspect judicial nominees.
The Nuclear Option
May 9, 2005
As early as this week, a “nuclear option” could be invoked to remove the 200-year-old tradition of the Senate filibuster, the tool that empowers 41 or more senators to prevent a narrow majority from abusing its power. The filibuster is one of the only ways to encourage genuine bipartisan cooperation and compromise on important issues that come before the Senate. The nuclear option is currently being considered by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and being pushed by the Religious Right, who would like to confirm President Bush’s judicial nominees.
(Center for American Progress, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2005/05/b672587.html )
Indeed, this was just two short years ago. Thankfully, the nuclear option never came to pass, as Republicans eventually got Roberts and Alito appointed to the Supreme Court. However, all of the ranting and raving that went on on the part of the Republicans has surely been forgotten. As the new Democratic majority has taken over and tried to open up debate on the Iraq issue (and many other topics neglected by the Republican Congress), many Senate Republicans, led by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell have filibustered debate on a non-binding resolution expressing disagreement over Bush's plan for sending more troops into Iraq. (By the way, many of them are already there!)
Now, once again the bill is non-binding...doesn't mean anything except to show some sort of unified stance by one coequal (?) branch of government over another, overreaching branch of government. In the four years this war has raged on, it seems that these questions, this dutiful oversight on the part of Congress, has not taken place at all. The President has had carte blanche to do pretty much whatever he's wanted to do, over the objections of many of the citizens of this country.
These tactics so decried by the Republicans over and over again during their tenure as majority party are now embraced by them to stop debate on "just talking about it." What a bunch of hypocrites! I've got a message for you idiots: WE'RE ALL AMERICANS! WHAT'S IMPORTANT HERE IS THE WELFARE OF OUR STATE, NOT WHICH TEAM WINS!
See corresponding story at Yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070218/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq;_ylt=AkJwBpUxmUtFE1kpLBeBPU_MWM0F