On November 21, 2013, Democrats in the Senate used the so-called “nuclear option”to eliminate filibusters on all presidential nominees except those to the Supreme Court. The move was made out of frustration (justified) over the obstructionist tactics being used by Republicans against President Obama’s nominees.
Many warned that Democrats would eventually regret the move, as they were not guaranteed control of the Senate in perpetuity. Now, with a patently insane man in the White House making horrific nominations on a daily basis, I am sure many do indeed harbor such regrets.
I do not. I think it is important for the American voters to experience the real consequences of their choices at the ballot box. While it might be nice to be able to block Trump’s nominees procedurally, that would just enable Republicans to shift the blame for any failures on to Democrats, just as Democrats can now say that Obama’s shortcomings were the result of an obstructionist Republican Senate. I happen to agree with the latter, but we ought to get what we vote for, regardless if it is a classy, intelligent, thoughtful Black man or a racist, self-serving Oompah Loompa. It helps inform future votes, and forces the winning party to govern with accountability and without excuses.
Exempting the Supreme Court was a wise decision, because the consequences of appointments to the highest judicial body extend far beyond the lifetime of a presidency. I hope Democrats use the filibuster liberally (pun intended) against Trump’s sure to be terrifying Supreme Court nominees.