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How the GOP Can Nuke Obama Back


RUSH: A couple of things here on this nuclear option.  There might be some confusion.  Right now the nuclear option does not do away with the filibuster on legislation, just judicial nominees, cabinet appointees, and the like.  There is still a 60-vote requirement for legislation essentially to pass.  Now, the way it works, they come up with a bill and they start debating it.  Sixty votes are needed to stop the debate and move to a final vote.  And that vote to stop debate is called cloture.  That is unchanged and that remains a weapon in the Republican arsenal if they choose to use it. 

Now, I mentioned that there's piece at RedState.com by Daniel Horowitz.  It is entitled: " Senate Republicans Can Retaliate. Will They?"  Here are a couple of pull quotes from the piece.  "There is one simple thing Republicans can do to retaliate.  They can start by ending the Democrat super-majority on legislative issues.  They can easily pledge to filibuster every piece of legislation and deny all requests for unanimous consent until the rules change is overturned."

Now, this requires a little bit of understanding about the parliamentary procedure in the Senate.  Unanimous consent is a streamlined way of doing away with procedural votes and just moving to the final, "Okay we're gonna proceed on unanimous consent."  And what Horowitz is suggesting here is do not ever anymore engage, do not grant any request by the leadership for unanimous consent.  Make the Democrats earn every piece of legislation.  Put them through the wringer.  End the Democrats' supermajority on legislative issues.  It's something they could do, the Republicans, if they want to. They could promise to filibuster every piece of legislation.  That could have the effect of shutting down the Senate on legislative matters. 

So then the question would arise, "How would Dingy Harry respond to a complete shutdown of the Senate?"  Would he then change the rule and abolish the filibuster for legislation? (interruption) You don't think he would?  The thing is that right now that Dingy Harry nor Obama have anything to fear from eliminating the filibuster on judges because they know the Republicans are not going to retaliate.  Every Democrat knows that.  And Dingy Harry "knows that there is not a single issue where McCain, Corker, Graham, and Alexander will now withhold support simply because they were stiffed with the nuclear option." Meaning, Dingy Harry knows that there are four Republicans that he can always count on voting against their party, in support of him, if it means keeping the Senate running. 

Now, "Just an hour after Reid blew up the Senate, Republicans rewarded him by not objecting to the first unanimous consent.  Every day, standing committees need consent to conduct hearings.  This is a prime opportunity to grind the Senate to a halt until Reid changes his ways."

Now, from the other perspective, if you approach this purely without any care or concern for what happens, if you're from Mars and you're looking at this and you've got two competing teams, and one wants to win more than the other, you would have to say who could blame Dingy Harry for pulling the nuclear option, eliminating the filibuster on judicial nominees.  He has been punching Senate Republicans in the face all year, and they haven't responded.  In fact, Senate Republicans have turned around and fought their fellow Republicans in the House, jamming 'em with bad legislation, which they helped Harry Reid pass out of the Senate. 

It's a point that I made on the program yesterday.  The Republicans in the Senate have been more oriented toward doing damage to the Tea Party than they have to the Democrats.  So if you're Harry Reid and you're watching this, why in the world would you worry about any Republican push-back?  The only Republican push-back is against their own.  So in a purely detached way, you would have to say Harry Reid is not taking a great risk because he knows there's not gonna be any push-back. 

Now, the push-back opportunity, is again, by getting rid of the unanimous consent and making the Democrats fight for every piece of legislation.  It is possible, in a sense, that the Republicans could grind the Senate to a halt.  But Harry Reid is saying to himself, "There's no way they're gonna do that.  We have been beating them up all year, and they turn around and join us in beating up on Ted Cruz and Tea Party Republicans in the House."  So if you're Harry Reid, what are you worried about what Mitch McConnell and the boys are gonna do?  Because the way you look at it, they're with you in trying to take out the Tea Party. 

So in that sense why would Dingy Harry fear any reprisal?  In fact, he threatened it earlier in the year, and when he did, Republicans agreed to let through a lot of radical Obama nominees, second-term cabinet.  Dingy Harry said: Why not just go all out this week?  I mean, they let me have pretty much what I wanted just with the threat of doing this.  Why not go ahead and do it?

Folks, what really is happening here is that the Senate Democrats are behaving right according to human nature.  In that sense it's totally understandable.  Nobody's trying to stop them.  So why would you stop yourself?  If nobody's providing any obstacle, nobody's pushing back, go for it.  It remains the singular Republican problem.  There is no push-back.  And, look, I can repeat all the psychoanalysis from over the years to explain it.  I'd be wasting time, because I don't really know.  My latest illustration is that they're suffering posttraumatic stress disorder from years and years of bullying by the media and they're simply scared.  They are Jonathan Martin.  The Democrats in the media are Richie Incognito.  And they're just walking away. 

They're afraid to oppose Obama because of the racist charge. They're afraid to oppose Democrats because of the racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe charge. They claim that they're afraid to do this because the Tea Party's giving them a bad name, and so they're focusing on taking the Tea Party out in hopes of impressing the bullies to be nicer to them.  It's pathetic.  But it is what's happening. 

Now, there are other things that can be done, and let me run a couple of them by you.  Every judge from this day forward that wins confirmation with less than 60 votes as a result of the nuclear option should never receive a Republican vote to be elevated to a higher court.  So if Judge Slobodnik gets nominated to the eighth circuit court as a circuit judge, and he gets confirmed on 54 votes, then he's dead in the water.  If another president wants to elevate him to an appellate court somewhere, he doesn't get a single Republican vote.  In other words, stigmatize.  Stigmatize every judge and every Obama appointee who wins confirmation with less than 60 votes and basically say, "You know what? These guys aren't really nominees.  They only won nomination by virtue of a rules change that was unfair and unjust," and just stigmatize 'em. 

Now, I'm telling you what I would do.  I don't expect the Republicans to do this, either.  And why would we?  I mean, this is a Republican Party that gave up its majority in order to show fairness.  Remember good old Jim Jeffords and Trent Lott?  The Republicans literally gave up a one-vote majority in the spirit of fairness.  Look what it bought 'em.  It never buys them anything, except conservative media commentators think they're very elegant and mature.  But aside from that, it doesn't gain them a thing.  Republicans ought to refuse to vote at all for any nominee who was first rejected under the 60 vote advise and consent rule and later advanced by this unconstitutional simple majority rule.  Those nominees should be advanced with Democrat votes only, and the stigma should follow them during their entire career. 

If any judge gets appointed and confirmed with less than 60 vetoes he should never, ever get another Republican vote for anything.  I would stigmatize everybody that ends up being appointed and confirmed -- judge, cabinet secretary, whatever.  I would stigmatize 'em, scarlet letter, illegitimate.  They got confirmed only because the rules were changed.  I would make that a message.  I'd stigmatize them.  I'm tired of being stigmatized as a conservative, frankly, and I think it's time to turn the tables.  Stigmatize these people who've made it because of illegitimate rules changes.  Stigmatize these people who otherwise would not have made it. 

All Obama agenda items that make it to the Senate floor should be objected to at every juncture.  Republicans should never vote in favor of another Obama initiative no matter how benign unless it's a Republican measure that benefits Republicans, and this includes amnesty.  Amnesty ought to be dead in the water.  Of course, the problem is that the Republicans want amnesty.  The problem is, you look at it from the outside and you almost would conclude that there are some Republicans who actually wish they were Democrats.


Folks, I mentioned this yesterday, and it really is a fundamental point and I want to make it again. We hear all the talk about the tyranny of the majority. When the Democrats are in the minority, we hear about the tyranny of the majority. When the Democrats are in the minority, we hear all about minority rights and this kind of thing.

When the Democrats are in the majority, there is no tyranny. Just the way it is. But in a system like ours, when the majority can change the rules any time it wants, there aren't any rules. That's what that means, and that is what has happened.

Now, why did Dingy Harry do it? It wasn't strictly that Dingy Harry wants more power. It is because the Obama agenda is thwarted. The Obama agenda is thwarted legislatively, and it is currently thwarted at the DC circuit court. The DC circuit court is the first place where the Constitutionality of law is determined. And it only goes to the Supreme Court after having appeared -- not every case, of course, but the DC circuit handles things in DC, and one of the things in DC is Congress. Right now on the DC circuit, there are four Democrat judges, four appointed Democrats, four appointed Republicans. Some of the Democrat judges have been appointed by Republicans trying to show everybody how fair they are.

Obama has been pushing to expand the court by three or four judges to give himself an unbeatable majority. The Republicans opposed that, and because of the filibuster rule, the Democrats were not able to do it. But now, with Dingy Harry going nuclear yesterday and getting rid of the filibuster, Obama can put as many liberal Democrat judges on the DC circuit court as he wants, thereby ensuring that he doesn't need a law to pass Congress. Judges, as we have discussed for countless years, are writing law from the bench. In the process of adjudicating cases, they're actually writing law. They're implementing their personal policy preferences in their handling of cases.

This is simply a rubber stamp mechanism that happened yesterday for the Democrats to get whatever they want, whenever they want, and ostensibly legal. Now, don't be confused about one thing with the filibuster, 'cause there's been a lot of talk on cable TV. It's actually depressing to watch the level of ignorance and stupidity that exists in institutions that used to be comprised of really good and really smart people. Or maybe it's just now that I've gotten older and everybody younger than I am is an idiot; I don't know. But no, I don't think that's it. The simple fact of the matter is, you got a bunch of talking about how great this is because it ends gridlock. This has nothing to do with gridlock, folks.

I don't doubt that there are some political commentators who actually think it is about gridlock, and because gridlock is so bad, that this is good. Now, gridlock is exactly what the Founding Fathers designed, as they put this together. The Founding Fathers realized that governments become tyranny in short order, and that's why the entire Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, was a limit on government power. The founders had lived under tyranny. They were aware of it all over the world. They didn't want it. They wanted to escape it. They devised a government that would limit the role of government in people's lives and the overall power that that government had.

Well, that doesn't sit well with a bunch of statists, leftists, and Democrats who want to use the government as a giant anvil of power, not only to get what they want, but to eliminate any opposition. Up to now, the founding of the country, the Constitution, had presented a pretty big roadblock; the Democrats had to work hard to get around it, and they did. But with this nuclear option now, nothing to do with gridlock, nothing to do with fairness. It has everything to do -- and this is the only reason it happened -- with ramming the rest of Obama's agenda through Congress and the courts during his second term. This is insurance in case he loses the Senate. It's an insurance policy in case they don't win the House but keep the Senate.

Obama knows, even though it ticks him off, that because he doesn't control the House, that he will only be able to get what he wants through the back door: activist judges, executive orders, regulations written by bureaucracies, cabinet departments that have no power to do so but do it nevertheless. It's the DC court of appeals where a lot of that was blocked. The DC court of appeals has been one of the major roadblocks facing Obama. They had jurisdiction over pretty much every regulation coming out of Washington. So Obama wants to stack that court with a number of his appointees, additional judges on the court that will give him, no matter who wins the presidency in the future, a permanent, rest of the universe, Democrat majority on the DC court of appeals.

Right now, as I say, the DC circuit has four judges who are Democrats and four who are Republicans, or liberal and conservative. Some of the Democrats were nominated by Republican presidents who wanted to show everybody how fair they could be in the interest of bipartisanship. It was like Bush after the rancorous recount of 2000 kept a lot of Clinton judicial appointees, went ahead and confirmed them just to show that he was a good guy, just to show that we could walk across the aisle. Of course I remember just cringing. You can't buy friendship with these people. They're not interested in it. You can't buy bipartisanship. They're not interested in it.

They despise us. We are a greater threat to them than any external threat facing this country. There is no way that they are ever going to engage in bipartisanship other than that which exists because Republicans always cave. That will be it. So what Obama will now be able to do is pack this court, and there's no stopping him. It used to take 60 votes to get anything like that done -- to confirm a nominee, expand the number of seats on a court, you name it. Now the number is 51, and the Democrats have 54 going in.

They can't be stopped.

There is a way, actually. A guy named Daniel Horowitz writing at RedState.com says that Senate Republicans can retaliate, but doubts that they will. I will detail for you the options available to them.


RUSH: Now, back in 2005, President Obama himself said that changing the filibuster rule, getting rid of it, using the nuclear option would "poison Washington." He and Dingy Harry and every other Democrat, when the Republicans were threatening to do it, portrayed it as the end of civilization.

I'm not exaggerating. It'd be the end of everything. They're not honest. They're nothing but power-mad, really dangerous people, in terms of preserving the country as founded. They're not interested in it. Folks, there's a story. It's just a small example, but it's a story about more Democrats taking more taxpayer junkets to the Caribbean. They don't care. They not worried about getting caught. They don't care if they do get caught. Nothing's gonna happen to 'em. I mean, there's literally no limit on their behavior.

There's no limit on the amount of money they'll spend. There's no limit on how that he will spend it. There's just no limit. There are no guardrails. There's nothing stopping them. It just really... It's almost now one party dictatorial. Whatever they want to do, they're gonna do. They're not afraid of any ramifications. They're not afraid of any push-back. It's not embarrassing what happened to Charlie Rangel. It's not embarrassing what happened to Bob Menendez. They're keeping it up.

What the hell is anybody gonna do about it?

They don't care what anybody says about it.



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