You decide who wins.
The Obama White House has recently announced that they will go forward with a reconciliation process — sometimes called the “nuclear option” — to try and pass their government run healthcare plan in the Senate. This process circumvents a Republican filibuster and only requires a simple majority vote of 51 rather than 60.
What did top Democrats think of this process previously? See below…
Barack Obama 4/25/05: “The President hasn’t gotten his way. And that is now prompting a change in the Senate rules that really I think would change the character of the Senate forever…what I worry about would be that you essentially still have two chambers the House and the Senate but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the founders intended.”
Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “So this president has come to the majority here in the Senate and basically said ‘change the rules.’ ‘Do it the way I want it done.’ And I guess there just weren’t very many voices on the other side of the isle that acted the way previous generations of senators have acted and said ‘Mr. President we are with you, we support you, but that’s a bridge too far we can’t go there.’ You have to restrain yourself Mr. President.
Charles Schumer 5/18/2005: “We are on the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis. The checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic are about to be evaporated by the nuclear option. The checks and balances which say that if you get 51% of the vote you don’t get your way 100% of the time. It is amazing it’s almost a temper tantrum.
Harry Reid 5/18/2005: “Mr. President the right to extended debate is never more important than the one party who controls congress and the white house. In these cases the filibuster serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government.”
Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: The nuclear option if successful will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority. It begins with judicial nominations. Next will be executive appointments and then legislation.
Joe Biden 5/23/2005: This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab.
Harry Reid 5/18/2005: “But no we are not going to follow the Senate rules. No, because of the arrogance of power of this Republican administration.”
Chris Dodd 5/18/2005: “I’ve never passed a single bill worth talking about that didn’t have a lead co sponsor that was a Republican. And I don’t know of a single piece of legislation that’s ever been adopted here that didn’t have a Republican and Democrat in the lead. That’s because we need to sit down and work with each other. The rules of this institution have required that. That’s why we exist. Why have a bicameral legislative body? Why have two chambers? What were the framers thinking about 218 years ago? They understood Mr. President that there is a tyranny of the majority.
Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: “If the Republican leadership insists on forcing the nuclear option the senate becomes ipso facto the House of Representatives where the majority rules supreme and the party of power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.”
Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “You’ve got majority rule and then you have the senate over here where people can slow things down where they can debate where they have something called the filibuster. You know it seems like it’s a little less than efficient — well that’s right it is. And deliberately designed to be so.”
Joe Biden 5/23/05: “I say to my friends on the Republican side you may own the field right now buy you won’t own it forever I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”
Charles Schumer 5/23/2005: “They want their way every single time. And they will change the rules, break the rules, and misread the constitution so that they will get their way.”
Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “The Senate is being asked to turn itself inside out, to ignore the precedent to ignore the way our system has work, the delicate balance that we have obtain that has kept this constitution system going, for immediate gratification of the present President.”
Max Baucus 5/19/2005: “This is the way Democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.”
My how times have changed.
And the Hypocrisy is on the other foot.