Frist Endorses “Nuclear Option”

November 17, 2004

According to Congress Daily (sub required), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is prepared to approve a Republican plan to change the Senate’s voting rules to reduce the number of votes needed for vote closure (to end a filibuster)from 60 to 51. This will be viewed as a declaration of war by Dems, according to the source.

I don’t know about you, but I considered the war to have been declared during Dubyah’s first term, when Democrats attempted to hijack his judicial appointment power through the unprecedented use of the filibuster to block his appointments. Also, I find it utterly inexcusable that the Senate hasn’t done this before. I’ve never understood how an elective body — which is supposed to be representative of the people — could allow its own rules to shift the balance of power so dramatically, as the filibuster sometimes does. I think procedural shenanigans like the filibuster are wrong no matter which party uses them and it’s time this chamber was taken back from the tyranny of the hostile minority. I realize that what goes around comes around, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. If Democrats are in the majority, their majority votes are as entitled to as much weight as those of Republicans when the GOP is in the majority. Frankly, this isn’t even a close call. It’s a complete misnomer to call an imperative remedy, a “nuclear option.”