“It” being the U.S. Senate’s “tradition” of needing 60 votes to defeat a presidential nominee brought before the Senate for confirmation (or not).
Background, in case you’ve been away from a news source these past few months: Antonin Scalia passed earlier this year, and, shock of shocks, Donald J. Trump will be our next president. And, to judge from the scowls and howls from lefties, the President Elect’s cabinet choices are a sign of the coming zombie apocalypse.
And now begins the struggle to replace Justice Scalia and confirm President Trump’s cabinet nominations. My favorites so far are Rep. Tom Price for HHS, Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt for EPA, Gen.James Mattis (USMC, ret.) for Defense, and Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA. Not that any of the nominees are not impressive, in a good way.
Democrats in 2016 have seemingly lost any semblance of bipartisanship. With rare exception, they will vote in lock-step with their left-most members. The so-called Blue Dog caucus has shriveled and is no longer a player on their side of the aisle. The bottom line? Democrat senators will likely all vote against many of Trump’s nominees. Regardless of the merits.
Since Republicans will have only a slender 52-48 majority (counting socialist Bernie Sanders as a Democrat, since that’s how he almost always votes), under normal Senate rules, it will be easy for Dems to deny Republicans the necessary 60 votes.
My advice to the Republicans in the Senate comes down to two words: Nuclear Option. No, not nuking the site from orbit. It’s going to simple majority rules in the U.S. Senate if that’s what it takes to defeat obstructionism from the Left.
It’s what you do if you need to secure the greater good for the nation. The benefits? It will give the incoming president the benefit of the doubt on his cabinet choices. Which had been the norm for most incoming presidents. It’s simple: if Democrats, having in the past used the nuclear option (big thanks and shout-out to Harry Reid; don’t let the Senate door slam you in the butt on you way out), will now see what it’s like when the shoe is on the other foot.
Against this very real benefit, what is lost is a bit of non-constitutional Senate “tradition.” Boo-hoo. The Dems showed no restraint when it suited them. They abandoned the 60-vote “tradition” when it suited them to confirm appellate judges.
Politics ain’t beanbag; let’s give it back to them in spades. Seems a fair trade to me.