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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Will The GOP Senators Hold?

It's interesting to watch the coming filibuster on the nomination of judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.  We know that Gorsuch has 54 votes for approval in the Senate.  We also know that there are 36 votes against his nomination coming from Democrats.  Not all of those 36 noes have said that they will support a filibuster, though.  Nevertheless, it does seem as if the Democrats will actually filibuster the nomination, and they may succeed in getting 41 votes to support it.

That brings us to the so called "nuclear option" or changing the rules to do away with filibusters on nominations to the Supreme Court.  "Nuclear option" is really not a valid name for such a rule change.  It used to be that filibusters covered all Senate business with very few exceptions.  The filibuster was available for all nominations for close to two centuries of Senate business.  When the idea of changing the rules was first raised some years back, it was considered to be such an earth-shaking change that it was equated to a nuclear bomb, hence the "nuclear option".  The Democrats, led by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, dropped that bomb four years ago when they changed the rules for all nominations other than for the Supreme Court.  The centuries old precedent was destroyed; the institution of the senate was altered forever.  If the rules get tweaked now to add Supreme Court nominees to the non-filibuster list, it is hardly equivalent to a nuclear attack.

In any event, if the Dems actually filibuster and get enough votes to keep debate open, the GOP will surely attempt to change the rules to end debate and give judge Gorsuch an up/down vote.  The only question then is whether there will be any Republican senators who decide that they can't change the senate rules and who will thereby hand a victory to the Democrats.  I certainly hope that is not the case, and so far, there have been no GOP senators to indicate that they feel unable to vote for the rule change.  Indeed, the only senator I can imagine taking that position is senator McCain.  Even he, however, is unlikely to let Gorsuch fail on such a basis.

So we end up with a big question:  if there's really no way the Democrats can win, why are they doing this?  Are they all such slaves to their lunatic base that they have to oppose everything Trump does, even appointing a first rate justice to the Supreme Court?

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