July 15, 2013
"Pinky" Reid: Confirm Our Appointees Or We'll Shoot This Dog
Your gangster government at work:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that Republicans must confirm at least seven presidential appointees they've been blocking if they want to avoid a controversial change in Senate rules as early as this week.
A compromise deal to confirm fewer than those seven will not suffice, Reid said only hours before a planned bipartisan gathering on the deeply divisive issue.
The "controversial change in Senate rules" is of course the so-called nuclear option of barring filibusters of presidential appointees.
Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-NV, 90%) throws the GOP the bone of allowing, for now, filibusters against the president's judicial appointments. But if this first "taste" of extortion works, does anybody really believe that Reid will be satiated?
There exists an Iron Rule of Extortion and Blackmail: If once the victim gives in, the extortion will never, ever end. Having caved once, the demands increase in scope and frequency. Soon, every single appointment, even a thoroughly illegal "recess" appointment on a week-end or a holiday, will be accompanied by another brutal threat to confirm -- or else face the dreaded "nuclear option!" And the habit of acquiescence becomes harder and harder to break; incessant surrender is a narcotic.
The potential junkie in this case is of course the Republican conference in the Senate; will they have the intestinal fortitude to spit defiance back in Reid's face, making him actually resort to the nuclear option? That would surely be a better outcome than if the GOP crawls on its hands and knees, whimpering like whipped dogs, begging for another "fix" of surrender.
But would Reid actually pull that nuclear trigger? It's entirely possible that Republicans will pick up seats in the Senate in 2014 and perhaps even in 2016, especially if we win the presidency -- also a strong possibility. Do Senate Democrats really want to live under the very disabling rule that Reid threatens to install, severely limiting the power of the minority and making the Senate more like the House? Or is it that Democrats actually believe that they will control the Senate in perpetuity? After all, it has been eons since the GOP controlled the U.S. Senate... all the way back in the antediluvian days of seven years ago!
On the other hand, perhaps Reid himself plans to retire if Republicans regain the Senate, so he simply doesn't care about the consequences to the Democrats, the Senate, or the country. Après moi, le déluge!
Either way, I believe it shows extraordinary weakness, not strength, on the part of the Democrats: If they truly believed their arguments were strong and persuasive, they wouldn't need to extort support.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 15, 2013, at the time of 2:37 PM
The following hissed in response by: Captain Ned
National Lampoon, January 1973 issue.
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