Daily Meme: A Trip Down Memory Lane with the Nuclear Option

  • "To prevent Democrats from blocking President Bush's judicial nominees, Senate Republicans are considering a parliamentary maneuver with potentially explosive consequences called ''the nuclear option.'"
  • "The Republicans see the filibuster as an annoying obstacle."
  • Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist: "One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end. The Senate must do what is good, what is right, what is reasonable and what is honorable."
  • Senator Harry Reid: "I think they would be making a huge mistake to try to mess with the rules."
  • Jonah Goldberg: "Whoever it was on the Republican side who coined the term 'nuclear option,' you should forever be banned from coining clever phrases. This has always struck me as an idiotic phrase on every level. First, it concedes that changing the rules would be radical and dangerous, which plays perfectly into the Democrats’ hands. Second, it’s factually untrue. Changing the rules wouldn’t have blown up the Senate."
  • Vice President Dick Cheney: "There is no justification for allowing the blocking of nominees who are well qualified and broadly supported. The tactics of the last few years, I believe, are inexcusable."
  • "Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and Mike DeWine (Ohio) have said that if any Democrats in the Gang of 14 join a filibuster, they will support invoking the nuclear option, providing enough votes to assure passage."
  • "GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch has said it's the Democrats who will 'blow up the Senate' if Republicans exercise their constitutional right to simply "debate and vote."
  • The Weekly Standard: "Listening to Democrats, and reading editorial commentary, Mr. and Mrs. America might have gained the impression that the three-fifths Senate vote required to end debate was dictated by James Madison on his deathbed. Hardly. Cloture is a Senate rule, not a constitutional requirement."
  • Senator John Cornyn: "The filibuster is not sacrosanct. There are dozens of laws on the books that prohibit filibusters on a variety of measures. Senate Republicans want to restore Senate tradition by ensuring that filibusters cannot be used where they were never intended: against a president's judicial nominees."
  • Tony Perkins: "They're using the filibuster as if it's a junkyard dog to keep people from invading their territory. And that's wrong. These candidates deserve an up-or-down vote."
  • Bill Kristol: "It happens to be the case that Republicans have the better argument with respect to the filibustering of judicial nominees. The systematic denial of up or down votes on judicial nominees is a new phenomenon. Republicans are right to say that it is the Democrats who have radically departed from customary practice."
  • The Wall Street Journal: "They are going to such bitter lengths, we suspect, precisely because they view the courts as their last hold on federal power. As liberals lost their majority status over the past 30 years, they have turned increasingly to the courts to implement their political program. If Democrats succeed in blocking these nominees, they will feel vindicated in their view that judicial activism pays. They will also conclude that Senate obstructionism works, and so will dig in for more of it."

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