Kevin Price, USDR Publisher and Editor in Chief, Column from the Huffington Post.
Republicans continually make the case that the harder it is to pass legislation, the better. That is why the power to filibuster — a super majority in the U.S. Senate — is required to squash debate on an issue. The idea behind this is to slow down the growth and power of government and to protect the rights of minority views. It has always been a tool to keep government in check.
Back in 2013 we continually saw national headlines about how Democrats in the U.S. Senate applied the “nuclear option” on the voting for judicial appointees. Republicans, of course decried the action, “It’s a sad day in the history of the Senate,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, calling the move a Democratic “power grab.” Now in power, it appears Republicans are singing a different tune. In the conservative site, Hot Air writer Jazz Shaw noted that “I was expecting some action out of the new Congress, but I really never saw this one coming. A group of Republican Senators led by Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) are floating the idea of further extending the nuclear option enacted by the Democrats to take filibusters off the table when considering nominees to the Supreme Court.” Many Republicans are delighted by this potential over reaching of power, in spite of how this is contrary to some of the most basic ideas of liberty.
Fast tracking (or halting) the ability to confirm nominees to the court is one thing, but in the new Texas Senate, there is an incredible power grab at play.
Lt. Governor candidate Dan Patrick argued that, if elected, he would be “the most conservative Lt. Governor” in the history of the state. His very first actions in that position makes his predictions doubtful, if one interprets “conservative” as a philosophy to weaken the power of government.
WFAA in Austin reported “With three strikes of the gavel, a new era began Wednesday in Texas politics as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick officially took over the Senate. Patrick’s first order of business was to change a 64-year-old rule known as the ‘2/3rds rule,’ which will now silence Democratic opposition. ‘I think the consequences of this vote will be great,’ said State Sen. Royce… (read more)