Me­dia cheered Demo­crat use of ‘nu­clear option’

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY BRAD­FORD RICHARD­SON

The main­stream me­dia were all for the “nu­clear option” when it was Democrats do­ing the nuk­ing.

The press show­ered praise upon the Se­nate for re­mov­ing the fil­i­buster for lower-court ju­di­cial nom­i­nees and ex­ec­u­tive ap­point­ments in 2013 in the ef­fort spear­headed by then-Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid.

MSNBC’s Rachel Mad­dow as­sured her view­ers at the time that “judges can be blocked on an up-or­down vote, a ma­jor­ity vote, like al­ways.

“But they can­not be blocked any­more by just a mi­nor­ity of votes,” Ms. Mad­dow said, re­ported the Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter’s NewsBusters. “Repub­li­cans can­not force that any­more.”

MSNBC an­chor Chris Hayes sim­i­larly hailed the 2013 devel­op­ment as “an af­fir­ma­tive win for democ­racy,” while his col­league Al Sharp­ton said “Democrats took the bold step of chang­ing Se­nate rules, scaling back the fil­i­buster that Repub­li­cans have un­fairly used to block the pres­i­dent’s nom­i­nees.”

CNN com­men­ta­tor Marc La­mont Hill said Repub­li­cans should have taken the Se­nate back if the party wanted to pre­serve the fil­i­buster.

“That’s what hap­pens when Repub­li­cans lose elec­tions,” Mr. Hill said at the time. “But they’re not ac­cept­ing the con­se­quences.”

Repub­li­cans in­voked the nu­clear option Thurs­day af­ter Democrats used the fil­i­buster to block the nom­i­na­tion of Judge Neil Gor­such to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In an edi­to­rial ear­lier this month, The New York Times lamented the “po­lar­iza­tion” of the Supreme Court nom­i­nat­ing process and placed blame squarely at the feet of Repub­li­can Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell.

“There was a time when the lead­ers of the Se­nate were re­spon­si­ble stew­ards of repub­li­can tra­di­tions and ideals,” the edi­to­rial read. “Not Mr. McCon­nell, whose de­ter­mi­na­tion to steam­roll and hu­mil­i­ate po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents ex­ceeds any other con­sid­er­a­tion.”

But when Mr. Reid used the nu­clear option in 2013, the pa­per of record hailed the devel­op­ment un­der the head­line, “Democ­racy Re­turns to the Se­nate.”

“Given the ex­treme de­gree of Repub­li­can ob­struc­tion dur­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Democrats had lit­tle choice but to change the fil­i­buster rule,” the 2013 edi­to­rial read.

The Gray Lady even ac­knowl­edged a prece­dent had been set to end the fil­i­buster for Supreme Court nom­i­na­tions.

“The only ex­cep­tions are nom­i­na­tions to the Supreme Court, for which a fil­i­buster would still be al­lowed,” the 2013 edi­to­rial read. “But now that the Se­nate has be­gun to tear down un­demo­cratic pro­ce­dures, the prece­dent set on Thurs­day will in­crease the pres­sure to end those fil­i­busters, too.”

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