Vitter: My Position is Dictatorship When Democrats Do It

So Harry Reid finally got up the gumption to at least partly do away with the lazy filibuster when it comes to presidential nominees (but not for legislation), so now we get to witness Republicans screaming bloody murder over a policy they backed just 8 years ago. Here’s David “Diaper Man” Vitter on Twitter (hey, that rhymes):

vittersenate

It’s scary and dictatorial! And here he was 8 years ago when Republicans controlled the Senate and were considering the same thing. Back then, it was all about fairness.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter joined six of his freshmen colleagues today for a press conference announcing their support of judicial nominees receiving an up or down vote in the U.S. Senate.

“On the campaign trail last year, the people of Louisiana told me time and again that they wanted me to help the Senate get past the partisanship and do the people’s business. We are at a critical juncture; we need to give these judicial nominees a fair up or down vote and let the chips fall where they may. Then we can move on to the business of the American people, such as energy, highways and other job creation efforts,” said Vitter.

On the Senate floor this morning, Vitter spoke in support of giving highly qualified individuals whom the president has nominated for federal courts the opportunity to have an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.

“This issue is primarily one of fairness to these individual nominees. As stated by our Majority Leader on numerous occasions, this chamber can confirm or reject nominees, and we will accept the outcome. We insist, however, on a yes or no vote on judicial nominees,” Vitter said.

Yes, they insist on it. Unless they’re in the minority, then it’s scary and dictatorial to do the same thing. The Democrats have their own hypocrisies on this, of course. The two parties exchange scripts every few years on this one depending on which one has control of the Senate. But this is still the right thing to do and it should have been done long ago. Allowing a minority of the chamber to bring Senate business to a halt with no effort at all is absurd no matter which party is doing it.

"I've seen many trolls trying to distract from Moore by saying what about Franken"

How to Think Critically About the ..."
"I have seen zero (serious) people who claim Franken and Moore are both equally as ..."

How to Think Critically About the ..."
"Pretty much every word of this sounds like a verbatim defense from a Roy Moore ..."

How to Think Critically About the ..."
"If that's the kind of story he has to tell his wife to get in ..."

Warning: Alex Jones is Going to ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • busterggi

    I’m beginning to think that Republicans like Vitter are not hypocrites but rather they are portals to Bizarro World.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    I wouldn’t have supported this move five years ago, but the filibuster has gotten out of hand. Democrats filibusters about 5 nominees a year under Bush. Republican are now filibustering 16 a year and that’s not counting all of the nominees that were yanked do to a threat of a filibuster.

    I still want congressmen to be able to filibuster, but it should be reserved for only the most extreme cases, not for everytime the nominee wears a tie they don’t like.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    busterggi,

    In Bizarro World, they don’t have indoor plumbing, which explains the diapers.

  • Trebuchet

    I still want congressmen to be able to filibuster, but it should be reserved for only the most extreme cases, not for everytime the nominee wears a tie they don’t like.

    Nitpick: “Congressmen” usually refers to members of the House of Representatives, who’ve never been able to filibuster.

    If senators want to be able to filibuster, they should have to do it the old-fashioned way, by standing up and talking 24/7. They can always quote “Green Eggs and Ham”.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “Vitter: My Position is Dictatorship When Democrats Do It”

    Democrats want to wear diapers and be “disciplined” by a dominatrix?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    You can’t compare the two. They’re totally different.

    Back then, they were highly qualified individuals that were nominated by the president. Now they’re just being nominated by some Democrat.

    And also, they won’t let any nom pass until he comes clean over Benghazi. And approves Keystone XL. And repeals Obamacare. And cuts entitlements. And stops nominating people.

  • hrafn

    Given that it seems that the Senate cannot act except in agreement with either the Executive (executive and judicial appointments) or the House (legislation), and so acts purely as a check-and-balance on the political process, why is a supermajority needed (or even desirable) for it to act? This would appear to be simply a further check-and-balance on the check and balance, resulting in a high probability of grid-locked inertia.

    It’s not that the 60-vote supermajority requirement stops the Senate from occasionally letting itself get stampeded into poor decision-making (Patriot Act, anybody?), so its doubtful that a strong case can be made that the value of more careful; consideration of decisions outweighs the cost of the increased inertia.

  • Al Dente

    hrafn @7

    You’d have a point except you don’t understand how the so-called lazy filibuster worked. A nomination for an unfilled executive or judicial position would be put before the Senate. A senator would inform the President Pro Tem that he or she would filibuster the nomination. So the nomination would be withdrawn. The Senator didn’t have to spend hours talking about nothing in particular, all that was required was the threat of a filibuster. Reid has turned that option off.

  • howardhershey

    The reason the Senate went to the “lazy man’s filibuster” was precisely because, if they didn’t, there would be even *less* actual work that would get done because of time taken by filibusters. But that choice certainly has come back to haunt them because of the law of unintended consequences; make it too easy to have a filibuster and you get more filibusters, even if (or especially if) they don’t take up actual time. That said, I am quite willing to accept the possibility that a future Republican president will probably get most of his nominees through if they pass out of committee (are qualified and don’t have serious problems). There will still be problems when the Senate is controlled by one party and the presidency by another unless we start having some politicians in the missing middle where they have to listen to constituencies more interested in governing than posturing.

  • tsig

    Why should there be a filibuster. Isn’t a deliberative body supposed to deliberate not listen to someone drone on and on.

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I bet that if you quoted

    “they wanted me to help the Senate get past the partisanship and do the people’s business. We are at a critical juncture; we need to give these judicial nominees a fair up or down vote and let the chips fall where they may. Then we can move on to the business of the American people, such as energy, highways and other job creation efforts”

    to Vitter as a justification for the rule change now, he’d scream and moan that the person saying that is anti-American and dictatorial. I’d love to see this, and then show Vitter a tape of him saying it.

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    And by the way, who’s to say that Obamacare can’t also be worked on at the same time?

  • hrafn

    Al Dente @8:

    You’d have a point except you don’t understand how the so-called lazy filibuster worked. A nomination for an unfilled executive or judicial position would be put before the Senate. A senator would inform the President Pro Tem that he or she would filibuster the nomination. So the nomination would be withdrawn.

    That actually strengthens my point. If any single senator can block a nomination simply with the threat of a fillibuster, then that effectively makes unanimity the requirement — the most extreme type of supermajority. Nor does this in any case undermine my main point which was to inquire why any supermajority is needed for a deliberative body which (as far as I can see) has no independent (of the Executive or the House) decision-making responsibility.

  • Nihilismus

    I don’t see why the filibuster, if its purpose is to improve deliberation, can’t simply be a delay rather than a downright block on voting on legislation. I would prefer a rule where, if 40 senators don’t want to vote on a bill yet, they can do a one-time delay for about two-weeks to consult with constituents and make floor speeches, after which an up or down vote must occur.

  • lpetrich

    I never thought that I’d ever see a real-time version of the fake war in ST:TOS “A Taste of Armageddon”, but I now have: the “lazy filibuster”. I’d like to see the filibusters of previous decades, filibusters like Wendy Davis’s recent filibuster.

    Being vulnerable to the “lazy filibuster” also reminds me of the Liberum Veto of the Sejm or parliament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Any Sejm MP could veto something, thus making unanimous agreement necessary. This resulted in something like 1/3 of later Sejm sessions getting nothing done. It also was very convenient for the Commonwealth’s land-hungry neighbors: Austria, Prussia, and Russia. By the late 18th century, Poland had disappeared off of the map, annexed by those three neighbors. Poland did not reappear until the end of World War I.