Krauthammer’s Backflip on the Filibuster

Charles Krauthammer, considered one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists, pulls off a rare double backflip with a half twist on the question of the Senate filibuster. Here he is a few days ago raging about the evil “lawlessness” of the decision to end the judicial filibuster:

This was a disgraceful violation of more than two centuries of precedent. If a bare majority can change the fundamental rules that govern an institution, then there are no rules. Senate rules today are whatever the majority decides they are that morning.

What distinguishes an institution from a flash mob is that its rules endure. They can be changed, of course. But only by significant supermajorities. That’s why constitutional changes require two-thirds of both houses plus three-quarters of the states. If we could make constitutional changes by majority vote, there would be no Constitution.

No, Charles. The Senate can pass their own rules and the rules allow rule changes by majority vote. Now here he was in 2005:

Democrats are calling Frist’s maneuver an assault on the very essence of the Senate, a body distinguished by its insistence on tradition, custom and unwritten rules.

This claim is a comical inversion of the facts. …. They must either stop or be stopped by a simple change of Senate procedure that would do nothing more than take a 200-year-old unwritten rule and make it written.

The Democrats have unilaterally shattered one of the longest-running traditions in parliamentary history worldwide… What the Democrats have done is radical. What Frist is proposing is a restoration.

I’ll give it a 9.6. He didn’t stick the landing.

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  • colnago80

    Krauthammer long ago abandoned rationality. A one time acceptor of global warming, he now questions the science. He has become a right wing hack like George Will. In addition he is a war mongering neo-con. He continually blasts the ACA and supports its repeal without proposing a substitute. Truly a despicable piece of filth.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Backflip? Nonsense. Charles Krauthammer has always been at war with Eastasia.

  • freemage

    Krauthammer is another sufferer of Presidential Derangement Syndrome. At one point in time, he could be counted on to do reasoned arguments (outside, of course, Middle East Policy, where his standard is “Whatever the ultra-conservatives of Israel want is what we should do”), but since someone unacceptable to him got into office, he’s moved further and further afield.

    PDS is marked by an inability to let the opposition claim credit for anything good–if you can, you paint it in a bad light; if you can’t do that, you ignore it completely. First saw this phenomenon in Clinton’s term, and as bad as Dubya was, I did see several folks on the Left showing syndromes during his administration. Obama seems to have triggered the worst epidemic of it ever, largely because of the racial factors (I suspect Hillary would’ve inspired equal levels of deranged ranting, because of being a woman).

  • Modusoperandi

    freemage “Krauthammer is another sufferer of Presidential Derangement Syndrome.”

    No he isn’t. He generates it. He spreads it. He foments it. But he doesn’t have it. He’s a partisan hack. A propagandist. A muppet.*


    * You can see the rods at his wrists when his hands come on screen.

  • democommie

    “Charles Krauthammer, considered one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists,:

    Not by me.

    A neo-clown asswipe. slightly more polished than the rest, but the sheen of shit is not that of gold.

  • fifthdentist

    Yes, but what he said in 2005 was before one of those, um, ahem … “tall” people got elected. They never expected that a “tall” person would be making court appointments.

  • Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Charles Krauthammer, considered one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists

    That’s like saying he’s one of the pointier coconuts.

  • Raging Bee

    Charles Krauthammer, considered one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists…

    By whom? Ed, it’s not often a post of yours fails so blatantly on the first line.

    Seriously, read this little commentary on Krauthammer and then tell us how “smarter and more reasonable” he is. Here’s his gem of win from the Terri Schiavo case:

    There is no good outcome to this case. Except perhaps if Florida and the other states were to amend their laws and resolve conflicts among loved ones differently — by granting authority not necessarily to the spouse but to whatever first-degree relative (even if in the minority) chooses life and is committed to support it. In other words, always put such decisions in the hands of whoever agrees with the far right.

  • David C Brayton

    I’m with colnago80 on this….Krauthammer’s opinions are not hampered by the thought process.

  • felidae

    It’s a real trick doing a backflip in a wheelchair. I give Charlie points for consistency though, his hatred of everything Obama does and says has been remarkably uniform

  • Reginald Selkirk

    considered one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists

    “Setting the bar low”

  • tacitus

    If we could make constitutional changes by majority vote, there would be no Constitution.

    No… we’d still have a Constitution, just different from the one we have today, and probably not one that is regarded as something akin to Holy Scripture by conservative pundits like Krauthammer.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #8

    I had stopped reading Krauthammer by that time but I wonder if he had anything to say after the autopsy which demonstrated beyond any doubt that Terri Schiavo was little better then a vegetable by the time she was allowed to die. The only thing in her head was liquified brain matter which had no function. I bet he ignored the autopsy results. An by the way as Steven Novella, a board certified neurologist pointed out, the only neurologist who bothered to exam her, Dr. William Hammesfahr, who is not board certified as a neurologist is a quack who is prominently featured on Quackwatch. This is in contrast to the 3 board certified neurologists who examined her and concluded that she was in a persistent vegetative state and had been for years.

  • Dr X


    “A neo-clown asswipe. slightly more polished than the rest.”

    And an asswipe that shines without leaving unsightly swirls.

  • tsig

    “Charles Krauthammer, considered one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists,”

    That’s like being the biggest turd in the bucket.

  • aaronbaker

    Ughh, Krauthammer. My right-wing father is always going on about how reasonable and judicious he is. As others have said already, what he is in reality is an utterly despicable warmonger, who’s never seen an Islamic country he wouldn’t like to (have someone else) invade.

  • Michael Heath

    Eloquence does not equal cogency.

    Charles Krauthammer’s affliction isn’t due to a black man in the White House though that may aggravate it. Here’s a 1993 interview with Krauthammer where he misses the point in regards to statistics on rape:

    I did a Google search from 1900 to 2000 to find this story. I was looking to illustrate that Mr. Krauthammer’s irrationality accompanied him when he entered the public arena, it didn’t develop there after that juncture.

  • Raging Bee

    I bet he ignored the autopsy results.

    Some of the quotes of him in my article indicate he was ignoring pre-existing information about Terri’s state, so ignoring yet another wave of information wouldn’t have been a stretch for him.

  • pacal

    Krauthammer was always an amusing asshat. For years he was a fervid supporter of Marcos and various other dictators, so long as they ere properly pro-American foreign policy and anti-Communist.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists

    When one is labeled one of the shortest and least dominant NBA centers, one does not then presume that one’s best friend will match up well with him in the post. One’s best friend might be **even shorter and even less dominant**.

    Being a smarter and more reasonable conservative columnist may even be an accurate description of the guy, but if I take a random acquaintance of mine, I’m not expecting that in the comparison Krauthammer will come off the smarter and more reasonable.