Blame it all on Harry Reid. He started it all. Now, it’s coming to roost. I’m sorry. It is the truth. The Democratic Party owns it. You can’t blame Mitch McConnell. But, if McConnell doesn’t fix it soon, a fist fight is liable to break out on the Senate floor. That will happen quickly and will not be painless.
A few years ago, the Senate was a Gentlemen’s Club (or Gentlepersons if your PC). Everything was done with decorum. They were all friends out of the office. Well, not anymore. For the better part of eight years, Harry Reid ran the Senate with an iron fist. If he didn’t get his way, he simply did call for a vote. Accordingly, the Senate became do-nothing. It stayed that way for a long time. However, on November 21, 2013, the Senate invoked the Nuclear Option. This gave much more power to the party in power.
What is the Nuclear Option?
Prior to November, 2013, all votes in the Senate required a Super Majority. You could not close debating without a minimum of 60 Senators voting for cloture. Well, that all changed. At that time, Harry Reid changed the rules so that all Senate votes for confirmations (except Supreme Court) only required a majority. Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Harry Reid he would regret the rule change later. In fact, he warned all Democrats they would. Bam, it’s happened.
The Senate is now in a free for all. Decorum has completely broken down. Democrats, realizing they cannot stop anything, are resorting to all sorts of delay tactics just to make it look like they are doing something. In the past few days this has even included keeping the Senate open for more than 48 hours without a break.
Yesterday, it pretty much all came to a head. Senator Pocahantas, um Warren, was silenced for breaking Rule 19. Before yesterday I had never heard of Rule 19. In pertinent part, Rule 19 states:
2. No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.
All hell broke lose, when she lost the floor. Since then, it’s like the Republicans and Democrats are at each other’s throats. There has been name calling and accusations from both sides, especially outside the chamber. Well, this is not good for the body or for the United States.
Call For Senate Decorum
This writer believes it’s time to stop. All members of the Senate should return to respecting each other. Enough is enough. Politicians always disagree. But, this is now ridiculous. I just witnessed the vote for Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General along strict party lines. Sessions’ vote was not the 75 minimum it should have been. He is actually a member of the same body that just voted for him. In fact, he was treated with absolutely no respect the entire time his nomination was debated. Before Trump was elected, he was well liked by many of his fellow officeholders. After he chose to support Trump, then that all changed.
Now, it’s time for that same respect to return.