Many Republicans are gnashing their teeth over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s compromise NLRB and other executive appointments settlement while under duress from Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “nuclear option” threat” to change filibuster rules.
Once again establishment Republicans manage to divert conservative attention toward puny inside-the-beltway power struggle battles lest the focus be on their long-ago-agreed-to ceasefire in the war against modern Democratic Party liberalism that can never be won so long as liberal Democrat minorities in the U.S. Senate can prevent repeal of Liberty-destroying legislation passed by regularly-occurring liberal Democrat majorities, including super ones.
Sadly the battles that too often animate the McConnells and McCains of the Party of Lincoln and Reagan concern parochial concerns affecting only their personal or institutional power to pretend they are accomplishing something, rather than the larger issues of human liberty and prosperity that animated the two Republican presidents who empowered average Americans in their happiness pursuits.
The Puny Battle for Senators’ Self Aggrandizement via the Filibuster
In their effort to “save” the filibuster (cloture vote prevention), according to Politico, Senators John McCain (RINO-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) brokered a deal that gives Democrats nearly everything* they wanted. In sum, here’s how it shakes out: Harry Reid gets to keep the threat of using the nuclear option at some later point. In exchange, the GOP gets to keep the pretense of having the ability to filibuster in return for caving-in on five out of seven of Obama’s controversial appointments:
- Richard Cordray gets to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board–that’s a done deal as of this morning
- Thomas Perez will become Secretary of Labor
- Gina McCarthy will head the EPA
- Union attorney and current NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce gets to keep his job
- * Obama’s constitutionally-challenged NLRB members, Operating Engineers union attorney Richard Griffin and ex-Kennedy lawyer Sharon Block will get dumped but…organized labor would be allowed to recommend their replacement nominees, who would be confirmed before the end of the month.
Hence, Republicans avoided the nuclear option (grotesque moniker for a mere rule change) by ‘compromising’ and giving Barack Obama almost everyone he wanted. And, for those he wanted but did not get, union bosses get to pick their replacement nominees. As Dave Weigel at Slate.com observes: By giving Democrats nearly everything they asked for, Republicans avoided a change to the filibuster. (Emphasis added by LUR at Redstate.com)
Conservatives, can we talk?
And what “answer” do establishment Republicans happy with fictionally retaining the right to filibuster (despite the power of ANY bare Senate majority at any time to change filibuster rules) say that this poor deal cries out for: An Article III court to hear labor dispute cases.
That’s right. All of this D.C. rigmarole diverting attention from the jobs depression, anemic recovery and IRS-intimidation-of-conservatives (but thankfully the Zimmerman trial aftermath) is over whether the Liberty-destroying National Labor Relations Act will be administered by the NLRB or an Article III court. You know, those courts which regularly invent abortion rights, kick God out of local schools, approve Obamacare as constitutional and allow governments to take your private property and give it to Big Business.
Behold the puny vision of Republicans living for the day when at least once we can use a filibuster threat to stop the next liberal Democrat assault on free market capitalism and Liberty writ large, while never once using their power of the purse in the House to repeal monstrous legislation already on the books that is sufficient in itself to eliminate an exceptional American City on a Hill from the face of the Earth!
Specifically, Democrats occupy the White House. They are going to appoint liberals to every office the Constitution and federal statutes allow them to fill. And quite frankly, at least Sen. McConnell (R-KY) did exact “justice” for President Barack Obama’s violation for his unconstitutional unilateral declaration of a Senate “recess” so that he could appoint two particular liberals to the NLRB. Again though, this stuff is smaller than the amount of border fencing constructed to date, but I digress.
Bottom line of this specific controversy: So long as the National Labor Relations (FDR-passed New Deal, Wagner) Act remains the law of the land, even Republican appointees to the NLRB would have to more regularly deny private property and contract rights than King George III ever did. The real scandal is that since the 1947 Taft-Hartley amendments marginally improved this scandalous law granting labor unions unfair advantages, Republicans never utter a word about repealing it wholesale, and probably couldn’t given the Senate filibuster rules.
Big States, Small States, Senate Filibusters, Political Parties and Separation of Powers
The United States Senate, per se, was not created by the Founding Fathers to be THE bulwark against arbitrary executive action nor to prevent rash majoritarian action, i.e. to be Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “saucer to cool the coffee”. And the filibuster is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. In fact, had there not been a hue and cry from small states concerned with retaining sovereignty not granted to the federal government they were creating, America would have a unicameral Parliament rather than a bicameral legislature.
The Senate came into existence to protect states rights, not to make Ciceros and/or Caesars of individual senators; and even before the Seventeenth Amendment rendered senators little more than representatives of larger districts through popular election, political parties had replaced congressional institutions as the bulwark against irresponsible radical change.
Want to stop radical change in America like good conservatives should? Then win either the White House, the lower People’s House of Representatives or the upper House of Lords, …er ah Senate. Want to enact conservative legislation or repeal liberal legislation? Elect a conservative as Chief Executive and conservative majorities to both houses of the legislative branch; EXCEPT that one must also elect a SUPER majority to the Senate, which hasn’t occurred for the GOP since most of the South was under post-Civil War reconstruction.
The history of the filibuster is not best defined by Strom Thurmond or Rand Paul. Rather, its main contribution to history is to make permanent, liberal legislation enacted by too-frequently-occurring Democrat control of all legislation-enacting branches in Washington, D.C.
President Obama and the Democrats have all the laws they need to turn this country into the dying economic and cultural basket case that is their European model and, quite frankly, probably had all they needed even before Obamacare. For instance, just since Presidents Richard Nixon’s EPA was created and Jimmy Carter’s post-Three Mile Island energy exploration restrictions were promulgated, the Democratic Party has been able (when they didn’t have the House or the Oval Office), thru Senate filibuster rules, to wreak more havoc and economic damage on this country than the Soviet Union of Osama bin Laden could ever dream of. Not to mention the New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society.
Have Republicans spent too much money over the past 40+ years when they have had any say about it? Yes, but had entitlement increases not been protected by the filibuster, America would have slouched many fewer miles toward Gomorrah. The filibuster is no friend of any conservative whose goal is to actually reverse the path to destruction that America is on. Yes, it might occasionally prevent the enactment of make-weight puny additions to the welfare/regulatory state or enable individual Republican senate prima dons and donnas to delay the filling of executive positions. And? America’s descent is hardly slowed and will never be reversed if conservatives must always get 60 votes for what it usually only took 51 to enact.
Mike DeVine‘s Right.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson