U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer — who has feasted in Washington political office for 37 years — is the poster child for what Americans hate about fraudulent D.C. politics, and what is slowly draining our country of its vitality.
The New York Democrat is in blustery high dudgeon about maintaining the Senate tradition of 60 votes for a Supreme Court nominee and the “terrible” idea of changing Senate rules.
Except there is no such tradition.
As recently as 2006, Justice Samuel Alito was approved to the Supreme Court 58-42. Another current member of the Court, Justice Clarence Thomas, was barely approved 52-48. Both were nominated by Republican presidents. Republicans contributed to Obama’s picks being approved by large margins — even though they were hardened ideologues.
Further, Sen. Harry Reid, also a Democrat, changed the Senate rules in 2013 with a slim majority to bypass the filibuster and stacked the D.C. Court of Appeals. And Schumer supported Reid blowing up the Senate rules.
It was not just the “nuclear option” that the media loves to drone on about — blowing out the filibuster with a simple majority vote — but as talk radio host and law professor Hugh Hewitt has pointed out, the Reid Rule was actually more about the Senate being able to change any of its rules with a simple majority — when that traditionally required a supermajority of 60 votes.
Reid’s short-term power play, supported by Schumer just four years ago, is now coming back to bite Democrats just as Sen. Mitch McConnell said it would when he pleaded with Reid not to do it.
Schumer, true to form as a lifelong partisan D.C. denizen, now blames Republicans. But don’t think his chutzpah stops there.
Meet the truth, Senator
Schumer was on Meet the Press Sunday, and host Chuck Todd did yeoman’s work trying to point out Schumer’s colossal hypocrisy over such a short span of time.
Schumer made his talking point to Todd: “That’s how you get a mainstream justice. Mitch (McConnell) calls it a filibuster, we call it the 60-vote standard. Most Americans believe in the 60-vote standard.”
First, of course, that is nonsense, constitutionally speaking. And thinking that most Americans even know what the 60 votes is referring to, and that it was ever a standard is just more nonsense piled upon nonsense.
But this one wild prevarication during the interview, and attempt to re-write reality is simply astonishing.
Todd points out the two justices on the Court who received less than 60 votes to get confirmed. Schumer’s answer is pure mind-numbing swamp-speak:
“Well, actually Clarence Thomas is the only one, because when the filibuster came up with Alito, there were 72 votes to go forward. So there’s just one, just about every nominee gets 60 votes because in the past, presidents have actually consulted the other side before picking someone.”
Here’s how this works in the D.C. establishment mind of a Democrat leader:
Sure, sure Thomas only got 52 votes and not 60 — exactly like Chuck Todd said. But see, Schumer and others had wanted to filibuster the Thomas vote so it would never even happen. The Senate, however, including several Democrats, voted against the filibuster with 72 votes. So Schumer counts those votes to close the filibuster as as Thomas getting more than 60 votes — not the actual 52 votes he did get.
It’s just leaves one almost speechless.
Goes around, comes around
In the second part of that breathtaking quote is the idea that past presidents consulted the other side before picking a nominee. Maybe some did. But President Obama did not. In fact, his haughty quote that elections have consequences is directly on point to getting judges and justices he wanted on the bench.
Cases in point are Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Both of these justices are liberal ideologues, but Sotomayor is virtually a radical leftist.
The New York Times reports that Sonia Sotomayor is to the left of even liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg based on her voting record and opinions. “Justice Sotomayor, Mr. Obama’s first nominee to the court, surpassed Justice Ginsburg as the court’s most liberal justice.” Yet she was confirmed 68-31, with many Republicans voting for her.
Obama never consulted Republicans or conservatives on the Kagan and Sotomayor nominations. Schumer is just making stuff up, saying it on national television, and expecting to get away with it. But his team was the rule-breaker, so now there is precedent.
Elections have consequences, Obama said. Yup. They sure do.
The data points are clear. It is the Democrats who have continued to politicize the courts. So when Schumer does his shtick on Meet the Press or any gaggle of microphones, remember, it’s all a big fraud. He’s a gold level supporter and beneficiary of the Swamp.
Swamp does not want draining
Living organisms typically attack threats.
Washington, D.C.’s sprawling government industrial complex, from politicians to an army of entrenched bureaucrats and lobbyists enriched by leviathan government to a powerful and self-insulated media establishment — all with self interests — is in a sense a living organism. It is a bit akin to a swamp parasite attached to the body of the American public, drawing sustenance in the form of taxes and power and driven always to grow. When it is attacked, it fights back viciously.
Trump, for all his faults — and some doubts that he will truly carry through — is still acting like he may try to make major changes in Washington that would benefit the American people — minus the parasitic class. Because of those efforts, from deregulation to tax reform to bypassing the media, the organism is fighting back.
Schumer disseminating, government functionaries leaking, reporters protecting the status quo, are all part and parcel of the beast lashing out at those threatening its sustenance.
The question is: Will President Trump really try to drain the swamp and destroy the menacing and formidable parasite as best he can, or was it just campaign talk. If it is the latter, he will turn out to be just another politician and a major disappointment to his supporters.
So far, however, he has been working to keep campaign promises right and left, rousing the parasite. If he continues, the organism will lash out with more virulence. But its attacks will also become more obvious for what they are.
And maybe it will be a chance for the body to expel it.
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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act.