Back when I was in school, the Cold War was ongoing. History and government classes focused almost exclusively on what the U.S.S.R. was likely to do with its arsenal of nuclear weapons.
One concept discussed and studied was MAD or mutual assured destruction. The theory was that both the United States and U.S.S.R. possessed sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy each other. Given that, neither side would ever dare be the first to use them since that would guarantee their own demise in the retaliation surely to follow.
For the past several years, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate at various times have threatened to unleash what became known as the “nuclear option” effectively gutting the ability of those in the minority to block a president’s appointment power via a filibuster. Since the Senate rules on filibusters existed for over two hundred years, despite the threats, no one really expected either side to actually unleash the nuclear option.
That was until last Friday when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats did just that.
The response from the other side was predictable.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised as much announcing, “I say to my friend on the other side of the aisle: you’ll regret this. And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”
So why did Reid & Company decide it’s time to “go nuclear?” Some attribute the decision to a heavy lobbying effort by President Obama who is eager to push through his far left nominees. Others believe the Democrats are increasingly concerned that they may not control the Senate a year from now.
And what kind of nominees did Reid decide upending two hundred years of Senate tradition was worth?
Georgetown law professor, Cornelia Pillard, nominated for the very powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is one example. She is best known for her extremist pro-abortion and feminist views. For example, she wrote, “Reproductive rights, including the rights to contraception and abortion, play a central role in freeing women from historically routine conscription into maternity.”
She also wrote: “Anti-abortion laws and other restraints on reproductive freedom not only enforce women’s incubation of unwanted pregnancies but also prescribe a ‘norm of the woman’s role’ as mother and caretaker of children in a way that is at odds with equal protection.”
Harry Reid just made the majority in the U.S. Senate nearly all-powerful. If that’s the case, it is now clearly imperative that the GOP reclaims control of that body in 2014.