The Nuclear Option Defined: Just What IS ‘Reconciliation’?

We keep hearing about the term “reconciliation.”  What is it?  What effect would it have on the nation if it were employed?

Let’s see how it has been defined:

  • It is “a change in the Senate rules” that “would change the  character of the Senate forever.”
  • It is “majoritarian absolute power” which is “just not what the founders intended.”
  • It is “the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis.”
  • It evaporates “the checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic.”
  • It is “almost a temper tantrum.”
  • It is the abandonment of the concept of “a check on power” and an     abandonment of that which “preserves our limited government.”
  • It is something that “will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority.”
  • It “is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power.”
  • It “is a fundamental power grab.”
  • It “is a tyranny of the majority.”
  • It is “where the majority rules supreme and the party of power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.”
  • It is a “naked power grab.”
  • It is to “change the rules, break the rules, and misread the Constitution so that they will get their way.”
  • It is “The Senate … being asked to turn itself inside out, to ignore the   precedent to ignore the way our system has worked, the delicate balance   that we have obtain that has kept this Constitution system going, for immediate gratification of the present President.”
  • It is “the way Democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.”

If reconciliation is what these statements say it is, it is truly a fascist tactic that would only be employed by the most fundamentally unAmerican of totalitarians.

Only a genuinely evil and depraved political party would use such a despicable tactic.

Who said this about reconciliation?

Every single statement comes from Democrats as a result of Republicans merely discussing using the tactic to overcome a filibuster of a Bush judicial nomination.  Every single one.

This is how the Democrats themselves have defined what they are about to do in the coming weeks to ram health care down the throats of the American people.

Interestingly, Dianne Feinstein describes a progression which would start from a bad thing to an incredibly bad thing:

Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: The nuclear option if successful will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority. It begins with judicial nominations. Next will be executive appointments and then legislation.

The current batch of Democrats skipped the executive appointments and went straight for the legislation where they could most directly impose their will upon the American people.

That’s what reconciliation is.

When you think about absolute power; when you think about the arrogance of power; when you think about a naked power grab; when you think about the tyranny of the majority; when you think about a Constitutional crisis; when you think about the way democracy ends: when you think about these things, you think about the Democrat Party.

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6 Responses to “The Nuclear Option Defined: Just What IS ‘Reconciliation’?”

  1. ThomPaine Says:

    The quotes from the democrats are about the ‘nuclear option’, which is abolishing the filibuster altogether by changing the Senate rules. What’s being discussed now with Obamacare is different. It is passing a bill through budget reconciliation, which is even worse. If they are allowed to pass bills with a simple majority, how will we be able to stop anything?

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    You’re actually right, Thom. You taught me something I didn’t know. While related, the nuclear option is one form of reconciliation, such that the two terms are not necessarily synonymous (i.e., there are at least TWO forms of reconciliation).

    The following Wikipedia article is informative, and also allows the reader to see just what a “party of no” the Democrats used to be until they took power and “no” was suddenly declared evil.

    Barack Obama, who sternly lectured the country that it would be terribly wrong of the Republicans to filibuster now-Justice Sotomayor – was one of the Democrats leading the filibuster of Bush appointments.

    The issue was ultimately resolved without the Republicans resorting to the nuclear option, or reconciliation, or anything else nasty. Hopefully the Democrats don’t use it now, given how contemptible they said it would be to use it.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    what a crappy partisian site-not definition here.

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    That’s pretty funny – and pretty damn stupid – given the fact that my “definition” came word for word from DEMOCRATS.

    You liberal ideologues don’t like the fact that we conservatives can quote liberals all day long saying that the very reconciliation tactic they are now embracing is immoral, unconstitutional, and frankly unAmerican???

    Tough. Because we’re going to keep feeding your own words back to you.

  5. TheTruth Says:

    wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG!!

    Reconciliation is in no way equal to the Nuclear Option in any shape or form. Reconciliation is something Republicans did many many times between 2000 and 2006 when they needed to pass something with majority vote. Bills that were filibustered by Democrats were passed under Budget Reconciliation because Republicans couldn’t get 60 votes. This is a known fact.

    The Nuclear Option is getting rid of the filibuster completely, which would mean that all votes would immediately go to majority-rules.

    Republicans in the Senate (WHO PARTICIPATED IN RECONCILIATION) are simply lying when they equate the two, and claiming that this is a “new thing” and “unprecedented”, let alone “unpatriotic” is just ridiculous. I think you better read up on your constitution before claiming that 51 votes to pass a bill is “unconstitutional”.

    This blatant disregard for facts makes me sick.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    The nuclear option and reconciliation are two sides of the same coin, with the nuclear option being a form of reconciliation. Both end a filibuster by passing a bill on a simple majority vote. While what the Republicans talked about doing (but never actually did) that was called “the nuclear option,” there is a great deal of overlap and you are frothing at the mouth over arcane nuances.

    For the record, the Democrats didn’t start talking about reconciliation until they found themselves unable to get 60 votes, same-same as your “known fact” about the Republicans. And THIS is a known fact.

    It is not merely Republicans who have used the term “nuclear option” to describe the form of reconciliation the Democrats are pursuing now. Let me offer two examples from CNN anchors:

    KIRAN CHETRY, CNN anchor, American Morning, August 19, 2009: We’ve heard about the nuclear option before, right? I mean, that was when there was talk about maybe bypassing Democratic concerns when it came to judicial nominees. Well, now, the nuclear option is something that we’re talking about yet again. This time it has to do with Democrats considering going it alone when it comes to health care. We’re live from the White House next hour.

    ANDERSON COOPER, cnn achor, 360 Degrees, August 18, 2009: Tonight: Breaking news that could change everything in the White House battle for health care reform. Call it the nuclear option.

    The Christian Science Monitor ran an article entitled, “Reconciliation: why healthcare reform ‘nuclear option’ is deadly.”

    And the Washington Post runs a story titled, “The Democrats’ nuclear option in reconciliation,” in which the author opens by saying, “Get ready for the new nuclear option.” The writer points out that the Democrats ARE in fact poised – and quite likely – to employ precisely the same identical nuclear option process. Which would of course make you totally full of crap.

    So you’ll have to pardon me for not kow-towing to your asinine Media Matters position.

    That said, the Democrats are now making the “nuclear option” look rather tame, given the fact that at least you actually VOTED with the nuclear option, rather than “deeming” yourself to have voted for something you never bothered to vote for.

    And I have a feeling you were more than sick enough on your own before I came along.

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