“The figures speak for themselves. According to Politifact, in all of U.S. history, 147 cloture motions (motions that require a supermajority vote to end debate and take a vote) were filed on presidential nominations. Of the total, 79, more than half, have occurred so far during the administration of Barack Obama.
Since 1967, 67 cloture motions have been filed on judicial nominees. Of the total, 31 occurred during Obama’s time in office.”
I’ve heard the argument that the filibuster has been widely used by both parties, when they are in the minority. That Democrats have used it just like the Republicans are using it today and that the nuclear option was an overblown reaction. Think this pretty much clears it up though, huh? 79 of 147 filibusters for presidential nominations have occurred during the Obama administration. That’s a hot 54% for those of you keeping track at home. A cloture motion allows the senate to try to overcome a filibuster by placing a time limit on the consideration of the bill but requires 60% of the Senate to pass. This prevents the minority from filibustering indefinitely. 31 of 67 cloture motions on judicial nominees have been filed under the Obama administration. That doesn’t look too good for the Republicans.
I think that, perhaps, the Republicans got too comfortable just being able to filibuster, even though they were a minority. I think they have the mentality of a small dog like a Jack Russell. They think they can play with the big dogs, till push comes to shove and someone passes the nuclear option. Then they go running home with their tail between their legs.
I’m an optimist. Shocking, I know, given my satirical and curmudgeonly nature. I’m hoping that this new law fosters the compromises that are supposed to occur in a democracy. The Democrats don’t have an overwhelming majority so if the Republicans really don’t like a nominee, they just have to get 4 Dem. senators to side with them to keep the filibuster going. Pick your battles wisely.