On Filibuster, Obama's a Master Criminal; On Iran, He's Neville Chamberlain, Say Rightbloggers
The break is welcome because it gives rightbloggers, who were starting to get repetitive in their complaints about the national health care system, some new things to be hilariously outraged about.
The detonation of the filibuster "nuclear option," which makes the approval of a simple majority of Senators sufficient to clear some Presidential appointments, is funny for a number of reasons. For one thing, it reflects a stark partisan reversal from 2005, when Democrats decried and Republicans threatened it. Rightbloggers were quick to notice the "hypocritical extremist progressive liberal Democrats"' part in this minuet, but generally did not note the GOP's, perhaps on the assumption that the Whigs were in power at that time.
For another, it clears a heretofore impeded path for the appointment of three judges to the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., where the Administration expects to see challenges to its habit of fixing problematic legislation such as the Affordable Care Act via regulation -- which fixes his opponents regularly denounce as illegal, and which now stand a better chance of a friendly hearing should the Court hear them. ("The president no doubt has in mind," snarled the editors of National Review, "the sage advice of Roy Cohn: 'Don't tell me what the law is. Tell me who the judge is.'" Wait, conservatives don't like Roy Cohn anymore? Maybe they found out he was gay.)
Best of all, it surprised rightbloggers, who seem to have formed the impression that Democrats were only allowed to hang around shame-facedly taking their abuse anymore and were pissed to find it wasn't so.
"GANGSTER REGIME: Lawless Senate Strikes Down 225 Yr Old Filibuster Rules," cried RedFlag News. "Dem @#$ERS!!" expurgated The Daily Paul.
Now Adam Sandler won't be able to make a shitty remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Thanks Obama!
"Now Obama can appoint the Rev. Al Sharpton to a judge seat and GOPers are powerless to stop him," cried Samuel Gonzalez at Right Wing News. "This is who progressives are -- ruthless and nasty! Welcome to Obama's version of the Third Reich!"
"[Democratic Senator] Mary [Landrieu] Voted To Kill The Filibuster Today... which shows what a shamelessly unprincipled hack she is," ululated The Hayride. "...Landrieu was with Harry Reid in this rather fascistic endeavor. She was with the idea of trampling all over the rights of the Senate minority and trashing the deliberative character of that body... [she is] a cancer on our body politic which cannot be removed quickly enough." In case readers weren't getting the point, The Hayride also photoshopped Landrieu's head on the body of Benito Mussolini, presumably because even their readers had finally grown tired of Hitler mashups.
"OBAMA MOCKS THE CONSTITUTION" declared Charles Hurt at Breitbart.com "Disgraced. An embarrassment. Utter disregard for the law. Toronto's crack mayor, Rob Ford? No. President Obama." In fact, said Hurt, Obama was worse than Ford, because while "the drunken rages of Toronto's Mr. Ford have been entertaining... What Mr. Obama is doing is not funny and cannot be undone." We wonder if this column is actually battleground preparation for some Republican Presidential candidate who's on crack. Admittedly, that could be any of them.
Rush Limbaugh compared the vote to rape because, well, Rush Limbaugh. (Don't worry, Rush fans, Limbaugh "is swinging back at critics," as reported by The Daily Caller -- his spokesman said, "Rush Limbaugh has spent 25 years illustrating absurdity by using extrapolated analogies." Well, that clears that up.)
At Zero Hedge, Some Guy said the filibuster vote was bad for the blacks, or something. "We have the odd case of President Obama, a minority, telling us that Majority Rule is good for us," marveled Some Guy. "...The fact that Barack Obama, an ethnic minority in America, is supporting the end of the filibuster in the US Senate is a very telling sign-post on what appears to be the road to, 'A tyranny of the majority.'" Then Some Guy showed us a Photoshop of Obama as the Samuel L. Jackson character in Django Unchained, and Harry Reid as Leonardo DiCaprio. Suddenly it all makes sense. Where would the brethren be without Photoshop?
If you suggested to rightbloggers that the absurdly high number of filibustered appointments under Obama -- nearly as many as under all previous presidents combined -- had something to do with the filibuster vote, most of them would affect not to hear you.
RedState's Dan Spencer, for example, told us everything about Harry Reid's "unprecedented filibuster campaign" and hypocrisy in the mid-aughts, but when it came to Mitch McConnell's obstructionism in the Obama era, he was mute. Ditto John Fund at National Review, who claimed the casus belli was four recently blocked nominations, but didn't mention the dozens Republicans have smothered since 2009, and then pretended to weep for the lack of comity that would ensue ("this 'cure' is far worse than the disease"). That's how the pros do it, folks.
This victim act wasn't performed just so people would cry for Republicans. It laid groundwork for a vision of justice, in which Democrats, having so brutally used the courtly Republicans, would be made to pay.
National Review's Andrew C. McCarthy, sounding like a mob boss wording things carefully on a wiretapped line, said, "Courts cannot function unless Congress funds them -- meaning both houses of Congress approving spending on them... The Constitution vests in Congress decisions about what federal circuit and district courts we need. It does not say that once courts and the judgeships on those courts are established, these must be maintained forever. If senate rules are now to be changed on the dime by the majority, all kinds of seemingly impossible things become possible." You know, after reading that back, we rescind our previous characterization; McCarthy sounds more like the world's most boring supervillain.
Patterico thought "Republicans should be overjoyed" because "we have obtained the moral permission to exercise raw power. All we have to do now is get it." He added that "it's liberating to know, deep in our bones, that principle will never constrain [Democrats] when countervailing pressures get strong. It will keep us from acting weakly (again) when we are in power." Those who remember the Congressional shutdown back in October, or the Republicans' recent filibusters, may wonder what he's talking about. While admitting that "partisanship is nastier in Congress than it once was," Commentary's Jonathan S. Tobin insisted that "if President Obama and Reid think it can't get worse, they're kidding themselves." Considering the kind of treatment Democrats are already getting from their friends across the aisle, we can understand why Democrats figured they might as well go ahead and find out.