Breitbart recalls what Senate Democrats said about the nuclear option just eight years ago, when they wanted to filibuster George Bush’s pro-life judicial nominees.
President Obama in 2005:
The American people want less partisanship in this town, but everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.
[…]These are challenges we all want to meet and problems we all want to solve, even if we do not always agree on how to do it. But if the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party and the millions of Americans who ask us to be their voice, I fear the partisan atmosphere in Washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. That does not serve anybody’s best interest, and it certainly is not what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind. We owe the people who sent us here more than that. We owe them much more.
Vice President Biden in 2005:
This is the single most significant vote any one of us will cast in my 32 years in the Senate. I suspect the Senator would agree with that. We should make no mistake. This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party, propelled by its extreme right and designed to change the reading of the Constitution, particularly as it relates to individual rights and property rights. It is nothing more or nothing less.
Senate Majority Leader Reid in 2005:
The filibuster is not a scheme and it certainly isn’t new. The filibuster is far from a procedural gimmick…
[…]It’s part of the fabric of this institution we call the Senate. It was well-known in colonial legislatures before we became a country, and it’s an integral part of our country’s 214-year history. The first filibuster in the United States Congress happened in 1790. It was used by lawmakers from Virginia and South Carolina who were trying to prevent Philadelphia from hosting the first Congress. Since then, the filibuster has been employed hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times. It’s been employed on legislative matters, it’s been employed on procedural matters relating to the president’s nominations for Cabinet and sub-Cabinet posts, and it’s been used on judges for all those years. One scholar estimates that 20 percent of the judges nominated by presidents have fallen by the wayside, most of them as a result of filibusters. Senators have used the filibuster to stand up to popular presidents, to block legislation, and, yes, even, as I’ve stated, to stall executive nominees. The roots of the filibuster are found in the Constitution and in our own rules.
This is the same filibuster that the Democrats used to block qualified judicial nominees like Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown. Now that the tables are turned, they want to take it away from Republicans so they can get radical left-wingers appointed to the high courts. Let this be a lesson to Republicans who want to be nice and play by the rules: don’t. Because rules mean nothing to Democrats. The next time we have the House, Senate and the White House, we should enact policies to de-fund and marginalize the Democrats down to the level of the Libertarian party.