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Your Views: Filibuster change brings democracy to the Senate

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December 1, 2013

We, the people, have finally experienced democracy in the U.S. Senate. The common-sense rule to have a simple majority vote on presidential appointments is now in effect. After continual and sustained obstructionism by GOP senators under the old filibuster rules, the Democrats exercised their majority rights and changed the rule.

The height of stupidity of GOP filibustering was accomplished by Kentucky Sen. McConnell on Dec. 6, 2012, when he filibustered his own bill.

The GOP had several opportunities to back off of their obstructionism, but they were so intent on blocking anything from President Obama that they allowed their hatred to override their self-interests.

Now that Obama can put forth his judicial and executive branch appointments with some certainty of approval, you have to ask: What were the GOP senators thinking to force this change to the filibuster rule? Currently the federal judiciary is evenly balanced with 390 GOP-appointed judges and 391 Democratic-appointed judges.

However, 93 vacancies will soon be filled by Obama, and he still has three years and whatever vacancies that will arise to fill. This is not a “packing of the court”; it is simply an exercise of the president’s responsibility to fill judicial vacancies.

The GOP senators were evidently so consumed with filibustering that they forgot to adequately think through the possible outcomes. Now they can only pout and protest what their overboard actions have reaped. The results are that democracy finally comes to the Senate and the country wins.

ROBERT OBLAK

Walworth



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