If we hold the incumbent president to the standard, to which many of his supporters held his predecessor, well, then, he’s a liar–and a serial one at that. I won’t go so far, but will note his opportunistic principles.
When I read this morning (Pacific Time), that the President “will suggest that if it is necessary, Democrats will use the controversial ‘reconciliation’ rules requiring only 51 Senate votes to pass the ‘fix’ to the Senate bill,” I recalled viewing his comments–and those of his then-Democratic colleagues on the Senate–opposing a simple majority for judicial confirmations. Iowa’s far-left Senator Tom Harkin is leading the charge for reconciliation, announcing earlier today that reconciliation is a go.
As Mark Tapscott puts it at the Washington Examiner, Democrats “had a different view of reconciliation when it was a Republican majority using it to pass measures advocated by President George W. Bush.” And not just on federal judges:
Here’s what then-Senator Obama had to say in 2005 about reforms in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare program that he and other Democrats opposed:
“The TANF program affects millions of American children and families and deserves a full and fair debate. Under the rules, the reconciliation process does not permit that debate. Reconciliation is therefore the wrong place for policy changes and the wrong place for the proposed changes to the TANF program. In short, the reconciliation process appears to have lost its proper meaning. A vehicle designed for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been hijacked to facilitate reckless deficits and unsustainable debt.”
Guess when it comes to ramming an unpopular program through, the rules change. It’s all about control.