5 Crazy Reactions to the “Nuclear Option”

For years, it has been nearly impossible for judicial nominations and presidential appointments to occur due to concerted, deliberate efforts by Senate Republicans to filibuster most of the names put up for nomination. Without a full 60 senators agreeing to end the debate, the process has virtually ground to a halt. Endless filibusters had left the D.C. district court down multiple judges and, in some years under President Obama, had been used literally twice as much as they had been under previous administrations.

In a desperate measure to end the gridlock, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, put forth a rule change that will now allow all nominations outside of Supreme Court justices to be able to be appointed with a simple up or down majority vote. This “nuclear option” is being praised by those who feel that the filibuster had been misused by a minority intent on obstruction until they can regain a majority in the Senate. GOP politicians and pundits, however, as they currently weld it as their major source of power against the administration, are undeniably furious.

Here are the top five reactions to the “tyranny” that is a majority vote:

1. Its Obamacare II!

One of the GOP’s favorite talking points at the moment is that the choice to “go nuclear” was intended to take some spotlight off the problems that have occurred with the Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment roll out. As such, some of them are cleverly referring to filibuster reform as “Obamacare II.”

“This action today creates a perpetual opportunity for the tyranny of the majority because it permits a majority in this body to do whatever it wants to do any time it wants to do it,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), according to Talking Points Memo. ”This should be called Obamacare II, because it is another example of the use of raw partisan political party for the majority to do whatever it wants to do any time it wants to do it.”

Considering Obamacare has lowered most healthcare costs and is currently helping tens of thousands of uninsured be insured as of January 1, maybe an Obamacare II isn’t that bad.

2. Harry Reids a Bully!

That mature quote came from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who failed to follow it up with “I’m rubber and you’re glue. ”

“What we really need is an anti-bullying ordinance in the Senate,” Sen. Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. ”I mean, now we’ve got a big bully. Harry Reid says he’s just gonna break the rules and make new rules.” He then accused Sen. Reid being “the dictator of the Senate. He’s going to bend and break the rules to get his way.”

3. Welcome to the new authoritarian regime!

Radio personality and rightwing rabble-rouser Rush Limbaugh is positive that government by a majority is in actuality the beginning of a totalitarian regime. “The Democrats have made it plain they’re not interested in democracy. That really is what this means. They’re not interested in democracy at all. They want total statist authoritarianism, and frankly, I’m being kind with that terminology,” he said on his radio show. Because nothing says complete government takeover like getting mad that 41 senators have the power to decide who can or can’t be appointed to a seat in the judicial branch.

4. Next comes the military coup!

As if the “statist authoritarianism” didn’t go far enough, how about out and out revolution? That bright idea came from Fox News pundit Charles W. Cooke, who said that once you get rid of the filibuster, that means you could do anything, even ask the armed forces to help you start a dictatorship. “Well, how far do you take that?” Cook said according to ThinkProgress, after translating the President’s support of filibuster reform to mean that he thinks he’s above constitutional rules. “You could just ignore the House. You could have a military coup, you could have anything at the end of this.”

5. Youll get yours, Democrats!

Still, the GOP isn’t a party to be kept down for long, and Republican pundit Charles Krauthammer is urging everyone to view this as the long game, where eventually conservatives will take over the House, the Senate and the White House, and will not only be able to pass every nominee they ever wanted by a simple majority vote, but will also vote to extend the majority rule to the Supreme Court appointees, too, and stack that court as well. “[T]he Democrats will absolutely rue the day…” wrote Krauthammer. “…I don’t think Democrats will remember this day with any joy in the near future.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 years ago

This is going to come back and bite them in the butt! The very ones who are praising it now are the ones who were screaming against it when the republicans talked about it.

Well said Deborah W.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm4 years ago

JUst listen to the chapmpions of the right, Rush and Hannity. They have stated publicly,,on record, that they dodnt wish to debate or compromise with the left. They want the left irradiated.

AS long as that mindset is prevalent inside the government this war will continue. MONEY buys our representatives now……..not our vote. Unless we competely rebel against them, not much is going to change. Unless we constantly badger them with emails to compromise nothing wil change. The ideologues are in control now……not the statesmen.

WE simply cannot have the two chambers of the congress sitting at a constant impasse.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm4 years ago

Well Deborah. This site didnt used to be this caustic. Untill people came in here trying to cram John Bircher nonsense down our throat we could have some decent debates.

Our govenrment doesnt beleive in representing all the people anymore. They fight for their team more than ever. Radicalism has taken over Washinington. The radicla right has dug their heels in and are never going to compromise again……….even if it means they lose.

Even the aborton battle has sunk to new lows. Almost ALL aboritons happen during the 1st 20 weeks. We didn’t even NEED a law for that about 1 or 2 percent happen later. There MUST be a compromise on this but one side doesnt want ANY compromise. NONE of us live in this country alone. We ABSOLUTELY MUST compromise if we wish to have a future.

The Dems reversed because every single thing put forward was filibustered unless it had Major tax cuts for the wealthy in it. ALL nominations for aby cabinet etc office was totally stalled. It was their way of making the government less effective. Departments that have no leaders are simply not as effective as depertments WITH leaders. One side of the government simply wants the other side to die. The champions of the right have decreed they dodnt wish to debate or compromise liberal thought, they wish to eliminate it completely from the landscape of our country. This is of course, impossible. Liberal thought is part of this country as it always HAS been. JUst listen t

Deborah W.
Deborah W4 years ago

Democrats in reverse as it now benefits their party infestations without the need to discuss or adjust before conclusion is reached ... no compromise or unpopular input which may sway outcomes.

So sick of Republicans vs. Democrats, them vs. us, what's best vs. what's bad, politics vs. policy, aren't you?

We the people are ALL supposed to be represented by those WE have hired by vote and all the name-calling back and forth (this site now infected with the same disease) takes away from any solutions of value for the masses in favor of the smaller good that profits whoever "wins". We ALL lose sooner or later as a result of this mindset.

VOTE FOR CHANGE IN THE NEXT ELECTION ... see who did what and why, then own it.

Brian Foster
Brian F4 years ago

john h I'm not completely in love with Obama and the democrats, and I don't agree with everything Obama does, but your republican party is absolutely terrible. Shutting down the government, and having a temper tantrum costing us 24 billion. Blocking everything Obama tries to pass. You lost the election. So you can't block everything the democrats try to pass. Your republican party has destroyed America, with your unpaid for wars based on lies, and tax breaks for the rich, creating our astronomical 17 trillion dollar debt. Your misogynistic, homophobic, racist agenda, and plans to eliminate the minimum wage, the ACA, SS, Medicare, and all programs to help the poor. Your allegiance to corporate America, allowing them to have tax breaks, and make record profits, while the 99% of Americans live in poverty. I don't see how any sane person could vote for a republican.

john hall
john hall4 years ago

Brian F. such a good sheep you are to the obama democrat masters..

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago


Brian Foster
Brian F4 years ago

Thank god for the nuclear option. Republicans have set a record for filibusters and block everything Obama tries to pass. Reid had no choice, and should have done this much sooner. Republicans have never had a desire to work with Obama, and the democrats. They only want power back, so they can finish destroying the country, and serve their corporate masters, to include the billionaire Koch brothers. It wasn't enough for their moron George Bush to spend 2 billion a week on the Iraq war that was based on lies, and cut taxes for the rich, which created our massive 17 trillion dollar debt. Now the republicans desperately want power so they can implement their master plan to eliminate the minimum wage, social security, Medicare, the ACA, food stamps, and all programs to help the poor, so the poor can starve, or get sick and die. Meanwhile corporations will continue to get richer, and thank republicans for passing laws allowing corporations to use corporate tax loopholes, avoid paying their fare share of taxes, and continue to get away with paying low wages to workers so they can live in poverty, because republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage. Republicans want to eliminate the minimum wage, so all workers can live in poverty.

Charles S.
Charles S4 years ago

Who is this state media?
we certainly don't have one in this country. All the media in this country now , has the same bias, only it is more radical with Fox news.Almost all of the Sunday morning news programs almost always Republicans. The moderator David Gregory on NBC is decidedly Republican in most of his views.
The president is certainly not Marxist. He is as big a pro business , corporation person as most all the rest in Wash. he is still looking out for Wall St., banks , and oil companies.. If he is Marxist so are the majority of Republicans.
I believe with Marxism , or Communism , the government owns everything , and controls all the means of production . All the hospitals would belong to the government , the Dr's nurses , and everyone else would work for the government.
We do not have any of these conditions in the U.S.