It’s time for Democrats to stop being such gormless chumps


One of the most marked characteristics of 21st century political history is the one-sided application of political norms. Democrats have done things like abolish earmarks, adopt “PAYGO” budgeting (in which the long-term stability of the national debt is written into the budget process), and respect the “blue slip” rule, which gives senators a veto over judicial appointments in their home state.

In return, Republicans have shredded those norms the moment they got in the way of their application of power. Word is, they now plan to use imaginary future growth to sidestep PAYGO rules, and it seems likely that the blue slip rule is next on the chopping block.

It’s time for Democrats to stop being such gormless chumps, and start matching Republicans’ procedural hardball.

This blue slip rule has been dying a slow death since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. The rule (which is really more of a tradition than a rule) was a thorn in liberals’ side for President Obama’s entire presidency — Republican senators blatantly abused it to keep as many federal court vacancies in their states as possible. Though they didn’t use it every single time, it was pervasive — and as this Brookings analysis shows, it was a significant enough obstacle that oftentimes Obama didn’t even bother nominating people for vacancies in Republican states — yet Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chaired the Judiciary Committee when Democrats controlled the Senate, continued to enforce the rule.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Weekly Standard on Tuesday that he thinks nominations should not require home state senators to sign off, effective killing the blue slip rule — despite the fact that Democratic senators are not being half so aggressive with them as Republicans were under Obama. The next day he walked the comments back — …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics

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