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Reid in 2008: Nuclear Option “Will Ruin Our Country”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is threatening this week to change Senate rules by invoking the “nuclear option” on Senate votes, said in 2008 that resisting Republican efforts to deploy the same weapon in 2005 was “the most important thing I ever worked on” and that use of the tactic “will ruin our country.”

Under the “nuclear option,” the Senate Majority Leader would change the filibuster rule, which currently allows the minority Party to require 60 votes for Senate action instead of a simple majority. Reid has said, including Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that he will move to prevent filibusters against President Obama’s non-judicial nominees.

Reid, who spoke in 2008 during an interview with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), vowed then that he would never as majority leader of the Senate allow the nuclear option to come up again. He waxed deeply poetic, saying the nuclear option would violate the intent of the Founding Fathers.

From the interview:

REID: What the Republicans came up with was a way to change our country forever. They made a decision: if they didn’t get every judge they wanted – every judge they wanted – then they were going to make the Senate just like the House of Representatives. We would in fact have a unicameral legislature, where a simple majority would determine whatever happens . . .

The Senate was set up to be different. That was the genius – the vision – of our founding fathers, that this bicameral legislature – which was unique – had two different duties. One was, as Franklin said, to pour the coffee into the saucer and let it cool off. That’s why you have the ability to filibuster, and to terminate filibuster. They wanted to get rid of all that. And that’s what the nuclear option was all about.

DASCHLE: And is there any likelihood that we’re going to face circumstances like that again?

REID: As long as I’m the leader, the answer is “no.” I think we should just forget that. That is a black chapter in the history of the Senate. I hope we never, ever get to that again, because I really do believe it will ruin our country. I’ve said – I said during that debate – that in all my years in government, that was the most important thing I ever worked on.

DASCHLE: Well, I give you great credit for the way you handled it.

Ironically, Reid Sunday invoked the Founding Fathers again, this time saying they actually wanted an up-or-down vote on nominees.

If you want to look at nominations, you know what the Founding Fathers said: “Simple majority.” That’s what we need to do.

Reid claims that invoking the nuclear option is now justified because Republicans have abused the filibuster rule by overusing it.

Here’s the video of Reid’s 2008 interview:

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70 Responses to Reid in 2008: Nuclear Option “Will Ruin Our Country”

  1. The last time that Harry forgot to take his anti-senility meds was during the 2012 campaign when he was constantly slandering Mitt Romney.

    Apparently, he has stopped taking them again, and you can see the result: more irresponsible talk.

    • Reid is not up for re-election until 2016, I think, but Mitch McConnell is up in 2014. Mitch McConnell likes to talk like Rand Paul these days and he goes after Reid as the worst Senate Majority Leader evah. But I’d like to remind everyone that in 2010 when Reid’s seat was on the line and he was being challenged by Sharon Angle, Tea Party Republican, Mitch McConnell did all he could to get his fellow Republican defeated and to throw a successful lifeline to Reid. You can’t get rid of Reid next year but you can get rid of a RINO.

      • The real problem in that race was that the Republicans nominated the least electable candidate. If they had nominated Lowden they would have easily beaten Reid.

        • I remember her as doing well until a certain point when the RINOs decided they didn’t want her. You know, the RINOs expect conservatives to support them when they win the nomination, but it doesn’t work vice versa apparently.

  2. I find Reid’s line of thought incredible. Is he so short-sighted? Does he imagine his party will have power forever? Will he support this so-called “nuclear option” when he is in the minority party and Republicans are railroading nominees past him?

    • Each party in power never considers they’ll ever be out of power.
      They think they will do enough while they are in power to
      Destroy the other party or
      at least get reelected.

  3. When your goal is to suck up to a jerk P.O.S. (OBUMMER), you’ll sway as the wind blows to make certain you stay in good favor with t5he “chief.” Harry Reid, like Nancy Pelosi, is way past his prime. Both of these hasbeens need to be put out to pasture permanently.

    • Won’t happen, sadly. The only way Reid or Pelosi leave office is on a cooling board, since their constituents seem to be happy to elect them “Congresscritter for life.”

      There are KINGS that have been in office for less time than Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. The list: Harald V of Norway, Albert II of Belgium, Letsie III of Lesotho, Abdullah II of Jordan, Mohammed Vi of Morocco, Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, Tupou Vi of Tonga, and Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

      You can look it up.

      When, oh WHEN, will we get Congressional term limits?!

  4. Why not eliminate the confirmation filibusters? Since neither side seems willing to allow a vote on nominees who were appointed by the President in accordance with the Constitution, and fulfill their duty to Advise and Consent, it seems a responsible thing to do. Once Reid changes it, I’m sure he’ll regret it if he lives to see the GOP control the Senate under a GOP President. I just wish the GOP had shown enough guts to do it when Bush’s nominees were being blocked.

  5. […] thing I ever worked on” and that use of the tactic “will ruin our country.” Reid in 2008: Nuclear Option “Will Ruin Our Country” | The Blog on Obama: White House Do… Reply With […]

  6. Once again, people (Reid) forgetting that changing the rules to your favor is only effective if you think you can remain the people in charge. Hopefully sensible liberals (believe it or not, they exist!) will have the good sense to realize that the ability to filibuster is something that they’ll miss terribly once they’re not the people in charge.

    If you’re having trouble explaining this to your liberal friends, use this:
    Your senate leader wants to pass a law that says that the Senate majority can punch the minority in the face. Whoever is the majority retains this right. How are you going to feel about the rule that the majority can punch the minority when the two roles switch and conservatives are the majority?

    I’m sure some inane fool will respond with “well then let’s make sure that doesn’t happen!”


    You’ll get yours. Believe me.

    OH and these scandals will suck you dry. You just wait.

  8. Harry has no scruples, nor character, nor principles, nor honor. He will do anything or say anything to get his way and keep power, and as far as I’m concerned he sold his soul to the Democrap party years ago, and is absolutely despicable.

  9. At this point there is little doubt that ROME=USA is on fire. It is up to the adults now to come back to the White House put things back in order and punish the children for breaking the law.

    Harry Reid is like a broken clock right twice a day but only by happenstance not by truth & accuracy. The founders would not & did not put this in and it would be violating the Intent of the Founding Fathers if he ever pulled this Nasty Trick. Keep in mind Harry, your Senators are dropping out of races like flies and see the writing on the wall, might want to think about retirement real soon too.

  10. Reid/Obama want to dismantle the one tool that protects the minority from the “tyranny of the majority.” Nov., 2014 can’t come too soon!

  11. well hang on a second. He thought in 2008 that it would ruin our country. That hasn’t changed. He still thinks it will ruin our country. That doesn’t bother him and is a positive thing to with Obama as President to rebuild in his image.

  12. This knuckledragger moron says you’re wrong; the Repubs only control 1/2 of 1/3 of the government. They do, however, represent @50% of the American voters who identify as ‘not’ Democrats.

  13. My mouth has two sides.

    Why shouldn’t I talk out of both of them?

    Ater all, the “light-skinned” president who “doesn’t have a knee grow dialect unless he wants one” does.

  14. You will be happy to know, Mark, that I copied and pasted the following comment from a previous reply to you…
    “That exact elucidation has been posted many times in response to various comments by different individuals on a variety of topics – within this site and others.
    You, sir, are a shallow thinker in a more-than-shallow gene pool. You and those of your ilk need to develop some new material for cutting and pasting purposes.”
    In the meantime, please try to stay on topic without the name calling and insults – they truly diminish the validity of your responses.

  15. Nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking ship of state. Go for it, Cryptkeeper. Just remember what goes around comes around, and you commiecrats won’t always hold the reins of power.

  16. J — I was thinking “nuk lar”. :) Anyway, thanks. Beaten this dead horse. Lots of themes here — cowboy poetry, cowboy president, old paint–Maybe there is a place for a cowboy haiku. Perhaps ole’ Harry will find me some funding! :)

  17. Geez, we’d fill up most of the NSA’s digital storage space with even a PARTIAL list of liberal hypocracy!

    You have to understand THEIR point of view;
    1) They are your betters.
    2) They are ALWAYS right.
    3) YOU are in the way.
    4) “Any Means Necessary”.

    1 is their belief that, somehow, they are the custodians of greater knowledge and impeccable morality. Witness Obama’s declaration that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, Nancy Pelosi saying SHE knows what’s “Best” for all Americans, and Harry Reid forcing everything because HE knows what’s “Best”. Their deluded followers reinforce this in them, even to the extent of Harry Belafonte saying things like anyone opposing Obama needs to be jailed, and a liberal media slanting EVERY story their way. In this echo chamber, who WOULDN’T start to believe in their own superiority, ESPECIALLY when it is granted anew EVERY DAY?

    2 is just an extension of the “king” theory of divine right appointment. A king is chosen by G_d, and therefore MUST be perfect as he is His chosen insturment. Obama and Co. have absolutely NO trouble beliving this, even if they DON”T agree on the actual particulars of the Deity they claim their lordly powers from.

    3 is you folks not paying your “fair share”, insisiting on term limits, trying to ask questions about stuff that was “a long time ago”, and otherwise CONSTANTLY trying to thwart the will of the One. YOU are a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, unconsiously and undeservedly priviledged stumbling block that must be removed. How?

    4 “By Any Means Necessary”. Made popular by Malcom X. How’d that work out for him AND us,by the way? Anyway, “Any” goes a LONG way, but if you TRULY believe YOU are right, they that MUST mean your opponents are evil, stupid or both, and you MUST save them from THEMSELVES, or at least limit their ability to obstruct YOUR good works. Given such a regressive, barborous horde, you can’t trust them to make the “right” decision ANYWHERE, certainly NOT at the ballot box! Therefore, anything you can do to disenfranchise THEM is a service to mankind; because anything THEY do (witness the DOMA decision) put them in OPPOSITION of mankind, or “Hostis humani generis”. NOTHING you do to such lowly people is bad, because THEY are the problem blocking YOUR solution. This thinking went pretty far – in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Maoist China to name but a few. Don’t EVER think it can’t happen HERE. How much have you ALREADY seen happen to your Country that you would have thought impossible a scant dozen years ago?

    So, by THEIR lights, there IS no truth, no duty, no honor other than to THEM. If they say something is wrong to do, that means it’s wrong for YOU to do. Such wise, honest, and just plain great folks as THEMSELVES don’t need any similar restraint, because THEY know whats best.

    Kind of a Democrat Taqiyya, if you will; a concept our admittedly Islamic trained President would be QUITE faimilar with;

    Like that. Note how NOTHING you do is wrong IF it furthers *your* cause.

    And THAT’S why we see this time and again. Every generation, unfortunately, has to have The Democrat Experience for themselves, because it’s hard to believe people would actually act like this. Unfortuantely, ever time they GET power, they use it to dumb the electorate down as much more as possible, thus seeding the field for their NEXT rise to power…

    G_d help us all. No one else can…

    • Good heavens, cincy, that’s quite an essay.

      Were I in Cincy right now, I’d need to head over to Skyline for an order of 4-way to help digest all that. ;)

      Being in DC, though, I have to settle for the Hard Times Cafe. Eh…close enough for government work.

      • “Were I in Cincy right now, I’d need to head over to Skyline for an order of 4-way to help digest all that. ;)” – Darkangel

        Just doing my part to clog the NSA storage site…

        A little freindly advice from a native for your next visit, should you ever be unfortunate enough to make one; go to Gold Star, not Skyline. You’ll thank me if you do…

        BTW, chili from any source is NOT conventionally considered an “aid” for digestion, but rather an impediment. I would recommend you take me as an unworthy appetizer, followed by a soup course of Walter Williams, an entree of Hayek (Freidrech, not Salma, “The Road to Serfdom” is delish!), and with P.J. O’Rourke for dessert. This should provide ample buffering against any accidental Obama ingestion, which is known to induce vomiting in the healthily informed faster than Ipecac, but seems to be psychoactive in the low-info spectrum.

    • cincy: 4)
      It is not by refusing to lie that we will abolish lies: it is by eradicating class by any means necessary.
      —Jean Paul Sartre, Dirty Hands

      Sartre, part-time Marxist, full-time atheist.

  18. IMHO, the “nuclear option” should be the GOP IDs a couple moderate Dems and vote as a block (plus perhaps a few Dems) to put one someone more towards the middle to lead the Senate. Manchin comes to mind as he’s getting screwed on gun control and coal, there may be others.

    This was done in WA state’s senate. The GOP voted a conservative Dem to lead the Senate. It’s worked at reasonably well — kept the liberal WA dems from railroading in big new taxes and program expansions…

    Put Harry, Chucky and his gang on the back bench.

  19. It’s really saddening to see an elected official twist and change his perspective to a diametrically opposite one just to support his party’s needs. I guess human nature can always reason its way out of anything.

  20. Somehow get rid of Reid — he’s so disgusting and unfair. He is just plain miserable, its not fair that he is so biased. Republicans do nothing to stop once again! He will ruin everything once again!

  21. I for one love it!. We can only hope that Reid does what he says he will do. That way when the GOP take back the senate in 2014, They will be able to put Obama back in the BOX he should never have been let out of in the FIRST PLACE!.

  22. I for one love it!. We can only hope Reid does what he says he will do. That way when the GOP takes back the senate in 2014 they can put Obama back in the box, he should have never been let out of in the first place!.

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