Jul 15, 2013 4:37 PM GMT
In a way maybe it's a good thing if he pulls the trigger. Then when the Republicans eventually take back the Senate and control the house, "what goes around, comes around".
It’s not the first time the parties have reached an impasse over blocked nominations. In 2005, after minority Democrats filibustered an entire slate of Bush judicial nominees, majority Republicans threatened to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations. With a showdown approaching, senators formed the so-called “Gang of 14″ and negotiated a settlement. Some nominees were confirmed, some were killed, and the parties promised not to filibuster judicial nominees in the future except in “extraordinary circumstances.” (Those circumstances were left undefined.)
“Everybody got to the edge of the precipice and looked into the abyss and pulled back,” Cornyn recalls. “They realized that what goes around, comes around. But I have a different feel of it this time. I have a feeling that Reid has gone so far out on a limb. He’s promised not to do this, but he has so much pressure from some of these relatively new people in his caucus. There are not enough of the old hands who will say, ‘You have to realize, this could come around and bite us.’”
Cornyn specifically mentioned Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley, Mark Udall, and Sheldon Whitehouse, all of whom are pushing hard for filibuster “reform.” Merkley and Udall came to the Senate in 2009, and Whitehouse in 2007, so all have served only with a Democratic majority. “They have bought into this narrative that it’s all the Republicans’ fault,” says Cornyn.