Democrats in the Senate exercised the so-called “nuclear option” on filibuster rules, effectively eliminating their use to prevent a simple-majority vote on executive appointments (the rule change does not apply to filibusters of legislation). The “nuclear option” term was, somewhat ironically, coined a decade ago by a member of the Republican Party facing growing use of the filibuster by the then-Democratic minority in the Senate. Readers looked on skeptically over November and December on the issue. Nearly 80 percent took a negative view of the Democrats’ move.
“The real mark of a leader is the ability to bring parties together and reach a compromise,” remarked Tom T., commenting at OverdriveOnline.com, suggesting the president and Democratic colleagues in the Senate just didn’t have the necessary skill to do what it takes.
“Typical childish play,” echoed Timothy H. Martin, writing on Overdrive’s Facebook page. Members of both parties, he added, “should be put in a sandbox somewhere and not let out until they get along.”
There was, however, a measure of support for the move among commenters. “Republicans have blocked 67 nominees” to federal agencies and the courts “that the Obama administration has presented,” wrote M. Rick Richards, presenting the crux of the problem. “The total number of blocked nominees combined for all presidents is 62.”