Former Top Dem Says Democrats Bear Most of Blame for Filibuster-Nuclear Option

Last week, Senate Democrats tried every trick in the book to block the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court. When they launched a filibuster, they knowingly forced Republicans to use the nuclear option to change the rules. They forget that back a few years ago, Republicans tried using a filibuster to block the confirmation of an Obama nominee to a federal court, so Harry Reid changed the Senate rules to allow Democrats to confirm the nominee. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a Democrat, has come out publicly and said that Senate Democrats bear most of the blame for what happened in the Senate last week.

Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice today, but it has come at a cost. The ability to filibuster a future such nomination died last week as the GOP Senate triggered the “nuclear option” and ended the practice. Democrats are crying foul over a “stolen” Supreme Court seat: Their tried to filibuster Gorsuch as payback for the Republican refusal to advance the nomination of Obama appointee Merrick Garland last year.

But that’s not quite the way Tom Daschle sees it. He was the Senate majority leader from 2001 to 2003. This weekend, Daschle admitted in a podcast with RealClearPolitics’ Carl Cannon that Democrats are more to blame than Republicans are for the destruction of “institutional pillars” in the Senate. He said that he finds the “situational ethics” surrounding Senate confirmations to be deeply troubling and destructive of the institution. Daschle appeared to chastise fellow Democrat Chuck Schumer, the current Democratic minority leader, for blaming only Republicans for the Senate’s hyper-partisanship.

“Today is just amazing — the symmetry that exists between those who believe that it’s wrong today but to believe in doing it before,” Daschle told Cannon. “What I would fear the most is a lack of respect and appreciation of the institution itself.”


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