The former Democratic Senator Majority Leader (prior to Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid) was Tom Daschle of South Dakota. He recently spoke on a podcast over the weekend in which he squarely blamed his party more for the destruction of the upper chamber’s “institutional pillars,” far more so than anything the Republican Party has done in recent years.
Daschle spoke on Sunday to the Executive Editor of Real Clear Politics, Carl Cannon, and has some rather interesting things to say about the decision of the Republican led Senate to get rid of the filibuster in order to pass Trump Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch by a 55-45, mostly party line vote, after failing to get the 60 votes traditionally needed to get past a filibuster and hold and an up or down vote.
The move marked the first time the procedure was removed for a Supreme Court nominee, however, Democrats in the past lowered the threshold to ram through Obamacare and for all other presidential appointments, including appellate judges and U.S. District Court judges beginning in 2013.
After his confirmation on Friday, the current Senate Minority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer accused Republicans of breaking longstanding Senate rules and risking the trust of the American people in a impartial system of law and justice. He also accused Republicans of making the Senate and the Supreme Court a “more partisan” place.
GOP chose to break the rules & as a result American’s faith in the integrity of SCOTUS & their trust in impartiality of the law will suffer.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 7, 2017
Daschle, however, saw it a little differently, and he would know. A little over a decade ago, he presided over the Democratic side of a fight with Republicans over filibusters and judges. A deal was briefly reached after Daschle was voted out of the Senate. Yet, that is not something you’re likely to see anymore on Capitol Hill. And that seems to bother the former South Dakota Senator.
“Today is just amazing . . . what I would I fear the most is a lack of respect and appreciation of the institution itself,” Daschle said in the interview.
Daschle then put the majority of the blame for the change in the Senate and the breakdown of the decorum in the Senate on the laps of Democratic members.
“Unfortunately, Democrats have far dirtier hands when it comes to the erosion of the institutional pillars of the Senate than Republicans . . . and then the whole budget process was a Democratic product, and that was in my view a procedural disaster,” Daschle said.
He also reminded listeners that it was the Democratic Party that “lowered the threshold from 67 to 60.”
He continued, “And then in 2013, we took it away completely for nominations and that was Democratic. So, Democrats who may lament this institutional deterioration, I think there’s a lot of history here that can’t be explained away.”
[image via screengrab]