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New York Times on restricting Senate filibusters

The Weekly Standard Scrapbook
juxtaposes these two

New York Times opionions on the the same issue. A January 1, 1995, Times editorial on proposals to restrict the use of Senate filibusters:

In the last session of Congress, the Republican minority invoked an endless string of filibusters to frustrate the will of the majority. This relentless abuse of a time-honored Senate tradition so disgusted Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, that he is now willing to forgo easy retribution and drastically limit the filibuster. Hooray for him. . . . Once a rarely used tactic reserved for issues on which senators held passionate views, the filibuster has become the tool of the sore loser, . . . an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose.

On the same issue, March 6, 2005:

The Republicans are claiming that 51 votes should be enough to win confirmation of the White House’s judicial nominees. This flies in the face of Senate history. . . . To block the nominees, the Democrats’ weapon of choice has been the filibuster, a time-honored Senate procedure that prevents a bare majority of senators from running roughshod. . . . The Bush administration likes to call itself "conservative," but there is nothing conservative about endangering one of the great institutions of American democracy, the United States Senate, for the sake of an ideological crusade.

Discussions - 3 Comments

I don’t know the history of the ’95 filibusters, but doesn’t it also show a change of position by the Republicans, as well as the Democrats/NYT? Or is there a principled difference between what the Republicans did then and what they are saying now?

The Republicans are being consistent. The ’95 NYT editorial is bemoaning legislative filibusters, the only filibusters that actually are a "time-honored tradition." Those are what the GOP used in the early Clinton years, and no one is advocating doing away with them now. What the Dems are using now--filibusters of judicial nominees--is unprecedented. The GOP never used them, even when it was a minority in the Senate in ’93-’95 under Clinton. This actually makes the NYT’s recent editorial even more of a contradiction than it might seem on its face. Not only is the NYT flip-flopping completely on filibusters, but it’s gone from opposing the genuine time-honored filibuster to championing the unprecedented (i.e., not time-honored) new one.

The New York Times is a tool of the Democratic Party. It is no surprise that they are inconsistent and hypocritical.

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