Tennessee Senator Schmuck Full Of Supreme Court Chootspah! Gesundheit!
I'm thinking Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander had a baptism, rather than a bris. But after reading his speech on Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination, I thought I might offer him a little Yiddish lesson. Just so he should know what my people might be saying when it sounds like we swallowed a German hairball. It's for your own good I tell you these things, Boychik! And it's raining today in DC, so take a hat that you don't catch your death of cold, Heavenforbid.
Lesson 1: CHUTZPAH!
Let's say, for example, your party has just spent 293 days blocking Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court because you spontaneously made up a new rule that presidents aren't allowed to nominate judges in the last year of their term.
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) February 15, 2016
But now that it's your party in power, you pretended that no one had ever been blocked.
"Throughout the Senate’s history, approval of even the most controversial presidential nominations has required only a majority vote." pic.twitter.com/84kXMpuGso
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) March 27, 2017
People might say you had a lot of CHUTZPAH, by which they'd mean you had some nerve to go on television and tell such a lie. They might even call you a GONIF, which is not a compliment to your ethics.
2. YEDER EYZL HOT LIB TSU HERN VI ER ALEYN HIRZET: Every ass likes to hear himself bray.
Not contented with telling your whoppers about the history of the Supreme Court on the floor of the Senate, you reprinted them in full on your website for all to read and cherish. And fact check.
Weirdly enough, the digital copy was no less factually inaccurate. Go know!
3. A HALBER EMEZ IS A GANTZER LEEGEN: A half truth is a whole lie.
In fact, there was quite a lot of Halber Emez in your speech.
Filibustering to death the Gorsuch nomination—or any presidential nomination, for that matter—flies in the face of 230 years of Senate tradition.
Throughout the Senate’s history, approval of even the most controversial presidential nominations has required only a majority vote.
You know, Judge Merrick Garland, whom we all agree is a real MENSCH, would probably have a different opinion on that.
In the most literal sense, you are correct. Very few presidential nominees have been technically filibustered by one party holding the floor and speaking until the other party gives up and withdraws the nomination. But when we say "filibuster," what we really mean is "threaten to filibuster." In 1968, during the last five months of LBJ's term, Republicans actually talked for four straight days to derail the elevation of Justice Abe Fortas to Chief Justice. Since 1975, though, all parties have agreed that debate can be "held open" without wasting hours and hours HOCKEN A CHAINIK on the Senate floor. One party indicates its intent to filibuster, and the other party shows it has the 60 votes required for cloture before they proceed to a vote.
You know who actually filibustered? Badass Texas Senator Wendy Davis.
You know who hid behind a threat?
4. DREY MIR NIT KEYN KOP!: Don't twist my head!
And speaking of half truths, your website goes on to say:
During most of the 20th century, when one party controlled the White House and the Senate seventy per cent of the time, the minority never filibustered to death a single presidential nominee.
In 2005, Democrats filibustered the nominations of six of George W. Bush's judicial nominees. Under threat of ending the filibuster rule, i.e. the nuclear option, 14 senators got together and agreed that the judicial filibuster would not be used except in "extreme cases." They also agreed that Judges Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and William Pryor Jr. would be confirmed, while three other judicial nominees would be withdrawn. It seems pretty clear that those three judges were "filibustered to death" in any rational interpretation of the words.
5. ES SHIT ZIKH FUN IM KHOKHMES VI FUN A TSIG BOBKES: He spews bullshit like a sick goat.
Then in 2011 and 2013 Republicans returned the favor by seeking to block five of President Obama’s nominees for the circuit court by insisting on a 60 vote cloture on each.
Republicans alleged the president was trying to pack the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia with three liberal judges.
Thank you, Senator Alexander, for that little hat tip to the truth where you acknowledge that it was a mere "allegation" that Obama was trying to "pack the Circuit Court" in DC. IRL, Democrats were simply trying to fill longstanding vacancies in the nation's second most powerful judicial body, one of which had been open since John Roberts had been elevated to the Supreme Court in 2003 under George Bush.
In fact, Republicans obstructed judicial appointments so thoroughly that the Administrative Office for the US Courts declared judicial emergencies in several districts, as described by People for the American Way.
We see the same thing with judicial emergencies, a formal designation assigned by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts for vacancies where the caseload per judge is so high that it endangers access to justice. Judicial emergencies have skyrocketed from 12 at the beginning of the new congress to 32 as of April 1 of this year . As the chart below shows, Democrats in the Senate during Bush’s last two years did not allow the number of judicial emergencies to increase in a similar fashion, and in fact the number generally remained steady or decreased during most of those two years.
So, it's pretty disingenuous for the Senator to describe this as simply returning the favor when the outcomes were so different.
In fact, Republicans forced far more cloture motions during the Obama administration than at any period in history.
6. ER BAKT LIGNS AZOY VI BEYGL: He bakes lies like they're bagels.
To overcome Republican objections, Democrats invoked the so-called “nuclear option.” They broke the Senate rules to change the rules. The new rule eliminated the possibility of 60 vote cloture motions for all presidential nominees except for the Supreme Court.
No. Changing a rule is not the same as breaking a rule. When the Red Team ditches the filibuster rule entirely next week, you will be within your rights to do so. You will just be hypocritical assholes.
In fact, per NPR, Democrats tried mightily to preserve the filibuster rule during the Obama administration. But Mitch McConnell was too busy being the party of NO to negotiate.
In 2013 when Democrats were in despair over GOP delaying tactics on lower court judgeships, Sen. John McCain worked out a deal with them to avoid changing the filibuster rule. The deal centered on three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. President Obama had nominated three people for those vacancies, and all had cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee. Under the deal worked out with McCain, the Democrats would forgo a change in the filibuster rule if the Republicans would allow a vote on one of those nominees [again, out of three]. McCain brought the deal to the Republican caucus. But it was rejected, whereupon the Democrats voted to get rid of the filibuster for lower court judges and executive branch nominees.
The Democrats offered Republicans two vetoes for just one confirmation. The Republicans graciously declined.
7. HODEVE A VOLF VI LANG, KUKT ER ALTS IN VALD ARAYN: No matter how long you tame a wolf, he will still look to the woods.
So, should Democrats confirm Gorsuch in hopes of holding on to the filibuster rule? Should we try to preserve it as a tool in case there is a truly horrible nominee next time?
Take it from Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
Asked about the possibility that the filibuster would be “nuked,” ripping it away from Democrats in future fights, Whitehouse chuckled.
“To my mind, there’s no reason to lose a fight in order to save yourself for a later fight,” he said. “You just face the same fight later, plus you’ve already lost.”
Exactly. There's an outside chance that the Republicans won't have the votes to change the filibuster rule next week. Why roll over now just to get rolled later? Why pretend that there might be comity or fair play? Once a wolf, ALWAYS a wolf.
Here's a bonus Yiddishism! DOS LAND BRENT, UN DI BOBE TSVOGT ZIKH. The country's on fire and grandma is washing her hair. Quit washing your hair, and donate a dollar to Wonkette today!
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.