Post columnist Charles Krauthammer was on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier on Thursday, where he spoke with Baier about Senate Democrats’ move to end filibusters of presidential nominees.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I’m always amused by the nuclear option debate, because it is without a doubt the most spectacular display of congressional hypocrisy, which is saying a lot, because whenever the minority party is arguing, it says that this is a very important, indeed a majestic part of our Constitution. And as soon as a minority becomes a majority, like Harry Reid and the Democrats and Obama, all of a sudden it’s a terrible instrument of obstruction. Look, as a matter of the means in which this was done, it was a rather lowdown way. This is a fundamental change in the structure and rules of the Senate, and done on strict party lines, which it should not be — the same way, incidentally, as Obamacare, a major reform on party lines. That should not be. But on the substance of the change, I think the Democrats have stumbled upon the truth, as they do every decade or so. If you were not to know who’s in power, I think it’s a better idea for a president to nominate his nominees — judicial and executive — without having to et a supermajority. The other part of it, as a conservative: I am extremely happy that the Democrats are doing this. The prospects are very strong that the Democrats are going to lose the Senate next year, and there is an excellent chance of losing the White House. The Democrats will absolutely rue the day, because not only are they going to allow a Republican majority, which will come one day anyway, to get its nominees through, but Chuck Grassley has said that when Republicans come into power, they’re going to include Supreme Court nominees. And that would be a devastating blow to the liberals on the court, and to the liberals in the country. So I don’t think Democrats are going to remember this day with any joy in the near future.
BAIER: How much do you think this had to do with Obamacare? Some Republicans lawmakers think it had a lot to do with it.
KRAUTHAMMER: It’s surely a way to have something to talk about, some victory to bring home, in probably the worst month for Democrats in a decade — well, excluding the 2010 elections. I do think it was an issue that was roiling. They do want to have the power to at least put some judges in, because they are losing on all the other elements of their agenda. So I think it was driven by the desire to do something substantive and leave a legacy, but it is a very short-run outlook. It will leave a legacy of a few appointments, but the legacy is that the Republicans will return the favor in spades in the future.
BAIER: And the status of President Obama and his administration at this point?
KRAUTHAMMER: I think it’s very shortsighted. I mean, this is a victory that will last a day and a half in the news, but the cancellation of the policies under Obamacare, the sticker shock when people see the premiums, the breakdown of the system of enrolling people is a daily story that keeps getting larger. It’s an avalanche, and this is not going to protect them from the avalanche. It’s a tent that will last about a day and a half.