He may not be the best political strategist, and he might have an appallingly bad sense of fight-timing, but Ted Cruz bows to nobody when it comes to perspicacity. And while others on the Right were calling Harry Reid's mushroom cloud over Filibusterburg an attempt at distracting the public from the ObamaCare disaster - as if that was possible, particularly when so few Americans even know what a filibuster is - the junior senator from Texas cut straight to the heart of Donk motivations like cardiologists used to pry open rib cages:
Senate Democrats, according to Cruz, enacted "the nuclear option" to prevent filibusters against appellate court nominees in order to make it difficult for Republicans to repeal the disastrous [Una]ffordable Care[-Less] Act, Obama's signature healthcare legislation, The Hill reported.
"The heart of this action is directed at packing the D.C. Circuit (court) because that is the court that will review the lawless behavior of the Obama administration implementing ObamaCare," said Cruz, a leading force in the government shutdown last month in a confrontation over the [Una]ffordable Care[-Less] Act.
"President Obama and the administration refuse to follow the plain text of the law, and the D.C. Circuit is the court of appeals that has been holding the administration accountable."
Cruz said the change in the filibuster rule, passed by the Senate on Thursday, was designed purely "to pack that court with judges that they believe will be a rubber stamp" to Democratic policy.
The D.C. court has a quota of 11 seats. Three have been vacant. Of the current judges, four were appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democrats.
Obama has nominated Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard, and Robert Wilkins, but their nominations were being filibustered by Republicans who worried a shifting balance of power.
Now, strictly speaking, that isn't "court-packing," at least not in the sense that FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court in his second term by trying to get additional seats added to the SCOTUS and fill them with his political allies as an end-run around the existing Court. O is simply seeking to fill the three vacancies with his political allies and create a 7-4 Obamunist majority on a full DC circuit. Three vacancies that only exist because Democrats, back in the Bush years, filibustered Dubya's appellate court nominations to that same DC Circuit (and other appellate courts). And now, when Republicans were returning the favor, Dems had the cajones to push the Big Red Button that John McCain sabotaged his party from pushing eight years ago.
It should also be pointed out that a "packed" DC Circuit can only make it difficult to overturn ObamaCare via the courts. It can't prevent a unified Republican-controlled government from repealing it, burning it, burying the remains, paving it over with enough concrete to build another Hoover Dam, salting that, and then pissing on it for ritual good measure.
And in the mean time, as one of the three Democrats to vote against "going nuclear" - retiring (natch) Michigan Senator Carl Levin - observed, there will come a time (barring Obama's coup) when the Republicans are back in the majority, and if 'Pubbies choose to exact a little medieval retribution - and elephants have long memories (or are supposed to, anyway) - Dems will be up that famous crick with no paddle, no floatation device, and an anchor around each one of their scrawny, fleshy necks. Imagine President Scott Walker dispensing with worries about “confirmability” and selecting judges like those whom President Ronald Reagan elevated before Democrats first deployed the filibuster against nominees: Judges Richard Posner, Frank Easterbrook, Laurence Silberman, Douglas Ginsburg, and J. Harvie Wilkinson, among others, as John Yoo did today. Imagine Supreme Court Justice Miguel Estrada. Hell, imagine impeaching Justices Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan and replacing them with clones of Justice Scalia.
As Captain Kirk told the leaders of Eminiar and Vendikar (at 0:19).....
.....we didn't start this war; but we're liable to finish it.
But then, this is the GOP we're talking about, a party that can talk (and "fight") itself out of a wet dream, so all such bets should be heavily hedged.
Still, if we're to truly take this country back from its foreign-minded occupiers, we're going to need their level of ruthlessness and naked aggression, as well as to finally emerge from the decades-old time warp most Republicans have been living in and come to grips with the fact that open, one-step-below-actual-shooting partisan warfare is politics as usual in the twenty-first century, that there is no "Senate comity" and hasn't been for at least a generation, and that upon taking power back in next year's midterms, GOPers cannot and dare not retreat into that bubble of "colleagueal" delusion, unless they want that re-ascension to power to be a sad coda instead of the phoenix-like rebirth of the American Republic that it must be.
Isn't that why Tea Partiers should want Ted Cruz to be Senate Majority Leader....okay, fat chance of that ever happening this decade after his fratricidal rampage this summer....Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman? Yeah, let's go with that - instead of POTUS? After all, you can never have too many people who keep their eyes on the prize.