If Sen. Lamar Alexander Changes the Senate Rules, Gun Control and Amnesty are Inevitable
The Senate is like a chess game. If you can see three — or five — moves ahead, you will probably win.
But when it reaches the point where you are one move away from being checkmated, it’s hopeless. No amount of expertise can save you from disaster.
And in the case of amnesty — and gun control — “disaster” probably means the loss of constitutional rights and political power to liberals for a generation.
Lamar Alexander, working with four first-time senators, is hatching a plan to change the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster of the motion to proceed and streamline the invocation of cloture.
This, after the “nuclear option” devised by Alexander’s “advisor,” Mary Gold, has already gone a long way to destroying the Senate as an institution.
The importance of being able to filibuster the “motion to proceed” to a bill is that it gives you an opportunity to stop the bill before it reaches the “Let’s make a deal” stage.
Remember Obamacare’s Cornhusker Kickback? The Louisiana Purchase? That’s what the Senate will look like all the time if Alexander is successful.
Alexander believes that he has come up with a clever gimmick, and that gimmick is that his proposals would take effect only after the 2017 elections.
So, for conservatives, here are the options: If the Democrats do well in 2016, then Sen. Chuck Schumer and President Hillary Clinton will get their “wish list” of legislation. At the very least, that will include gun bans, “card check” elections for union bosses, amnesty, and an untold number of job-killing environmental regulations.
Thing Paul Ryan will save you? Even if he does, House Democrats will pursue their 2013 amnesty strategy and pick off blue state House Republicans one-by-one.
The only reason that strategy hasn’t passed amnesty already is that I worked with former Congressman Steve Stockman and others to insure that the 2013 Senate-initiated amnesty bill was blue-slipped as an unconstitutional Senate-initiated revenue measure. Nancy Pelosi couldn’t “pick-off” RINOs because the House never got the papers on the bill from the Senate.
And the reason that Majority Leader Harry Reid didn’t re-pass the bill on a House vehicle is that multiple possible filibusters made the process too cumbersome. These are, incidentally, the multiple filibusters that Alexander proposes to abolish.
But make no mistake about it: If the Senate rules are changed and Democrats win in 2016, the fight against amnesty is lost. Similarly, the fight against gun control and “card check” legislation will also be lost.
But that’s just one of two bad scenarios.
What if Mitch McConnell retains control of the Senate and a squishy Republican wins the White House? Given the dozen bad bills that McConnell has slammed through so far this year, over conservative objections, does anyone believe that a Senate under the iron fist of Mitch McConnell would produce a better result?
In either scenario, amnesty passes. Gun control passes. Card check passes.
Alexander wants to “get things done.” But is anything either Schumer or McConnell would do something that conservatives would applaud?
Obamacare can be repealed thought reconciliation, if you have an honest Congressional Budget Office (CBO). If can be effectively repealed by reconciliation, even if we continue with our current corrupt CBO (Remember CBO’s projection of 20 million Americans on the exchanges by 2016?).
Ditto, defunding Planed Parenthood — and virtually everything else on the GOP’s agenda.
But what about Alexander’s argument that “There is too much dead time on the Senate floor?”
I remember when the Senate was first televised. Part of the argument for letting cameras into the chamber was that the Senate wouldn’t be allowed to go into interminable quorum calls when the public was watching.
How’d that turn out?
If camera didn’t bring efficiency to the Senate, crippling the filibuster won’t achieve that either.
The only way to eliminate quorum calls is for the leadership to control the schedule with an iron first. And that’s medicine which is much worse than the disease.
Finally, there’s the question of whether Schumer and/or McConnell would invoke the “nuclear option” to wipe out the tattered remains of the Senate’s rules. My guess is that a lot of “old bulls” in either party aren’t willing to take that step. And besides, what’s the logic of blowing your own brains out because of fear someone else might do it for you?
So, conservatives, now id the time to decide whether we are going to win or lose on the major issues of our time. Historically, the filibuster(s) have been the most effective tool for stopping liberal proposals. If we relinquish it (them) because of a short-sighted proposal which looks only to the impact of the next few months, everything we believe in and fought for will soon be gone.