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Letters: Senate Democrats go nuclear

November 24, 2013
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) arrives for a news conference after the Senate passed the "nuclear option", a controversial rules change relating to filibusters.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) arrives for a news conference… (Win McNamee / Getty Images )

Re "Senate curbs filibusters in historic shift," Nov. 22

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his Democratic colleagues have changed the filibuster rule to exclude nominations for administration appointees (except for Supreme Court justices). In other words, the majority now rules.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) denounced Democrats for trying to "break the rules to change the rules." He spoke passionately about the terrible, unprincipled action by the Democrats.

And then McConnell warned Democrats they might regret their action sooner than they think. So much for principle.

John R. Shiban

Westlake Village

What a disgrace. As senator in 2005, Barack Obama spoke vociferously against this very change in the Senate rules. He said:

"If the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party and the millions of Americans who ask us to be their voice, I fear that the already partisan atmosphere will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. That doesn't serve anyone's best interests, and it certainly isn't what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind."

Now that his party controls the Senate, it's OK. This is an abuse of power, but it is par for the course for this administration. He is merely doing what he said he would do before his election. He is "fundamentally transforming" our country.

Lisa Niedenthal

Los Angeles

I kept looking for some historical perspective in your article but did not find the fact that in the entire history of our nation, there have been 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominees, and half have come during the Obama administration.

Looking in from the outside, that would seem a noteworthy piece of the puzzle in showing just what actually led up to such a historic change in Senate rules.

Martin Wauson



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