You can’t be “just a little bit pregnant.”
Similarly, you can’t cheat “just a little.”
Once you have made it clear that you are willing to break the rules in order to win, the rules are meaningless.
So it is with some alarm that we note that Harry Reid -- in an exercise of raw power -- intends within the next week to try to openly break the Senate rules in order to confirm all pending Executive Branch nominees.
You may remember that, at the beginning of the year, Reid made the specious argument that you could change the rules at the beginning of a two-year congressional session -- and only at the beginning of the congressional session.
Well, we are no longer at the start of the term.
A quarter of the 113th Congress had now come and gone. And even the pseudo-intellectual arguments for obliterating the Senate rules are gone.
This is an exercise in raw political power. This is an effort by Reid to say: “I can cheat whenever I want. And no one can stop me.”
The first showdown case will occur over efforts to fill the National Labor Relations Board. You may remember that Obama was slapped down by the courts for appointing these “members” as “recess appointments” when Congress wasn’t in recess.
Now, having been caught cheating, Obama and Reid are threatening to tip over the chess board in order to confirm these illegal “recess appointments.”
But that’s just the beginning.
Once it is impossible to filibuster Executive Branch appointments, Obama will soon carry through on his word to slam through a rabidly anti-gun zealot to head the ATF.
And does anyone think that the Senate would comply with the niceties of the rules it has obliterated -- if what was at stake was an anti-gun zealot nominated to the Supreme Court in order to overturn the Heller and McDonald decisions?
Finally, it is just not credible for Reid to say: “I’m going to cheat. But I’m going to define the way in which I cheat to limit my cheating to this narrow way.”
All year, MSNBC has been whining that Democrat gun control has been thwarted by the Senate filibuster rules.
If the Senate’s filibuster rules are obliterated, you can be sure that the Toomey-Manchin amendment -- with its universal gun registries -- would soon be brought up again and passed.
Gun owners should realize that the Feinstein gun and magazine bans lost by such a large margin only because a lot of anti-gun senators knew they would not muster the 60 votes needed. If there were a 50-vote margin -- and their votes made a difference -- many of these anti-gunners would switch their votes and pass Feinstein.
So the reason gun control did not pass is because the Senate rules allowing us to filibuster it. They may seem dry and boring, but the question of whether we win or lose will depend on them.
ACTION: Contact Your Senator . Tell him to oppose Harry Reid’s “cheat scheme” to violate the Senate rules in order to change the Senate rules.