Mitchell on the Nuclear Option
During my six years as majority leader of the Senate, Republicans, then in the minority, often used filibusters to achieve their goals.
I didn’t like the results, but I accepted them because Republicans were acting within the rules; and we were able to work together on many other issues. There were 55 Democratic senators then. We had the power to take the drastic action now being proposed, but we refrained from exercising that power because it was as wrong then as it is now.
Most Americans may not be aware of the complexities of the Senate’s rules, but they do know and understand two fundamental principles: playing by the rules and dealing fairly with others.
The nuclear option violates both. If it’s exercised, I hope that enough modern-day Sen. Smiths, guided by what is best for the nation and the Senate, will vote to stop it.
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