Well, the fix is in--and, frankly, it looks as though Senate Republicans have caved in on everything--and have little to show for it.
In their effort to "save" the filibuster, according to Politico, Senators John McCain (RINO-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) brokered a deal that gives Democrats nearly everything* they wanted.
In sum, here's how it shakes out: Harry Reid gets to keep the threat of using the nuclear option at some later point. In exchange, the GOP gets to keep the pretense of having the ability to filibuster in return for caving in on five out of seven of Obama's controversial appointments:
- Richard Cordray gets to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board--that's a done deal as of this morning
- Thomas Perez will become Secretary of Labor
- Gina McCarthy will head the EPA
- Union attorney and current NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce gets to keep his job
- * Obama's constitutionally-challenged NLRB members, Operating Engineers union attorney Richard Griffin and ex-Kennedy lawyer Sharon Block will get dumped but...
...Here's the kicker, according to the New York Times:
But organized labor would be allowed to recommend their replacement nominees, who would be confirmed before the end of the month.
So, Republicans avoided the nuclear option by 'compromising' and giving Barack Obama almost everyone he wanted. And, for those he wanted but did not get, union bosses get to pick their replacement nominees.
As Dave Weigel at Slate.com observes:
By giving Democrats nearly everything they asked for, Republicans avoided a change to the filibuster.
Notwithstanding the fact that he and his fellow union bosses get to pick the Griffin's and Block's replacements, CWA union boss Larry Cohen--whose union spent hundreds of thousands of its members' dues to kill the filibuster--still isn't happy though:
“There is not one intellectual argument, either about Block and Griffin, why those nominations shouldn’t go forward. It’s just [Republicans] want their pound of flesh from working people in this country, and this is where they’re going to get it because they were able to convince four or five Democrats to go with them,” he said.
"Those Democrats will know we know who they are, and we know, as a progressive coalition in this country, you will not split up the fight, and we will continue to work together … to fix the Senate,” Cohen added.
In other words, Cohen isn't happy getting nearly the whole loaf, he wants the heel and the crumbs as well.
The reality is, for the Republicans to cave in to nearly every one of Barack Obama's nominees--save the two unconstitutional NLRB appointments--in order to save the filibuster, it won't mean anything in the long run.
Union bosses will still control the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, and they got their CFCB pick put in place as well; radical environmentalists still get the EPA; and, as importantly, Harry Reid and his Democrats cohorts can still threaten to use the nuclear option whenever Republicans threaten to get out of line.
That's some compromise.
It seems that before the ink was dry on the GOP caving in, Barack Obama had selected his NLRB replacement nominees. According to Politico, they are AFL-CIO associate general counsel Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa, chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce
As part of the deal to avoid the so-called nuclear option, Republicans agreed not to block the replacement nominees for Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, which were picked Tuesday in consultation with AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka.
This begs the question: Do Senate Republicans feel a little duped yet...just a little?
"Truth isn't mean. It's truth."
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)
"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."