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With Senate Republicans poised to use the “nuclear option” to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, will the liberal media hypocritically accuse them of a power grab? In 2013, when then-Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did basically the same thing, he was cheered on in the studios of MSNBC and CNN.
Back then MSNBC’s Chris Hayes hailed it as “an affirmative win for democracy,” while his colleague Rachel Maddow blurted “This is a huge freaking deal. This is like 3-inch headlines. This is like people who don’t even care about politics really ought to care about this.”
Over on CNN, political analyst Paul Begala hailed the nakedly partisan maneuver by Reid as necessary, whining that Republicans had “so abused” the filibuster that Democrats “can’t take it anymore.” And Begala’s colleague Ron Brownstein approved of Reid’s decision as a forward-thinking move: “The idea of requiring a super majority for the president to appoint his nominees just is anachronistic.”
But the cable network news hosts and analysts weren’t the only ones championing the nuclear option. On the pages of the Los Angeles Times, Reid’s move was celebrated in a November 22 editorial “Democrats bust the filibuster, and good for them.”
The Times editorial board crowed: “We welcome this action not because it represents a comeuppance for arrogant Republicans but because filibustering presidential nominees is undemocratic and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution, which says that the president shall appoint judges and other officials ‘by and with the advice and consent of the Senate’ — not by and with a supermajority of the Senate.” The Times went on to call it “a victory not just for the Democrats but for good government.”
That same day, The New York Times championed the procedure in an editorial headlined “Democracy Returns to the Senate.”