Schumer is playing to win, so why aren't we?
We have a majority in the U.S. Senate but act as though the other guys are in charge. Yes, I understand tradition and playing by the rules. However, there are limits, especially when the other side is slowing up governing.
Senator Schumer is winning. His blockade is working just fine, as the Wall Street Journal writes:
The Trump Presidency is well into its seventh month but the Trump Administration still barely exists.
Senate Democrats are abusing Senate rules to undermine the executive branch, and Republicans need to restore normal order.
President Trump got an inexcusably slow start making nominations, but in the past few weeks he's been catching up to his predecessors.
According to the Partnership for Public Service, as of June 28 Mr. Trump had nominated 178 appointees but the Senate had confirmed only 46. Barack Obama had 183 nominees confirmed by that date in his first term, and George W. Bush 130.
The White House has understandably begun to make a public issue of the delays, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says it "has only itself to blame." But a press release Mr. Schumer sent out Monday made the White House case, showing that the Senate has received 242 nominations but confirmed only 50 through June 30. Democrats are now the problem.
Democratic obstruction against nominees is nearly total, most notably including a demand for cloture filings for every nominee – no matter how minor the position. This means a two-day waiting period and then another 30 hours of debate. The 30-hour rule means Mr. Trump might not be able to fill all of those 400 positions in four years. The cloture rule also allows the minority to halt other business during the 30-hour debate period, which helps slow the GOP policy and oversight agenda.
Democrats have also refused to return a single "blue slip" to the Judiciary Committee, which has the effect of blocking consideration of judicial nominees from their home states. Senators like Minnesota's Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar are holding hostage the eminently qualified Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for no reason other than politics.
Yes, it's time for this nonsense to stop.
First, all of these Senate rules are just that: Senate rules! They can be changed by the Senate. There is no need to change the U.S. Constitution.
Second, these rules were created to generate bipartisanship, or to force U.S. senators to work together. Unfortunately, that's not happening. No one is working together or getting anything done. Government is not working, and that's unfair to the voters.
Third, it's okay for the U.S. Senate to require financial or other disclosures from people in public positions. However, it's not okay to reverse the election results by countless demands.
Last, but not least, Senate Democrats up for re-election in West Virginia, Montana, Indiana, Missouri, and others should be asked about these delays. My guess is that they're not popular in places where Mr. Trump won by more than 10 points!
Memo to the majority leader: You have 52 votes, and it's time to use them, as you did with Justice Gorsuch.