Monday, November 25, 2013

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 11/22/2013

"Shields and Brooks look at long-term impact of Senate's 'nuclear' rule change" PBS Newshour 11/22/2013


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss their takes on Senate Democrats' move to invoke the "nuclear option" and how that rule change will affect partisanship.  They also look back at how President John F. Kennedy shaped public service in America.

MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  David's -- David's analysis is, as always, interesting, but erosion of partisan -- of comity and good feelings is not beginning with this.  This is not -- this is not a cause.

This is an effect of what has happened.  I mean, this is a consequence of what has been going on.  In running administration, Judy, personnel is policy.  If you can't have your own people at a department or an agency, you can never -- you can never execute or be responsible for -- for the administration of justice and the law, which is your obligation.

Take the case of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Because Republicans objected to the law, they refused to confirm Rich Cordray, first Elizabeth Warren, who is now a member of the United States Senate, who, as a consequence of their opposition, became a national folk hero, and finally Rich Cordray.  And only with the threat of the nuclear option did they do it.

I mean, so it had reached a point -- it will be more partisan, no question about it.  It will be more like the House.  But I don't -- I think this was a -- this was one more step at a time when there wasn't that willingness that there was eight years ago for a gang of 14 to emerge and to say, we're going to break with our own party.  Seven Democrats and seven Republicans, they did that on judicial nominees.

JUDY WOODRUFF (Newshour):  David, the Democrats argue that -- that the obstruction under this president is much worse than it was under his predecessors.

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times columnist:  Well, I think, overall, that's true.

No kidding.  The Republicans started their anti-Obama campaign the day after he was elected.  They try to block EVERYTHING Obama, even policies that Republicans supported before President Obama's election.

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