Chuck Grassley Abuses the Constitution by HIS definition

(Typical Republican hypocrisy on filibusters. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

March 14, 2005 – The New Yorker publishes an article, NUKE ‘EM in which Senator Chuck Grassley is quoted, discussing the purpose of the filibuster:

“Filibusters are designed so that the minority can bring about compromise on legislation,” Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told Toobin. “But you can’t compromise a Presidential nomination. It’s yes or no. So filibusters on nominations are an abuse of our function under the Constitution to advise and consent.

My husband called Grassley's office today – he read this quote to the aide and asked, “Does Senator Grassley stand by this statement?”

Aide: Oh yes. Absolutely. The Senator stands by that statement.

clonecone: Really? Then why did he vote against cloture for Chris Hill to be Ambassador to Iraq? Why is Senator Grassley helping to hold up Dawn Johnsen's confirmation vote? And why did he help prevent the Senate confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius to Secretary of Health and Human Services?

Aide: I'll be sure the Senator knows your opinion. Thanks for calling.

/translation – I'm a weasel and so is the Senator I work for, so I have no answer for you. Oh, and Senator Grassley wants me to run out and take more photos of idling cars outside of offices in D.C. This is his pet project – idling cars is a serious issue that every American (and certainly every Iowan) really cares about.

So, on 4/20/09 Senator Grassley, according to his own definition, voted to abuse the Constitution. Senator Grassley prides himself on being an “honest” kinda guy. What kind of honest guy votes to abuse the Constitution?

Dawn Johnsen's vote is being stalled by Republicans who are threatening to filibuster. This seems surprising because Senator Grassley's vote isn't in question – I mean, he's not an abuser of the Constitution, so is he really planning to help the Republicans filibuster Dawn Johnsen's nomination? Surely not.

And I'm SURE Senator Grassley doesn't plan on joining a possible filibuster (suggested by Senator Inhofe) of Judge David Hamilton, who was nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

And there's just NO way Senator Grassley would join in a filibuster of Kathleen Sebelius. His spokeswoman says he intends to vote for cloture:

Meanwhile, at least one Republican who opposes Sebelius’s confirmation plans to vote to end any GOP filibusters. Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) voted against Sebelius in committee and will do the same on the Senate floor, but he intends to vote for cloture, a spokeswoman said. Grassley believes “it would be impossible to get an anti-abortion HHS secretary nominee in this administration, so holding things up wouldn’t change the ultimate outcome,” the spokeswoman explained.

First of all, read the phrase in bold – “holding things up wouldn't change the ultimate outcome”? That doesn't really work with his initial statement defining a Constitutional use of filibusters:

“Filibusters are designed so that the minority can bring about compromise on legislation,” Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told Toobin. “But you can’t compromise a Presidential nomination. It’s yes or no. So filibusters on nominations are an abuse of our function under the Constitution to advise and consent.

There is no legislation here – we're talking about a nomination and according to Grassley, filibustering nominations is “an abuse of our function under the Constitution to advise and consent.” It doesn't matter if Grassley wants an anti-choice nominee and decided not to filibuster because he thinks he'll never get one. Regardless of whether or not he'd ever get the nominee he wants, it is (according to him) an ABUSE of the Constitution to vote against cloture.

So, will he really vote for cloture? Since Senator Grassley, by his own definition, voted just this week to abuse the Constitution, can we trust *anything* this Senator says?

I certainly don't.

  • I'd like to see Senator Grassley

    answer some questions about this – not just at some town hall meetings, but I want media folks to ask him some questions about this.

    This hypocrisy can’t stand.  

  • thanks for the cross-post

    I had no idea clonecone was your husband, by the way.

  • for those who didn't get the idling cars

    comment in this diary, Senator Grassley posted this on his Twitter feed yesterday:

    Ye gods. Saw 3 more idling fdrl cars. Had staff take phtos and later got call asking why we took phtos. My advice, turn off cars thn no phto

    I agree with him that cars shouldn’t idle, but this is a classic Grassley issue–he can demonstratively oppose government waste without doing anything significant. I wish he’d voted for some of those efforts to raise fuel efficiency standards for cars if he really wanted us not to consume so much oil.

  • Elise, clinecone

    this has the makings of an awesome Op-Ed piece for the DM Register.  it would be great to get wider distro on this to show the broader Repub hypocrisy on such issues through an Iowa connection.  

  • I saw that, too

    I still have a window open to the TPM comment on Grassley’s hypocricy, thinking I should get this onto the Iowa blogs somehow.  Thanks.  How did you find the old Grassley gas?

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