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Senate Nuclear Showdown Needs Jack Bauer

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Everyone (or at least everyone cool) is cheering the return of Jack Bauer to television next summer with the scheduled reappearance of 24 on Fox. Yes, many will panic at the threat of a nuclear weapon being detonated on U.S. soil, but not Jack Bauer. He is ready to be bound and tortured, and even willing to give his life to save the country. And he always does.

We desperately need someone like Jack in the Senate today. Someone not looking out for himself or his party. Someone willing to suffer at the hands of his colleagues, his party and the ravenous “mainstream” media. Someone willing to give up their political life for the good of the country.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is, once again, threatening “nuclear war” on his Republican colleagues because – well, frankly – he expects everyone to panic. His move is to circumvent the Senate’s rules and do away with the minority’s power to require 60 votes to end debate on a particular subject (which would require bi-partisanship) and instead bring the requirement down to 51 votes (which will allow Democrats to do as they please, without any compromise, since they have the votes already).

Reid’s blatantly false claims that President Obama’s nominees are being stalled in unprecedented ways are just a smoke screen. According to the Congressional Research Service, the President’s nominees are moving just as fast as those under the two previous administrations. On average President Obama’s nominees have waited 51 days, President Bush’s waited 52 days and President Clinton’s waited 55 days.

This is not about obstruction. As I have noted before, this nuclear threat comes as a result of an unusually weak Democratic leadership that panders to radical, leftist groups time and again.

Sen. Reid of all people knows that this move is bad for the country. He was one of the strongest opponents of it back when he was in the minority. He famously said that there was “no way that [he] would employ or use the Nuclear Option.” “Never, ever,” he said. He has said that working to stop the nuclear option “was the most important issue [he]’d ever worked on in [his] entire career because if that had gone forward, it would have destroyed the Senate as we know it.” And he went as far as to say that doing what he is threatening to do right now would “ruin our country.”

But the filibuster is not even the issue. The Senate is free to change any of its rules at any time. The problem is that to change the rules requires 67 votes, which Reid doesn’t have. So he will break the rules to change the rules. Again, this is something he has strongly decried in the past: “For people to suggest that you can break the rules to change the rules is un-American”; “They are talking about doing something illegal. They are talking about breaking the rules to change the rules, and that is not appropriate. That is not fair, and it is not right.”

Reid knows what he is doing is wrong. He need only listen to himself saying, “Ultimately, this is about removing the last check in Washington against complete abuse of power…” But the pressure from radical groups and radicals within the party are bearing down heavy on his shoulders, and so he has caved.

Reid is no Jack Bauer. He is in it for himself and so he is willing to pander to special interests if it means they will support his continued political career. Even if it will ultimately “ruin our country.”

Will anyone within the Democratic Party stand up to him? Is there any Jack Bauer-like Democrat out there willing to rise above party politics?

If we didn’t know better, one would think Vice-President Joe Biden would stand up to it having said, “This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party It is nothing more or nothing less.” But we do know better.

Then Sen. Barack Obama (if he were still there) would certainly object to this. He said in opposing the move “everyone in this Chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.” But alas, he is not there anymore.

But there has to be someone, right? Anyone?