The magnificent stupidity of the “nuclear option”
It’s a trainwreck. Republicans undoubtedly stole the nomination from Merrick Garland, which makes calls by the GOP for Democrats to stop being obstructionist rich in hypocrisy.
But then again, there’s plenty of hypocrisy in Democratic criticisms of today’s use of the “nuclear option.” After all, they made a similar move in 2013, explicitly eliminating the filibuster for all nominations except the Supreme Court.
It was a stupid thing for Democrats to do in 2013 and it’s a stupid thing for Republicans to do in 2017. Why? Because these rules apply to everyone going forward, no matter which party is in power.
The lack of foresight and critical thinking the nuclear option displays when any party uses it are staggering, and illustrative of Congress’ toxic tendency to put pettiness and blind party loyalty before the best interests of their constituents.
This post originally appeared in my newsletter, Modern Law.
Democracy.io – Contact your Members of Congress
Great stuff from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Failure to effectively reach members of Congress has disastrous consequences. Studies show that politicians fundamentally misconceive their constituents’ views, making it harder for them to represent us in the lawmaking process.
That’s why we built Democracy.io: a new tool to put you in touch with your members of Congress—with as few clicks as possible.
More House of Representatives data available in XML
O’Reilly‘s Alex Howard reports that both House floor summaries and bulk downloads of all House legislation are now available in XML. It doesn’t mean everything Congress does is available yet, but it’s a great progression.
I really hope some enterprising developers make something cool with the newly-available data streams, and future offerings as well. I propose an app that provides push notifications when keywords of your choice are mentioned on the House floor.