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Fake-Blustering Ted Cruz Has a Plan to Get the America He Wants: Minority Rule

By       Message John Nichols       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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"You can't talk to the American people, you can't talk to our bases on this strategy, and then completely roll over," he said of Cruz. "Thank God he wasn't there fighting at the Alamo!"


That's not the kind of talk that Canada's not-so-favorite son in the 2016 Republican presidential race likes to hear.

So Cruz has been winging it.

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He's talking and talking and talking.

And he's proposing a new strategy to get what he wants: End majority rule.

We're not talking the back-door strategy of faux filibuster gamesmanship. Cruz wants Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, to save him from the slings and arrows of his fellow partisans.

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Reid plans to have the Senate vote Wednesday on removing the Obamacare language from the continuing resolution. The proposal will be rejected, handily and with a clear majority.

But Cruz is asking Reid set a 60-vote threshold for the vote addressing the defunding issue.

"The Senate, generally on controversial votes, we work out an agreement for it to be subject to a sixty-vote threshold," Cruz declared on Fox News Sunday. Otherwise, "the majority is going to run the minority over with a train."

Cruz is wrong on principle: the majority should rule.

And he is wrong on the facts of how the Senate operates when dealing with controversial legislation, amendments and nominations.

During the gun-safety debate that played out earlier this year with regard to the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013, a stack of amendments passed or failed on votes of 52-48, 54-46, 57-43 and 58-42. And the history of the Senate is filled with instances where major legislation advanced by relatively narrow majorities.

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Samuel Alito
 sits on the US Supreme Court based on a 58-42 vote.

Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed by a 52-48 vote.

Senate Democrats (and at least a few Republicans) might have been quite pleased to operate under Cruz's sixty-vote threshold for those controversial confirmations. But no such standard applied in 2006, when Alito was up for confirmation; nor did it apply in 1991, when the Thomas nomination was being considered.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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