The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at WSJ written by the editor, James Taranto.
Not to Mention Deceptive Labeling
“Man With Container Labeled ‘Not Weed’ Cited for Pot Possession”- headline, Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, March 1
“Do You Like Explaining Religious Teachings That Are Unpopular in SF? Have We Got the Job for You”—headline, San Francisco Chronicle website, March 2
News of the Tautological
“U.S. Manufacturing Slows as Output and Hiring Weaken”—headline, Associated Press, March 2
Bottom Story of the Day
“Twenty-Three Percent of Americans Have Never Heard of Benjamin Netanyahu”—headline, NationalJournal, March 2
The Pointless Posturing Prize
We can’t say we’ve been closely following the dispute in Congress over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which looks to us like yet another government-shutdown fight Republicans are futilely waging over a legitimate grievance. But this bit from the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis caught our attention:
[House Majority Leader Kevin] McCarthy suggested Sunday that [Senate] Democrats were obstructing a solution, noting that four Democrats joined 53 Republicans in voting Friday to proceed with a bill that would overturn Obama’s most recent immigration orders. He also suggested, when prompted by “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) might invoke the “nuclear option” of changing Senate rules to allow debate to proceed without the requisite 60 votes.
Senate rules have already been changed [by Democrats, in 2013] to require only a simple majority to allow confirmations of judicial nominees and executive appointments to proceed. But other legislation, such as the DHS funding bill and the separate bill to overturn the immigration orders, remains subject to a 60-vote hurdle.
“That’s not nuclear when 57 percent of the American representation says [the Obama immigration orders are] wrong,” McCarthy said. “That’s not in the Constitution. I think they should change the rule.”
Left unsaid: Even if Senate rules were changed to pave way for disapproval of Obama’s immigration actions, 57 Senate votes would not be enough to override a presidential veto.
When DeBonis tweeted his article with a note reiterating that last point, Adam Jentleson, communications director for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, answered: “Republicans want to change the rules purely for political positioning, not to actually get anything done.” Twitchy .com picked it up and mocked Jentleson, observing that “it looks like he suffers from short-term memory loss” and quoting another tweet advising him to “look up irony in the dictionary.”
Jentleson has a point, doesn’t he? One needn’t approve of Reid’s changing the rules to acknowledge that it accomplished an immediate goal for the Democrats, whereas the move McCarthy suggests would merely advance a bill toward death by veto.
But then we saw this, in the Washington Free Beacon:
Harry Reid will force the Senate to go through procedural hurdles to delay Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from bringing up the president’s Keystone XL veto for an override vote.
Last week, President Obama vetoed the popular bipartisan Keystone XL Pipeline bill passed by the Senate.
This week, the Senate is planning a vote to override the president’s veto. Democrats, led by Minority Leader Harry Reid, are set to revoke normal order and attempt to filibuster the override of the president’s veto message.
The cloture vote on a veto message will be the first in the history of the United States Senate. That is because the threshold for a veto override is 67, while the threshold for a cloture vote is only 60. The cloture vote is nothing more than a redundancy since it is assumed cloture would be reached if the Senate were aiming for a two-thirds override.
It’s also a waste of time, and maybe that’s the idea.
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”