From a Proggle named Jason Easley at Politicus USA (“Real Liberal Politics”):
Well, there are a lot of wild outside the mainstream nominees and pals of Barack Obama that he wants to see help him usher in an agenda to transform America, so that is one thing that Congress has done right, and that is oppose some of these nominees. As for this rule change that some people are calling the nuclear option under Senate rules, you know, I guarantee this week, Thanksgiving dinner, people sitting around their tables, we’re not going to be talking about the president blessing this thwarting of the balance of power in Congress with new Senate rules called the nuclear option.
People are going to be talking about our failed big government policies that will bankrupt this country, so this distraction, this new talking point in the media, and with Congress, with Senators and with the president blessing this action. It’s a distraction. It’s a lot of double standard and Democrat hypocrisy, because just a few years ago they so anti antinuclear option. They were against thought of Republicans ever considering changing these rules, and yet now it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
American people they don’t care about distractions like that. There not in that inside baseball, Senate rules stuff. They want government to be back on our side. They want it to get out of our lives, and uh, in order to do that we need those who will not fundamentally transform America, but will fundamentally restore what’s right about America. We do that by having good judicial nominees, and nominees in these regulatory agencies and elsewhere. So this new rule change, it stinks.
I don’t think Palin knows exactly what the nuclear option is. She seems to know that it was a rules change, and that it impacts nominees, but the president had nothing to do with the nuclear option. The president didn’t get to vote on it, or have a say in the change. Palin seemed to be suggesting that the nuclear option was some kind of Obama conspiracy to distract America.
Palin also claimed that Congress was involved in the nuclear option. The nuclear option had nothing to do with the House. When she was the Republican vice presidential nominee, Palin claimed that the vice president ran the Senate, so her statements today aren’t a surprise.
Wow. I saw that headline at Memeorandum and I thought that Sarah must have thought that the nuclear option had something to do with bombing Iran. Then I listened to the clip.
The transcript is a little off but mostly accurate. If you read it you can see that Sarah knew that the nuclear option concerned a change in the Senate rules regarding the confirmation of presidential nominees to the courts and to government agencies. She didn’t use the word “filibuster” or mention exactly what the change was, but she knew it had to do with the balance of power in Congress.
Unlike Mr. Easley, Sarah obviously is aware that Barack Obama lobbied hard for this rule change, so yes he did have something to do with the nuclear option. He also gave a speech “blessing” the rule change.
But the part that really jumped out at me was that final sentence. How on earth could Sarah Palin think that the vice president ran the Senate??? This goes back to the 2008 campaign when she was asked by a third-grader, “What does the vice president do?” Here’s the answer that Sarah gave:
“That’s something that Piper would ask me, as a second grader, also,” Palin responded, referencing her seven-year-old daughter.
“A vice president has a really great job because not only are they there to support the president’s agenda, they’re there like the team member, the teammate to the president,” Palin continued. “But also, they’re in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job.”
The Proggles got a big kick out of her answer, chortling and guffawing about what a dummy she was.
Except that Article I of the Constitution states that “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.” So Sarah was correct. As a matter of fact, running the Senate is the only constitutional duty the vice president has as long as the president is alive and not incapacitated.
While it’s true that in practice the vice president doesn’t bother showing up and lets the Senate president pro-tempore run things, that’s a kinda complicated answer for a third grader to understand. I guess she could have said “They don’t do anything except wait for the president to die and occasionally break ties in the Senate” but then she would have been slammed for giving a flippant answer.
Modern vice presidents are often involved in crafting legislation and getting it passed. They also go to funerals of minor heads of state and other second-tier public functions. But the answer that Sarah gave was correct.
Just like the answer she gave Chris Wallace.