Will Senate Democrats block a waiver or change to the statute? Bear in mind, it takes a simple majority of the Senate to confirm Mattis (due to Harry Reid having abolished the filibuster for confirmation of executive appointments in 2013), and the same majority can pass a waiver or amendment if they can break a filibuster. House Republicans are likely to support the nomination, and have the votes to pass a waiver or amendment themselves. So it will come down to whether 41 of the 48 Senate Democrats want to block a change in the law – a maneuver that will easily be interpreted by the public as tantamount to filibustering a distinguished general and leaving Trump without a steady hand to advise him on military matters. Even the Democratic base, much as it desires blood right now, is unlikely to really want a fight that removes that kind of support from a Commander-in-Chief they already see as dangerously impulsive. Indeed, Mattis is also likely to have the prestige to act as a check on the more potentially problematic Flynn. And for all the Democrats’ complaints about Republican obstruction, the Obama Administration got the national security team it wanted, often with little or no opposition: Panetta was confirmed by a 100-0 vote, Petraeus 94-0, Carter 93-5, Hillary Clinton 94-2, and John Kerry 94-3.
Friday, December 2, 2016
TRUMP NAMES MATTIS AS HIS NOMINEE FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE. DEMOCRATS SAY? Given Trump's tendency to act like Donald Trump, I'd feel a lot better with General Mattis around the White House. Dan McLaughlin wrote the following at National Review: