Here is more video of Barack Obama in 2005 as a U.S. Senator speaking against the use of "Reconciliation" by Republicans to approve Federal Judge nominations that Democrats held up for years. Republicans did not use the "Nuclear Option" to approve the judges, but Obama spoke passionately about the importance of not using the tactic to "silence" the opposition:
"What they (the American People) don't expect is for one party - be it Republican or Democrat - to change the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet. . . ."
"Everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority party chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse. . . ."
"Now I understand that Republicans are getting a lot of pressure to do this from factions outside the chamber. But we need to rise above the "ends justify the means" mentality because we're here to answer to the people - all of the people - not just the ones that are wearing our particular party label. . . . "
"If the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party, and the millions of Americans who asked us to be their voice, I fear that the already partisan atmosphere in Washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. That doesn't serve anyone's best interests, and it certainly isn't what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind. We owe the people who sent us here more than that - we owe them much more."
Amen, President Obama. It could not be said better. Now, you just need to practice what you preach.