In an appearance on CNN this week, 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) backed up Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D–N.Y.) calls for Democrats to filibuster the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Despite some pressure from CNN host Dana Bash, Sanders refused to admit that what he was advocating was in fact a filibuster, a claim the Washington Post rated mostly false (or, in their parlance, three out of four Pinnochios).
"It’s not a question of filibuster," Sanders said. "I am for the Republicans obeying the rules that currently exist, and not changing those rules. And the rules right now, for good reasons, are 60 votes."
The 60 vote threshold, of course, is necessary to invoke cloture and overcome the threat of a filibuster. Meanwhile, the actual Supreme Court confirmation vote requires only a simple majority — 51 votes — to pass. Thus Sanders' extraordinary claim could only be read as true in the strictest sense; Democrats likely don't plan to literally filibuster by holding the Senate floor to indefinitely delay the final vote, but in recent years the threat of a filibuster alone has typically carried enough weight to force a cloture vote.
Thursday on "Pat & Stu," Pat Gray mocked Sanders for his duplicitous comments, though he also pointed out that Republicans weren't entirely innocent of this kind of political doublespeak.
"What hypocrites they are. And Republicans are no better is the problem, because they'll do the exact same thing next time. Whatever the deal is, they'll be doing the exact same thing. They'll be on the opposite side of the issue to where they are now, and they'll be saying the same things the Democrats are saying now. Because that's just what happens. That's how the Washington game is played. And I'm just, I'm really tired of it. Which is why we're to the point where — whatever. I'm tired of it."