Skip to main content

Yesterday's Washington Post had an opinion piece by Marc Thiessen, "Harry Reid's Nuclear Blunder" where he criticizes Harry Reid's decision to change the Senate rules with a majority vote to stop the minority from forcing votes on amendments. Thiessen points out that this tactic could also be used to take away the minority's ability to filibuster. I just wish that Reid had done this back in 2009 when it could have made the difference between the weak tea Affordable Health Care Act that the Senate passed in 2010 and a robust law that would have included a public option or allowed medicare to be purchased by those under 65.

Better late than never. I don't know if it will make any difference because the House is determined not to pass anything that would be remotely helpful to the middle class or poor, but at least it demonstrates that the democrats have some backbone, a quality that will be more likely to help them than to hurt them in the 2012 elections.

Thiessen warns:

Republicans could now respond as Democrats threatened to in 2005 — by grinding the Senate to a halt on a range of issues and blocking unanimous consent on even routine matters.

Duh? Isn't that already happening by virtue of a republican controlled House that votes in lockstep to block pretty much anything? Am I missing something here? Is Congress passing some good legislation that I haven't noticed?

He goes on to explain:

Republicans need to pick up just four seats in 2012 to take back the Senate majority.

and

While Republicans are in a strong position to take control of the Senate, their odds of winning a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority are remote. But now, thanks to Reid, they may not need 60 votes. Reid has established that the majority can ignore the rules in order to gag the minority and declare something dilatory by simple majority vote. This is a filibuster-busting precedent that a Republican majority could use to overcome Democratic opposition on any number of issues — from taxes and spending to revising the debt-limit deal, reversing defense spending cuts and even repealing Obamacare.

So, um, if Harry Reid hadn't taken this step, a potential republican majority would never consider using every possible option to overcome Democratic opposition? Yeah. Right.  

Poll

Do you believe that a republican senatorial majority would:

15%5 votes
46%15 votes
37%12 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site