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Sepia-tone, 40's style photo of woman having the vapors.

Dana Milbank has the vapors (and a really poor grasp of history and a total lack of perspective).

Let's start with the title: "The Democrats' naked power grab." Because allowing the president to actually fulfill his constitutional duty of populating the government and federal courts is a power grab. Next thing you know he'll be adopting the Republicans' blatantly naked falsehood that filling vacancies is "packing the court."

Then there's the lede:

“Congress is broken,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday before holding a party-line vote that disposed of rules that have guided and protected the chamber since 1789.
A careful perusal of the Constitution says absolutely nothing about "filibuster" anywhere. You could look it up. Hell, you don't even need a careful perusal. You could just open that link and do a search on the page for the word. It isn't there. What's more, it doesn't take a whole lot of Googling to find out that, just since 1977, the Senate has changed its procedures with a simple majority vote 18 times.

Moving on:

Democrats were fully justified in stripping Republicans of their right to filibuster President Obama’s nominees — yet they will come to deeply regret what they have done. [...]

Reid was right that Republican obstruction has been intolerable; half of the 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominations in the nation’s history, he noted, have come during the Obama presidency.

But Reid’s remedy—calling a simple-majority vote to undo more than two centuries of custom—has created a situation in which the minority leader, Mitch McConnell (Ky.), is expected to use the minority’s remaining powers to gum up the works, and to get revenge when Republicans regain the majority.

As if it could get any worse! As if Republicans haven't already gummed up the gears to the point that they've ground to a halt. Take just this week. There's significant bipartisan support for both of the sexual assault amendments to the defense authorization bill—a bill you'd think Republicans would want to get passed, and soon. But no, they've refused to allow votes on those amendments and stopped further work on this bill until the second week of December, when the Senate gets back to real work from the Thanksgiving break. But it's not just the Senate that's broken. Republican obstruction of nominees has been done expressly to break the other two branches of government as well. The executive agencies can't function without high-level personnel, and the courts are in crisis already. That's what Republicans have wanted to achieve all along.

And it's not like Senate Democrats aren't well aware that the minute Republicans regained the minority, they'd do away with the filibuster entirely. They've been promising that since serious talk about reforming the filibuster began. It won't be in retaliation for this action. It's been planned all along. And Milbank is blaming Reid for that?

Milbank's not going to be the only low-information, conventional wisdom-spouting pundit to be clutching his pearls over this, blaming Reid every time Republicans come up with some new way to try to destroy the place. Meanwhile, President Obama's nominees are going to be appointed, the government can work a little better, and the Senate will get at least some work done.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:14 AM PST.

Also republished by Media Whores Exposed and Daily Kos.

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