John Nichols is angry at Harry Reid. Of course, who isn’t. Let’s look back at a little Harry Reid history, shall we? In January 2011, Harry Reid just said no to filibuster reform. (Note: he said no in 2009 too, when he could have changed the rules over a Republican filibuster!) But then Reid changed his mind. Last May, he went to the Senate floor and said, “If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight. These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t. They were right. The rest of us were wrong—or most of us, anyway. What a shame.”
This is what people hate about liberals. Sure, in the abstract liberals stand for something. When it is theoretical whether to reform the filibuster, Harry Reid is there to give a full-throated endorsement! But after a few months tick away and he has the ability to actually do the reform, he goes all soft: “The Democrats will someday be in the minority and we will want the filibuster!”
(As I’ve said ad nauseam, this shows a shocking lack of political savvy. The Republicans, for all their faults, are not a bunch of spineless assholes. What they believe in is generally all wrong, but I will grant them that they actually do believe in it. They will destroy the filibuster the moment it is to their advantage. And when they do, Harry Reid will be out of office and he’ll say, “If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight. These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t. They were right. The rest of us were wrong—or most of us, anyway. What a shame.”)
This week when the Republicans filibustered Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense, Harry Reid was shocked, shocked I tell you! He was again on the floor of the Senate, “It is shocking that our Republicans colleagues would leave our nation without a secretary of defense with all the things going on and when we’re in a war.” As Nichols points out, if Reid means troubling or unsettling, then yes, it is shocking. But if he means surprising or unexpected? Well then, I have two little words for the majority leader: fuck you!
Basically, everyone told Reid this, except, you know, his political enemies. People claim that doing the same thing twice and expecting something different makes you insane. That’s not true. But it does make you a dumbshit. Let’s see now, Reid got a handshake agreement from McConnell in 2011. And it was worthless! So Reid got a handshake agreement from McConnell in 2013. And it is worthless!
There are really only two ways to look at this. Perhaps Reid really is as big a dumbshit as he appears to be. Or, and I think this is more likely, he cares far more about his “friends across the isle” in the senate than he does about the United States of America. Regardless, that mother fucker better not try to get another term as senator in 2016. His “use by” date is long expired.
Jonathan Bernstein has argued that Reid could fix the filibuster at any time. Unfortunately, I just spent a half hour trying to find the article and I can’t.