November 21, 2013

Harry Reid trumps a 5-year Kumbaya chorus

I'm not a total fan of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He can still be in the pocket of hardrock miners in Nevada too much, and I'm still not sure just how liberal he is on socioeconomic issues.

But, I know he's less of a neoliberal, or seems to be, than Preznit Kumbaya, aka Dear Leader, aka President Barack Obama. And, he's certainly not in any special love with any mythical mellifluousness of his voice. 

First, the end of the filibustering of district and circuit court nominees was needed, period. Republicans, who talk about the poor as thieving criminals, were stealing not just one and a half loaves, but 3 or 4 loaves compared to the agreement to take the possible "nuclear option" off the table in Shrub Bush's presidency.

Second, anything that makes John McCain whine, exposes his hypocrisy, and catches his tail in a vice halfway between hardcore conservative and true nutbar is fine by me.

Let's read the Schmuck Talk Express™:
"They're governed by the newer members... who have never been in a minority, who are primarily driving this issue," McCain told reporters after the vote. "They succeeded and they will pay a very, very heavy price for it."
Really? Harry Reid's been around as long as you have, John.

See, what this is, is what psychologists call "projection." Here's what McCain was actually saying:
"(House Republicans are) governed by the newer members... who have never been in a minority, who are primarily driving this issue," McCain told reporters after the vote. "They succeeded (in the government shutdown) and they will pay a very, very heavy price for it."
Glad I could translate, Schmuck Talk.

Third, the Senate GOP had become the party of obstruction and obstruction, with young turks there finding a willing ally in Yertle the Turtle, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Reid pointed that out shortly before the denouement:
On the Senate floor Thursday morning, Reid pointed out that half of the 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominees in American history have come during the Obama Administration. "These nominees deserve at least an up-or-down vote," Reid said. "But Republican filibusters deny them a fair vote and deny the president his team.
Half. Period. End of story.

The Atlantic notes that Reid and McConnell don't really like each other, but both have been in the Senate long enough to try patchwork fixes. But, McConnell either couldn't or wouldn't do more.

And, that's important related to this. McConnell has long crowed about his knowledge of Senate parliamentary procedure arcana, and Reid just trumped him. My take is Yertle wouldn't do more, rather

Fourth, we know Reid squeezed Vice President Joe Biden out of the picture on government shutdown talks earlier this fall. Per my Photoshopped caption, he just put Dear Leader on notice, I think, that he will play the same hardball tactics, or worse, come next year. Reid finally decided, in the Chicago language and mannerisms that Obama is allegedly supposed to understand and practice, that it was time to bring a gun to a gunfight. McCain, in negotiations, brought an inadequate counteroffer, or a water pistol, if you will.

As for long-term ramifications? Well, the GOP needs to do more work on getting its Ted Cruzes and other knucklewalkers in line. Because, if the inside-the-Beltway take is correct on how this will make the GOP madder, I think Reid is ready to fire back.

Maybe Harry can even dissuade Dear Leader from chained CPI for entitlements and other nuttery of his Catfood Commission.

Or, I hope, get the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to find people to "primary" Carl Levin, Joe Manchin, and Mark Pryor.

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