The Spectacle Blog

Reid Rolls the Nuclear Dice

By on 10.6.11 | 8:22PM

This afternoon during a debate on Senator Chuck Schumer's self-destructive China currency bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threw a hyper-partisan bomb into a political situation already nearly paralyzed by partisan differences.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) had gotten a ruling from the Senate chair that would effectively permit the Republicans to bring up amendments to a bill. The move was designed to force the Senate to vote on Barack Obama's jobs bill with Republicans believing that enough Democrats would vote no to prevent the bill from getting even a simple majority, thus making the president look bad.

While the rules and procedures involved are barely understandable Senate minutiae, Harry Reid's response will live on in infamy: He brought forward a vote to change the Senate rules, a vote which passed by a 51-48 margin, which will prevent the minority from bringing up amendments to a bill once the bill has survived a filibuster.

Republicans are fuming, as they should be.

As the Hill reported:

Republicans had considered using this maneuver, dubbed the "nuclear option," in 2005 to change Senate rules to prohibit the filibuster of judicial nominees. Democrats decried the plan and the crisis was resolved by a bipartisan agreement forged by 14 rank-and-file senators known as the Gang of 14.

Senate Republicans were furious at Reid's actions.

"Just wait until they get into the minority!" one GOP staffer growled.

A political situation which was already toxic with partisan posturing has now become all but uninhabitable. Reid better enjoy his authority for the remaining 15 months which he has it because the GOP will make him want to resign come January, 2013.

One other point to be made: One of the aspects of Obamacare which made Americans so angry was the process during which Democrats ramrodded, steamrolled, "deemed and passed", and generally bullied their way to passing Barack Obama's signature achievement. It was an exercise in tyranny which had probably drifted from many people's minds. Reid's maneuver will remind Americans that congressional Democrats have zero respect for rule, law, ethics, or precedent if they impede the passage of their desired legislation. This isn't a surprise for the party of Woodrow Wilson, a man who held the United States Constitution with utter disdain as preventing him from putting government in charge of...well, pretty much everything. But it serves as a great reminder to the American people of just what Progressives reallly are, namely tyrants in sheeps' clothing.

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