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Harry Reid goes nuclear, upending two centuries of senatorial precedent, as Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg spotlight in a new Reason TV video, that remixes LBJ’s infamous old “Daisy” ad:
What a difference eight years and a Senate majority makes. Back in 2005, Senate Democrats (including Barack Obama) were in the minority – and dead-set against a Republican plan to allow judicial nominations to proceed to an up-or-down vote based on a simple majority. The so-called nuclear option, warned Obama and others, would have the Founders spinning in their graves and usher in a tyranny of the majority in the world’s greatest deliberative body.
Back in 2008, Reid swore up and down that he’d never go nuclear:
“As long as I am the Leader, the answer’s no,” he said. “I think we should just forget that. That is a black chapter in the history of the Senate. I hope we never, ever get to that again because I really do believe it will ruin our country.
Well, unlike most of what comes out of Harry’s mouth, it probably sounded good at the time.
But Harry may eventually rue the blowback from his thermonuclear blast today. At the PJ Tatler, Bryan Preston writes that “Harry Reid Just Nationalized the 2014 Midterms:”
Reid and Obama are claiming victory today, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory. They will get 11 months to push their extreme judicial nominees into the courts without any input from Republicans. But this is more about politics than nominations. The move comes at a time when Obama needs some headline other than “Obamacare fails again.” He needed some way to fire up his base and give the media something else to talk about. He has accomplished that, for a day or two, and done away with rules that date back to the creation of the Senate along with it.
In 2014 Democrats will be running against a wave of public rejection of Obamacare, which has never been popular. A majority want it either overhauled or repealed. Thanks to today’s “nuclear” strike, Republicans can run all of the above races as “the 51st vote” to repeal Obamacare in the Senate. Landrieu is doubly vulnerable now, having voted for Obamacare and now having voted to support the nuclear option. Her likely opponent, Dr. Bill Cassidy, can run a two-pronged campaign against her as a tool of Obama, who is not popular in Louisiana, and a fool for Obamacare. She and Pryor, who voted against the nuclear option today, may be as good as gone. Udall, Begich and Hagan aren’t far behind them.
More after the page break, including additional examples of the left in telling the world how horrible the nuclear option would be, back in 2005.
At the Breitbart.com group blog, John Hayward calls the Democrat filibuster a “miscalculation:”
Something tells me Obama’s abuse of this new power is going to put his party on even shakier ground in 2014, which might suit him just fine, but some of the Dems who voted for today’s rule change will not live long to regret it.
So we’ll be right back on the frozen tundra of ObamaCare tomorrow, with Democrat voters already struggling to remember what they were told to celebrate on Thursday. Republicans, on the other hand, are energized. This is about the most energized I’ve ever seen Mitch McConnell get. And it’s the kind of issue that can unite Tea Party insurgents and old Establishment pachyderms. The Republicans now have a very simple, straightforward, and powerful appeal to make to the electorate: give us a Senate majority, or sit back and watch Obama run wild. The success of that appeal will be inversely proportional to Obama’s popularity, which has already sunk to depths it’s unlikely to recover from.
Oh, and this fun — two Salons in one!
“Mitch McConnell: Biggest loser! Tragically cautious Senate Democrats finally give Harry Reid the votes he needed to let Barack Obama be president”
— Salon, today.
“Everything you wanted to know about the ‘nuclear option’ — If the Republicans are as good as their word, it’s going to be much uglier than you think.”
— Salon, May 12, 2005.
And along similar lines, back in 2005, Joe Biden claimed on the Senate floor, “I pray to God” that his party wouldn’t never, ever consider doing anything like this, should they return to power in the Senate:
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So lets give Joe’s boss, also circa 2005, the exit quote to wrap this post up:
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Update: Upon further consideration, I wish to revise and and extend the exit quote on this post to include today’s Tweet from Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX): “Give us Barabbas!”