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Flashback: When Dems Loved the Nuclear Option

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid triggered the nuclear option for most presidential appointees in 2013, Democrats were ecstatic.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes cheered the move as “an affirmative win for democracy,” while his colleague Rachel Maddow gushed: “This is a huge freaking deal. This is like 3-inch headlines. This is like people who don’t even care about politics really ought to care about this!”

On CNN, political analyst Paul Begala praised Reid’s maneuver, explaining it was necessary because Republicans had “so abused” the filibuster that Democrats couldn’t take it anymore. Ron Brownstein, also on CNN, hailed the decision as a forward-thinking move: “The idea of requiring a super majority for the president to appoint his nominees just is anachronistic.”

The only host who showed any hesitance was MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who admitted that he had been “intimidated” by Mitch McConnell’s threat (that they would regret it) because like “the traditionalists in the Senate, I was like afraid what happens when the other side has the power.”

He said he came to his senses when he realized that “of course they have got to do this, because in fact, when the Republicans have power, and the Republican presidency, the Democrats in the Senate would not be attempting to use the filibuster this way to that degree anyway….”

Video via The Political Heat: