Harry Reid is not thinking smart on the ‘nuclear option.’

Here’s a few questions for Harry Reid to chew on while he contemplates this comment by Byron York about the fallout from the so-called ‘nuclear option:’

…nearly everything the Senate does requires that senators first agree to direct the body’s attention to this or that subject. That is usually done through a routine procedure called unanimous consent. But if just one senator wants to stop things, he or she can.

“Most people underestimate the importance of unanimous consent and how it will, if denied, slow down the operations of the Senate, perhaps to a halt,” says John Cornyn, the number-two ranking Republican in the Senate. “I can foresee a circumstance where every time there is an effort to do something on the floor, there is going to be an objection, and that will string out for a long time.”

…and they go like this:

  • Mike Lee of Utah came to the Senate via a delegate convention revolt in the primary, and is not up for re-election until 2016.  By all accounts, his constituents are perfectly happy with him.  Does Reid think that Mitch McConnell or anybody else can keep Mike from playing unanimous consent?
  • Rand Paul of Kentucky stood up in the Senate earlier this year and talked for 13 hours until the White House finally admitted that no, they don’t think that they have the right to drone strike an American citizen on US soil. He’s also not up for re-election until 2016.  Does Reid think that Sen. Paul cares if anybody says mean things about him and unanimous consent, either?
  • Ted Cruz of Texas just got elected, and he is in that Senate seat until he’s done with it, and he comes from a state whose inhabitants would respond to news that Ted shut down the Senate indefinitely with a cheery So… what’s the catch? Indeed, Senator Reid… what’s the catch?

The moral of the story is, of course, that elections matter. Which is a double-edged sword: you need to get the right people elected, but you also have to get the right people elected.  That means being ruthless, sometimes: life is, alas, unfair.  Still, it’s better to have one fire-breather than none, as we may soon see…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

11 thoughts on “Harry Reid is not thinking smart on the ‘nuclear option.’”

  1. I really don’t see much downside for our side. I mean, yeah there is some (mainly Obama getting a few nominees through, but meh, Elections, Consequences), but the thought of neutering the filibuster for 2017 when President Walker is pushing through reform legislation while we control 53 Senate seats….
    Right now the trajectory of government is ever bigger. Right now you need 60 votes to change that. Please Harry Reid, don’t throw us into that briar patch.

    1. You think we’ll have 53 seats. We could just as easily gain the Senate in 2014 and lose it in 2016 and gain it again in 2018. We have to get 6 seats just to get to 51, and we will very likely lose two or more seats in 2016, especially if the morons who want to primary Ayotte and Rubio get their way.

      1. Why do you think folks who want to primary Ayotte and Rubio are morons? Please explain. BTW… How did Maverick and Romney work out the last time when morons were asked to shut up? If it was not for the morons you won’t have Mike Lee, Pat Toomey and Ted Cruz in the Senate. Also if it wasn’t for the morons you wouldn’t have Rubio and Kelly in the senate at all.

        1. Comparing Rubio or Ayotte to McCain or Specter is patently ridiculous.

          1. Can you tell me how? McCain sticks it to conservatives. Rubio and Ayotte did it with their first opportunity at legislation. They were even bigger liars than Maverick.

            If you add conservative to your username, and call conservatives morons… I find it weird.

        2. Those Morons will likely find a reason to go after Ted Cruz eventually, that’s why they’re morons.

  2. I think what Harry is looking for is temporary dictorial powers which will expire the moment the GOP regains the Senate and/or WH. Hey, if MA can continously change they way they fill vacant Senate seats, then why not try?

  3. I wasn’t against the Republicans ending the filibuster for nominees and I’m not against the Democrats doing it either. I’m trying to be consistent even if I don’t like the short-term ramifications. It’s been humorous to listen to reporters who thought it was the end of the republic when Republicans wanted to do it and now consider it the end of the republic if the Democrats don’t do it.

  4. Warning, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!
    Republicans need to remember this: The 2014 and 2016 elections are held in November. The new Senators take office the following January. There’s a lame duck session in between them. What’s to keep the doomed Democrat majority from re-imposing the old rules on the next generation?

      1. No, they don’t. Because only 1/3 of the Senate turns over it’s considered to still be in effect, as I recall.

        Of course, since the Republicans caved, in shocking news that will surprise no one who’s paid any attention to them over the last 20 years or so, it’s all academic now.

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