After Senate Republicans blocked a third Obama judicial nomination this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has reached his breaking point and is ready to go nuclear.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent spoke to senior Senate Democratic leadership aide who told him,
“Reid has become personally invested in the idea that Dems have no choice other than to change the rules if the Senate is going to remain a viable and functioning institution,” the aide says. That’s a long journey from where Reid was only 10 months ago, when he agreed to a toothless filibuster reform deal out of a real reluctance to change the rules by simple majority. Asked to explain the evolution, the aide said: “It’s been a long process. But this is the only thing we can do to keep the Senate performing its basic duties.”
Asked if Reid would drop the threat to go nuclear if Republicans green-lighted one or two of Obama’s judicial nominations, the aide said: “I don’t think that’s going to fly.”
Reid could change the rules to a simple majority requirement to break the filibuster on judicial nominees as soon as this week. The reaction among Democrats should be that it’s about time. This has been a progression for Sen. Reid. He has given Republican numerous warnings as he has advanced towards his current position, but every time they refused to listen.
Senate Republicans brought Harry Reid to the point of going nuclear. There will be lots of talk about the history of the Senate and respecting the minority, but Mitch McConnell has left Reid no choice. Majority Leader Reid either had to change the rules, or watch President Obama’s constitutional power to appoint judges evaporate due to Senate Republican filibusters.
Republicans are going to stomp their feet, whine, and howl, but they brought this on themselves by deciding that they would rather obstruct than govern.
The time has come.
Welcome to the reality of how Republicans have broken your beloved Senate, Sen. Reid.