Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just pulled the trigger on deploying a parliamentary procedure dubbed the “nuclear option.” The Senate voted 52 to 48 for a move which changes Senate rules to pass most executive and judicial nominees by a simple majority vote. This power grab by Reid and the Democrats is short sighted, and it carries implications Democrats are going to have to live with when Republicans retake the Senate.
Not surprisingly, the president supports this action by the Senate, saying in a statement to reporters at the White House, “today’s pattern of obstruction . . . just isn’t normal; it’s not what our founders envisioned.” He pointed to filibusters against his administration’s executive branch appointments and judicial nominees for reasons that he said were based simply on opposition to “the policies that the American people voted for in the last election.”
Reid’s move is a complete reversal of his position in 2005, when he was minority leader. At that time, he fought the GOP majority’s bid to change rules on a party-line vote. It’s quite deplorable that the Democrats must resort to these types of tactics in order to keep their little charade from falling apart. But again, the implications here will bite them in their behinds in 2014 should the Republicans take hold of the majority in the Senate.