The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Good Riddance

After six years of dictatorial control over the Senate, Harry Reid will be unseated as majority leader in January.

Steve Huntley reports:
The first order of business for the U.S. Senate under Republican Mitch McConnell will be getting the Senate back in business. For most of the last four years, Democrat Harry Reid manipulated what was once the world’s greatest deliberative body for political purposes, not for the hard task of governing.

The House passed more than 300 bills but they mostly died from neglect in the Senate. What little legislation that made it to the floor crashed as Reid manipulated Senate rules to ban amendments and debate. When Republicans refused to bow to his tin-pot dictatorial rule, he accused them of obstructionism.

Don’t take my word for it. A news article in the New York Times, not known as a GOP mouthpiece, characterized Reid’s control of the Senate as “brutish” and “uncompromising.”

Reid aimed to protect the White House. For example, building the Keystone pipeline to carry oil from Canada to Gulf coast refineries is popular with many Democrats. Reid said no to a vote so that President Barack Obama wouldn’t have the tough choice of whether to sign a bill heavily favored by unions but fiercely opposed by environmentalists.

Reid also protected special interests. He did the bidding of trial lawyers and blocked passage of a patent reform bill with bipartisan support in Congress and backing from Obama and 500 high-tech companies.
Despite the NYT's rare act of candor concerning Reid, the media's continuing narrative during Reid tenure was that it was the GOP that was the "obstructionist" and that Republicans were the sole reason for a "disfunctional" congress. Really?

The Senate didn't work because Harry Reid (at the direction of the Obama White House) didn't allow it to work. Afraid that moderate democrats might bolt and pass legislation that Obama opposed (the Keystone pipeline comes to mind), Reid used parlimentary strong arm tactics and brute force to quash debate, stall bills, and institute new rules that allowed presidential nominees to be approved with fewer than a 60 vote margin. Now the Democrats are going to have to live with those rules as a minority. I suspect they'll scream bloody murder the first time the same rules they supported like myopic sheep as a majority are invoked by the GOP. What goes around, comes around.

It's important to note that Harry Reid could have easily been controlled and the legislative process, although combative, could have been allowed to proceed. All that had to happen was the president exercising control. But why? Harry Reid allowed a hyperpartisan administration to block not only the president's opposition, but members of his own party who might have decided that not everything proposed by the house was wrong.

No matter, Reid is gone. Good riddance.