The United States Senate and the nation it so imperfectly represents both had a good day today, thanks to something that’s been in short order around here lately: A Democrat who knows how to play hardball.
By threatening Republicans with ending their right to filibuster presidential executive-brand nominees, Majority Leader Harry Reid ensured that President Obama’s appointments to departments and agencies that Republicans don’t much like would nonetheless be approved. It’s important to note that the Republicans’ real objections have been less to the individual nominees and more to the bodies they were supposed to lead: The Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Workers, consumers and the environment rate a big “Feh” from Republicans, but unable to muster the votes to put their respective bureaus out of business, the GOP has used their power to filibuster to cripple them.
Harry Reid ended that practice today. Way to go, Harry.
Reid’s not the only accomplished hardball player among congressional Democrats, of course. During her four years as Speaker, and even now as House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi has shown she can persuade virtually every member of her caucus to vote the party’s position. In the president’s first term, she pushed through Obamacare when many thought that impossible.
Nancy and Harry are tough cookies. To the best of my knowledge, that’s a term no one has applied to the Democrat in the White House.