U.S. Sen. Harry Reid today renewed his threat to go after filibuster rules that have hindered President Barack Obama’s cabinet appointments, but don’t expect him to back eliminating the filibuster when it comes to legislation.
Despite having watched Republicans scuttle gun control legislation by invoking the 60-vote filibuster rule and routinely complaining of GOP “obstruction,” Reid said he has no intention of seeking its elimination entirely.
“I said when I left for recess that I was going to work with Republicans to try to get something done and I am going to do that,” Reid said for a taping of the public affairs television program “To the Point.”
The Democratic-controlled Senate is the weakest link in our government right now, by far. We still have a firewall on the Supreme Court and we have the Executive Branch. We have moderate to decent leadership in the House, thanks entirely to Nancy Pelosi. But, what we have in the Senate is wrecking the country. Nothing is getting done because the Senate cannot function. There is no reason for it to function--there is no fear of the consequences of failing to govern. If the party apparatus is not powerful enough to persuade Senators to act in the interests of the country (which, theoretically, should advance the agenda of the party however it is defined), then we have chaos and a libertarian paradise. No one is in charge and everyone has the ability to shut down legislation. What a nightmare. Harry Reid still operates as if it is 1999 and he can coax everyone back to the table in order to make a deal. This is absurd; no one in the Republican Party can make a deal. This is why eliminating the rules for filibusters is the only way to break the Senate's gridlock. This will not fix everything since the legislation coming out of the House is already a nightmare, but the functions of the Senate might get rolling again. Reid should quit. He cannot get anything done and he needs to get out of the way.