Why Did Lawrence O'Donnell Praise Senators Reid And McConnell?

The 112th Congress may go down in the history books as the "Do Nothing" Congress, but Lawrence O'Donnell made sure that people will hear about what Senator Harry Reid did accomplish...

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The 112th Congress may go down in the history books as the "Do Nothing" Congress, but Lawrence O'Donnell made sure that people will hear about what Senator Harry Reid did accomplish.

In his "Rewrite" segment Wednesday, he praised both Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for working together–out in the open, with C-Span cameras rolling–to get the fiscal deal passed in a “truly bipartisan vote” to raise income tax rates.

After the fiscal cliff deal came and went, the U.S. Senate quietly did a lot of work with the help of just a few devoted legislators. With McConnell’s support, Reid succeeded in pushing through a slew of nominations on behalf of President Obama.

“Harry Reid, who every day does much more than most people in the news media realize, and definitely accomplishes much more than the news media ever reports, pushed through pages and pages of nominations for President Obama yesterday when everyone was focused on what the House would do on the fiscal cliff vote. And Harry Reid did that with the active but invisible help of Mitch McConnell who did his part to make sure that no Republicans would vote against any of those nominations. And what did the United States Senate do today, that dysfunctional United States Senate? According to the news media, absolutely nothing.”

O’Donnell argued that the Senate leadership deserves far more credit than most people realize:

“So what is the truth? Is the Senate a hopeless dysfunctional place? Does Mitch McConnell hate Harry Reid so much that Vice President Biden had to be brought in to negotiate the final terms of the Senate fiscal cliff deal? The answer is that the truth is complicated, but the news media hates complications. The news media craves personal drama. McConnell hates Reid, or Boehner hates Reid. The news media, like screenwriters, loves the last minute rescue by the improbable hero, in this case, Joe Biden. That’s an easy story to tell. The truth is more complicated.”

I believe O'Donnell on this, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around Mitch McConnell as the tough mediator who kicks Republican Senators in the @ss and gets them moving. But it is nice to hear that some of them are getting work done, and that they're aren't out playing golf or swilling drinks at the country club bar.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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