November 24, 2013

On channel after channel this Sunday, you had conservative pundits bemoaning Harry Reid's changing the filibuster rules for presidential nominations and lower court appointments as if was the end of democracy as we know it. Oh, it is just terrible that Harry Reid did this, after all, both sides were responsible for congressional gridwalk, donchaknow?

But on UP, host Steve Kornacki dared to point out the obvious: the GOP wanted this move. If they didn't, all it would have taken was Mitch McConnell appointing a handful of Republicans to a Gang of Eight, or Posse of Ten, or Assemblage of Six to negotiate it down again, as they've done time and time again. There were no backroom deals, no cloakroom negotiations, as had been the case on so many other occasions.

But they see manifold advantages to this move: they can clamor to the media of the dictatorial powers of Harry Reid and by extension, Barack Obama; they can feed the anger and confirm the bias of their base with that self-same gnashing to their base who sees anything other than total obstruction as being a traitor to the party; and they can also get out of any kind of responsibility for that lack of obstruction. Plus for all those fabled centrists that are sick of government gridlock, they can take credit for things moving again.

Win-win-win for them.

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