Thursday, November 21, 2013

Reid Goes Nuclear

Harry Reid has just carried out the "nuclear option", eliminating the filibuster for executive branch and non-Supreme judicial nominations. All Democrats in the Senate supported the effort, except for red-staters Mark Pryor and Joe Manchin, who have an excuse, and general opponent of change Carl Levin, whose impending retirement will end his time as the Least Valuable Player in the Democratic caucus.

The timing is pretty good. It would've been especially good to fill executive branch vacancies faster, but at least the judicial vacancies can now be filled by the end of Obama's second term, letting Democrats refresh the bench with lots of smart young judges. Some of them will be appellate and Supreme Court nominees someday.

I see that Scott Lemieux is saying this is probably the most important vote of Obama's second term. Sounds right to me. Scott's been saying good things about Harry Reid, and I agree with that too. I wish we'd gotten here sooner, but the delay is probably more the fault of the Carl Levin types than anything Reid could control. Reid has been an excellent Senate Majority (and briefly Minority) Leader. 

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