I wish I believed in karma, I really do. I know so many people that believe some magical force is at a chalkboard taking count of deeds good and bad and when you pile up a certain amount of ‘points’, you then get a payback. If I believed in that, though, I’d know that good ole Dirty Harry from Nevada would be getting a good ole swift kick in the bum right off of the Grand Canyon by his former colleagues.
Let’s review why this is.
You know that there is a lot of hand wringing going around about what Mitch McConnell said in 2016 while holding up Barack “Elections Matter” Obama’s SCOTUS appointment compared to what Mitch is saying now — i.e., FULL SPEED AHEAD.
None of THAT matters because of what Harry Reid did in 2012. He invoked the nuclear option (a phrase he helped coin) that would allow the Senate to move lower court appointments and only need 51 votes to close debate and move a nominee to a vote. This radically changed the previous rule of needing 60 votes to close debate and avoid a possible filibuster.
When this idea was originally bandied about when the GOP held the majority in the Senate under the first term of George W. Bush, with Bill Frist as the Majority Leader, the Democrats and some Republicans cautioned against changing this rule. Frist backed down and a compromise was reached to not change the Senate rules allowing debate to end just on a vote of 51.
Fast forward to the end of the first term of Barack Obama and the Senate is now in the Democrats’ hands and Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader. He ended up being just as frustrated by the very same things the previous Majority Leader had to endure. Yet instead of taking his own advice from the earlier version of Dirty Harry, he decided that getting Barack Obama’s nominations through was worth nuking the same pesky Senate rules he had so loved just a few years before.
The then-Minority Leader was some fella by the name of Mitch McConnell and he must have been taking notes. He gave an impassioned plea that this might not be the way Democrats would want to go. Possibly, this could come back and bite them in the butt and it might happen soon.
Here is what McConnell said back in 2013 according to The Hill
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Democrats on Thursday that they’d regret using the “nuclear option.”
“You’ll regret this and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
When you think about it, seven years is not really that long. Particularly when it seems that 2020 has been going on for seven or more years.
So now the same party that laid on the railroad track for Barack Obama is aghast that the opposite party will do this very same thing for Donald Trump. You would honestly think that these people have never watched full seasons of ‘The West Wing’ or ‘House of Cards’ and did not know that OF COURSE this is how it is supposed to go.
The only main difference is that someone had to go first in changing the rules of the Senate and it was Harry Reid and his fellow cohorts from the Democratic Party that took the leap. Reid knew that this would come back to haunt his party but he also knew his time was about up in elected office anyway and he was willing to sell out the Senate for the momentary victory.
He gambled that the juice was worth the squeeze and now it is the Democrats he left behind in Washington who have to deal with the aftertaste of Donald Trump getting a historic third judicial nomination to the United States Supreme Court in his first term. Also with a new opinion poll taken just before Justice Ginsburg died, Bad News for Democrats: How Americans Feel About Having SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing In 2020 the stage is set for real history to happen.
That is really kinda funny if you think about it.
If I believed in it, of course.