Reid’s Thanksgiving Blues

Last week, Harry Reid complained that President Bush was acting like a “bully” right before he decided to keep the Senate in session during the Thanksgiving break to avoid any “controversial” recess appointments. Roll Call reports that sources said “Reid made the decision after he was unable to strike a deal with White House officials that would have allowed swift consideration of several key Democratic picks for the executive branch.”

James Joyner of Outside The Beltway nailed it when he said:

One wonders why they’d do that, given how cooperative the Democrats have been in moving through Bush appointments…

Yes, it’s hard to comprehend how Reid can be serious about calling Bush a “bully” when Democrats have tried every tactic available to them to stall or block Bush’s nominations. Be it Miguel Estrada, Janice Rogers Brown, or John Bolton, Democrats have abused the filibuster to prevent or delay confirmation of highly qualified people, solely because they were conservative and nominated by Bush.

In other words, had Democrats respected the Constitution and given Bush’s nominees the up-or-down votes they were entitled to deserved, recess appointments wouldn’t be an issue.

Another interesting point by James Joyner:

Given that both parties have been in permanent campaign mode for the last fifteen years or so, the traditional checks and balances process has gone from a system to force compromise to one used to bludgeon the other side and score points. That’s led to both branches using extraordinary tools like recess appointments and filibusters on a routine basis which, in turn, ratchets the pressure up another several notches.

I would also add that this “campaign mode” has gotten worse since the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the 2000 presidential elections. Because of these two events, Democrats feel justified in abusing the filibuster, delaying funding for our troops, leaking the details of classified anti-terrorism programs, etc. etc.

Compromise won’t exist anymore because of the Democrats. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most liberal justices on the Supreme Court, was confirmed in 1993 by a 96-3 vote. Think any nominee (whether by a Republican or a Democrat) will ever be confirmed by such a margin again? Don’t count on it. Democrats have assured that bipartisanship is near death or already dead in Washington, D.C. Harry Reid’s threat to keep the Senate in session during Thanksgiving break is merely a symptom of a disease his party is largely responsible for.

Matt Margolis blogs at Blogs For Victory, and is the co-author of Caucus of Corruption: The Truth about the New Democratic Majority.

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