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Harry Reid Tag

We all remember how when George W. Bush was president he was ruthlessly treated by his political opposition. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), in particular, stood second to no one in expressing his utter disdain and contempt for "43" every chance he got. But in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash that aired this week, the former leader of the US Senate is now singing a different tune:

Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, April 7, 2017, on a straight up or down vote. That up or down vote will happen after Democrats filibustered the nomination by getting 45 Democrats to vote against closing debate. Republicans then exercised what usually is referred to as the Nuclear Option, but really should be called the Harry Reid Option, to eliminate the need for 60 votes to close debate. It should be called the Harry Reid Option because in 2013 Democrats used that procedure to eliminate the 60-vote requirement for all nominations, judicial or otherwise, other than the Supreme Court.

Did Joe Manchin just open the door for Republicans to invoke the nuclear option if necessary to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court? In appearances on CNN and MSNBC this morning, Dem Senator Manchin blasted his fellow Dems for having invoked the nuclear option in the first place. Said Manchin on Morning Joe: "I've been opposed to the nuclear option. I thought Harry Reid was dead wrong when he did it. I voted against that. My dear beloved senator, prior to my coming here, was Robert C. Byrd and he would be rolling over in his grave knowing what we have done." That could be understood to mean: Dems, if the Republicans now use the nuclear option to confirm Gorsuch, you've got no one to blame but yourselves for having opened Pandora's Box.

We live in very dangerous times, with Democrats trying to flip the Electoral College against Trump through cajoling, and when that fails, threats and intimidation. It still seems unlikely that Democrats will pull it off by Monday, December 19, 2016, when the Electoral College votes. I shudder to think what will happen if Democrats manage to steal the election this way, just as I would have shuddered to think what would have happened in 2008 had Republicans succeeded in stealing the election from Obama using similar tactics. This Coup de Electoral College attempt is premised mostly on assertions that Russia "hacked the election," and that there is new information after the election that could not have been considered by voters. In that theory, the Electoral College must act to protect the nation.

The Nuclear Option was used for the first time by Harry Reid in 2013 to allow Obama to stuff the lower federal courts with Obama nominees despite Democrats not having a filibuster proof majority in the Senate at the time. It was a clear possibility at the time that Democrats were about to lose control of the Senate in the 2014 cycle, so the court-stuffing Nuclear Option was a desperate last-minute tactic. Democrats said that rule change would not apply to the Supreme Court. Holding back on using the Nuclear Option for the Supreme Court was a meaningless gesture at the time, because there were no Supreme Court vacancies.

The fight over the short-term spending bill continues to grow as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) warned that his party will vote against the GOP bill if it doesn't include funding for Flint, MI. He said:
"Democrats have been clear that Congress should not leave Flint and other lead-tainted communities out of any (stopgap spending) negotiation that includes emergency disaster funding," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other top Democrats in a Tuesday morning letter to McConnell. "Our request is simple: include both bipartisan disaster relief packages for consideration in the CR. We urge you to include bipartisan Flint legislation in the CR."

How bad and lacking in moral fiber must a Democrat be for Harry Reid to accuse him of having "no moral compass?"  Alan Grayson bad. Grayson (D-FL)—who is perhaps best known for his over-the-top statements, unethical campaign ads, and alleged shady hedge fund dealings—is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio (R-FL). Reid, Senate minority leader, is less than enthusiastic about Grayson's bid to leave the House and join the Senate.  Back in February, the two men engaged in a remarkable cat fight . . . that Grayson just can't let drop. In a rather stunning act of insanity, Grayson confronted Reid during a Congressional Progressive Caucus meeting Wednesday morning; he was waving Reid's February statements and demanding an explanation.

As he has repeatedly stated, Obama is confident that a Democrat will win the White House in November, and now Harry Reid is expressing that he is "fairly certain" that Democrats will take back the Senate this year. The Hill reports:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Sunday that he thinks his party will win back the majority in the Senate this year. During a radio interview with John Catsimatidis, Reid detailed the Democratic efforts against several vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection this year.
Considering that Democrats need win only five Senate seats (they currently have 46 seats, including the two Independents who caucus with them) to accomplish this goal and given the disarray on the right, Reid's prediction seems far less laughable than it would have only a year ago. The Hill continues:
“We only need four [seats] to take the majority,” he said. “With the numbers I’ve given you, it’s going to be a fairly certain thing that we can do that.”

In an interview with Fox News today, Mitt Romney suggested there was reason to believe there is a bombshell in the tax returns Donald Trump has not yet released:
There might be a “bombshell” revelation to be discovered in Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s tax returns, 2012 party nominee Mitt Romney said Wednesday. He also called on the entire GOP field to release their tax returns. “I think there’s something there," Romney said of Trump's returns, "Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay,” Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on “Your World.”

So far, two first-term GOP senators have declared their presidential candidacy (Cruz and Paul), with Rubio set to do so Monday. On both sides of the aisle, there are a lot of questions and concern as people wonder what these first-termers have accomplished.  This is, of course, a fair question to ask, but to be equally fair, we should take note of Harry Reid's lockdown of the Senate for the past six years. Not only were Republican senators unable to accomplish much in Reid's Senate, but neither were Democrat senators (some of whom lost their seats as a result, at least in part).  The National Review reported in January of last year:
The New York Times reported last week on Reid’s “brutish style” and “uncompromising control” over the amendments process in the Senate. Why are more people finally catching on to Reid’s flagrant disregard for Senate customs? In part because conservatives aren’t the only ones complaining. Democrats such as Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — who wants to repeal Obamacare’s medical-device tax — and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York — who has waged a highly publicized campaign to reform the way the military handles sexual-assault cases — have been denied votes on their proposed amendments to various bills. Gillibrand had hoped to attach her sexual-assault amendment to the defense-appropriations bill that passed in December, but no amendments were allowed. Klobuchar has called for “a more open amendment process” because she’d like a vote on repealing the medical-device tax.
We all watched as frustrated politicians on both sides of the aisle complained that there were more than 300 bills "sitting on Harry Reid's desk," so it seems less than reasonable to focus on legislative accomplishments by first-term GOP senators who were apparently very busily working on legislation that then ended up mired down by Reid.  Even House Dems were urging Reid to pass their bills in the Senate.  To no avail.