Harry Reid has gotten terrible press since taking over as Senate Majority Leader. I’m not nearly close enough to the action to know what sort of job he’s doing, but the criticism of Reid for not acting like LBJ is nonsensical. No one has ever ruled the Senate the way LBJ did, and once he moved on the rest of the Senate clearly said “Never again!” If Reid tried to act like LBJ, it simply wouldn’t work – and he wouldn’t be Majority Leader for long.
And of course Mitch McConnell is no Ev Dirksen. When the Minority Leader wants to gum up the works, he can. And McConnell has been determined to gum up the works. The obstruction of the confirmation process by “holds” has reached a height never before seen; eight months into the Administration, more than half the sub-cabinet jobs are still open.
Today Reid served notice that the price of more obstruction will be the week-long recess – pardon me, “home work period” around Columbus Day. It’s possible that Reid, like Obama, has been playing a little rope-a-dope, or that he sees his image of ineffectuality as costing him votes back home. Either way, it means that the price of obstruction just went up.