By Susan Duclos
Harry Reid has been floating the idea of using the "nuclear option" to reform the filibuster rules that allows a minority party to require 60 vote in the Senate to slow or kill legislation.
Harry Reid also scrubbed his website of his 2005 objections to the "nuclear option" and filibuster reform.
BuzzFeed, captured seven 2005 press releases from Harry Reid, that can no longer be seen on his website.
Ironically, the first Reid press release shown, from May 2005, carefully lists six vilations of Senate rules and precedents that would be broken by using the "nuclear option" to change the filibuster rules.
The second Reid release shown, also from May 2005, refers to the use of the nuclear option as a "plan to blow up the Senate."
The third Reid release highlights a public statement Reid made in March 2005, where he declares that reforming the filibuster is "an attempt to strip away these important checks and balances," and continues on to call it "the desire for absolute power."
See the full set of Reid releases from 2005, that no longer can be found on Reid's website, over at BuzzFeed.
Personally I am of two minds about this.
First: No matter who the controlling party is, I do not think a controlling party should be able to take the filibuster "checks and balances" option away from the minority party.
ON THE OTHER HAND ... The House of Representatives have a large Republican majority (234-201-one undecided race) and any legislation Senate Democrats passed by limiting Senate GOP's power to debate, wouldn't be passed by the House, but when Democrats end up in the Senate minority again, then complain bitterly about the Democratically passed filibuster reforms limiting their right to debate, just to be reminded it was their own actions that did so.... well, I would find that highly entertaining.
There are 33 Senate seats on the ballot in 2014, 20 Democrats and 13 Republicans.
The consensus of all predictions and Roll Call Predictions, show 11 of the GOP held seats "safe Republican" and the remaining two "likely Republican" and only seven seats held by Democrats now listed as "safe", four listed as "likely Democrat" and three "leans Democrat."
The six seats considered toss ups are all held by Democrats right now.
That gives Republicans a fair chance at taking control of the Senate in the 2014 midterms.
So, whether it is in 2014 or later, eventually the GOP will control of the Senate and then Democrats as the minority party will have killed their "right to debate" to use Reid's terminology.
The political observer part of me says changing Senate rules is a bad idea, but the part of me that likes a little amusement with my politics, says "go for it, it'll bite you in the ass in the end, Harry."
[Update- 12/3/12] Speaker of the House John Boehner already made it very clear to Harry boy, "Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democrats’ heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival."