Our View: Reid goes ‘nuclear’

Posted: November 22, 2013

So Harry Reid and 51 of his Senate Democratic colleagues decided to invoke the “nuclear option.” All we can say is, “Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it. One day soon, you may be in the minority.”

The “nuclear option” is pretty much that — “nuclear,” as it changes the body’s historic rules for filibustering. By virtue of Thursday’s 52-48 vote, which saw Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Carl Levin (Mich.), and Mark Pryor (Ark.) vote with the Republican minority, no executive-branch nominees, save those to the Supreme Court, can be filibustered.

Talk about a 180-degree turn: Mr. Reid’s decision to go “nuclear” represents an about-face from a stance taken in 2005 when the shoe was clearly on the other foot. As minority leader, he pleaded for the rights of, well, the minority when Republicans threatened to push the “nuclear” button. So did then-Sen. Barack Obama. Suddenly now, minority rights are arrantly dismissed.

Politics, politics, to be sure, but both Mr. Reid and President Obama rationalize — OK, spin — Thursday’s action as sorely needed. Only now, during Mr. Obama’s tenure they say, has opposition obstructionism become so rampant as to necessitate invocation of the “nuclear option.”

To such an argument, we offer this two-word response: Miguel Estrada.