Friday, January 25, 2013


This is the best explanation I can find for what happened yesterday.

Most of the liberals and other normal people in this country are probably really angry at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for passing up an opportunity to reform the filibuster rules that have turned the U.S. Senate into a tar pit where democracy goes to die.

On Thursday night’s The Rachel Maddow Show, host Rachel Maddow exhaustively detailed all of the times Sen. Reid promised to end the so-called silent filibuster, and to do so with a simple 51-49 majority if necessary. (Yesterday) afternoon, Sen. Reid chickened out, but he had a good reason to. That reason, though, isn’t good enough.

That not equivocal enough for you? Sit tight.

Reid understands that his threat cuts both ways. See, the problem isn’t with changing the filibuster rules, it’s with changing the rules at all with a 51-vote majority, because even if Democrats make a perfectly reasonable rule change using the new Congress loophole, there’s nothing to stop Republicans from going nuts when they retake the majority, and giving themselves the right of primae noctis, or making a rule that all Democrats have to resign. That’s why Harry Reid is not such an idiot for backing away from this threat.

Here’s why Harry Reid is kind of an idiot for backing down: there’s still nothing to stop Republicans from going nuts when they retake the majority, and they will. When Republicans retake the majority, if Harry Reid is still in the Senate, we will see him at a microphone in a Republican-mandated propeller beanie and “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt with the finger pointed up at his face ensemble, complaining about how his learned colleagues have broken with all precedent, and he will not stand for it next time he’s in the majority.

So pick a side, argue it out, and let the justifications/recriminations begin.

My takeaway? This is what people are talking about when they say both parties are the same. Oh... and there's no point in trying to play nice with aggressive, angry lunatics. You have to either subdue them and administer their tranquilizing medication or bust them in the mouth until they chill out.

You do not win anything by compromising with sociopaths. The very compromise itself has the opposite result you were hoping for: you do not come off as reasonable or rational for your moderate, tolerant, cooperative spirit. You appear weak because you negotiated with terrorists.

Instead of presenting oneself as an esteemed diplomat and respected bipartisan leader, you wind up looking like a pussy. One of the many ironies in this lesson is that Hillary Clinton understands this concept clearly.

You must. punch. back. Even when you're not punching at all, but simply adjusting your glasses.

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