Let me introduce some numbers to you. It now takes only 51 votes to break a filibuster. How many Democrats are there in the Senate? 55. Republicans? 45. Wait a minute now… Sen. Harry Reid is changing the rules of the game to favor his own team. No wonder, Rand Paul is calling Reid a “bully” on CNN.
[Rand Paul on Harry Reid:] “…What he’s saying is, I’m in charge here, I’m a bully, and I’m going to get my way or I’m going to change the rules. And he had to actually break the rules in order to change the rules. Never been done. He’s breaking with hundreds of years of precedent to do this. Frankly, in doing so, he’s causing more discord and disharmony here, and there will be more dysfunction, I think, because of it.”
Reid has broken decades of tradition. And what does he have to say about this? He claims that the Republicans have abused the power of filibusters but what’s to stop the Democrats from taking advantage, oh wait, too late.
All in all, it’s like John Dickerson of Slate says, the old Senate is dead and this just confirms it:
“In the old Senate, the rules and customs created a culture of comity and bipartisanship. Little can be done in the Senate without unanimous consent of its members. That is one of its bedrock principles, which means each senator has tremendous power, but also has a certain amount of responsibility to keep the place humming. ”
“…The old Senate was like a game of baseball—long, with lots of beer, time for conversation, lead changes, and occasional moments of excitement. The Senate today feels more like football—every play is combat, clash, and action of the moment. Given this pace, grab your chance to change the rules now because your opponent is going to change them in the future anyway.” (Slate)
Maybe the Republicans aren’t playing ball like they should but remember “the Republican-controlled Congress threatened the same nuclear option [not long ago, in 2005], but ultimately chose to negotiate instead of nullifying the minority voice in the Senate.” (Washington Times)
“There has to be consensus and there’s tradition”, says Paul on CNN. “But he’s breaking the rules to get his way.”
As Conor Higgins of the Washington Times points out, Reid may have just united the Tea Party and GOP with a common enemy.
WATCH: Sen. Paul Discuss Filibuster Reform and The Bully in the Senate
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