The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

A Thin Reid Finally Snaps


In the last Morning Jolt of the week:

Harry Reid Finds Himself Omnibusted

We’re not used to watching the good guys win in spending fights very much. But last night, that’s just what happened: “Speaking now on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) says he is ‘sorry and disappointed’ to announce that he does not have the votes for the omnibus spending package. Instead, he will work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to draft a temporary continuing resolution to fund the government into early next year. Reid says nine Republican senators approached him today to tell him that while they would like to see the bill passed, they could not vote for it.”

Jen Rubin is stunned at the scale of Reid’s miscalculation: “After exposing his party, the White House and himself to an avalanche of bad press and bipartisan criticism over the earmark-stuffed omnibus spending bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a sort of political Dunkirk moment, gave up and fled. Just moments ago, he fessed up that he did not have enough votes for cloture on the omnibus spending bill. So instead, as the Republicans had demanded, there will be a continuing resolution, and the Republicans will get their shot to manage the budget next year. Think about it for a moment. Reid, for no good reason, forced the president out on a limb (recall that President Obama endorsed this mess of a bill) and helped the Republicans to cement their image as the more fiscally disciplined of the two parties.”

It’s later than we wanted, and in a different context than we wanted, but I still love hearing people say, “Harry Reid lost.”

Over in the Corner, the boss lays out what this suprising result might mean: Tonight may indeed may be a “seminal moment,” as McCain said. This was to be the appropriators’ last hurrah. In the end, they couldn’t see it through, and it’s not going to get any better for them next year. Why did it go down? You had Jim DeMint rallying outside opposition, and pushing Reid’s back against the wall procedurally with the threat to have the whole monstrosity read on the floor; that was time Reid presumably couldn’t afford to waste given everything else he wants to jam through. Then, you had Mitch McConnell on the phone all day with Republican appropriators — Reid’s base of support on the bill–twisting their arms to come out against it. My understanding is that by the end he had all the appropriators committed against it, with the exception of two who were undecided. McConnell told the appropriators that passing this bill, and passing it this way, would represent a rejection of everything the mid-term election was about, and ultimately he prevailed. And, finally, there was McCain. He was out there, too. On “Hannity” last night, he sounded like a tea-partier, urging people to use social media and to flood the phone lines in opposition . . . Altogether, a heartening night . . .

Rand Simberg cheers, “On the anniversary of the first Tea Party, the Tea Partiers have won a great victory . . . Mr. Smith has come to Washington, again.”

RightKlik, writing at Left Coast Rebel, chuckles, “Dems got run over by the Omnibus.”

Jay W. at Say Anything dishes out some credit, but observes that there’s a lot more work to be done: “It would be easy to say that the publicity surrounding the large number of earmarks in the bill belonging to Republicans led to this reversal. It would also be a trivial matter to claim that the successes of Tea Party candidates in the recent midterms is planted firmly in the minds of those Republicans who were denouncing earmarks in speeches and press conferences while at the same time holding out their hands for their share of the lucre. That’s because these things are undoubtedly true. The Republican victories in the midterms were a start, but by no means the end of the journey to fiscal responsibility. Pressure from the incoming Congresspeople who ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and the continued vigilance of citizens are needed to continue the push for smaller government, smaller deficits, and transparency in how our tax money is used. This bill being pulled is a start.”

ADDENDA: Michael Vick wants a dog: “I would love to get another dog in the future,” Vick told “I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process. I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals.”

As I said last night on Hannity, let’s start small. Let’s get him an ant farm. And if he can take care of them, and not start any ant-fighting rings . . .

Tags: Barack Obama , Congressional Republicans , Harry Reid , Mitch McConnell


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