It was a rough week for liberal activists and MSNBC hosts. They had big plans for President Obama’s second term, and his inaugural address on Monday was music to their ears. However, much was riding on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D., Nev.) willingness to “nuke” the filibuster in order to streamline the passage of long-coveted liberal policies. Reid balked, and liberals are understandably upset:
The filibuster’s survival likely guarantees at least two more years of bitter stalemate between the Democrat-led Senate and the GOP-controlled House. At best, Obama may be able to enact part of his agenda through executive order, peel off a few Republicans on issues like immigration reform, and hope Democrats retake the House in 2014, a fairly unlikely scenario.
Those who were paying close attention — liberal activists, many of whom had seen their pet causes (card check, cap-and-trade, a health-care public option) defeated by filibusters during the president’s first term — were appropriately demoralized.
“This is a bad decision based on fear — a decision that will ultimately hurt millions of people who would have been helped by progressive bills that Republicans are sure to filibuster,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which had lobbied Senate Democrats to deploy the so-called nuclear option and effectively eliminate filibusters.
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