Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s diatribes against the Koch brothers on the floor of the Senate might be evidence of certifiable insanity if anyone took them seriously. But the attitude of the mainstream media, to the extent one can be detected, is ho-hum. The fact that no moderately well informed citizen of sound mind takes Reid’s diatribes seriously should be news all by itself.
Reid renders his diatribes on the floor of the United States Senate where he is cloaked in the immunity afforded representatives “in either house” under the speech or debate clause of Article I of the Constitution. He is a bully and a coward who has done great damage to the institution that he leads. It is simply impossible to imagine how he would be treated by an impartial press in an alternative universe. Reid represents a dramatic example of the powerful advantage Democrats hold by virtue of their media adjunct.
The failure of Congress to act is one of Barack Obama’s talking points whenever he threatens or undertakes lawless executive action. The Senate having failed even to entertain many of the bills that have passed the House, Reid himself has been instrumental to Congress’s failure to act. Like Reid’s diatribes, Obama’s talking points seek to exploit the ignorance of the Democrats’ core voters. The powerful advantage Democrats hold by virtue of their media adjunct again asserts itself.
Today Byron York reports on Reid’s latest scheme to consume Senate time debating a profoundly tyrannical constitutional amendment that has no chance of passage. York anticipates the following scenario:
The first action Reid has scheduled for next week is a cloture vote on whether to even begin considering the amendment. Republicans could filibuster the measure, which would stop it and allow the Senate to move on to move meaningful matters. But that would allow Democrats to accuse the GOP of obstructionism. So Republicans will likely allow the amendment to go forward.
A long debate will then ensue in which Democrats denounce the Kochs and “corporate money” and Republicans argue the amendment would abridge First Amendment rights. After an extended back-and-forth, there will be another vote, this time on whether to end debate. Again, Republicans don’t need to use the filibuster to stop the measure, because they know it will fail in the final vote.
After more pointless debate, there will be yet another vote to move toward a final vote on the matter. If the amendment goes on to that final vote, and even if all 55 Democrats ultimately support it, it will fall a dozen votes short of passage.
York asks what will have been accomplished and answers: “Reid and fellow Democrats will have gotten a few more days to denounce the Kochs.” He notes the cost cost: “[T]he issues the Senate might have addressed — not just government funding, but the urgent crises in Iraq and Syria, not to mention continuing problems along the U.S. southwestern border — will be squeezed into a mad, and probably unproductive, final rush.”
He also comments: “It’s rare for a Majority Leader to propose a measure he knows has zero chance of passing; that alone suggests the fundamentally political nature of Reid’s strategy.” Byron says it’s rare, but I’m guessing that if his research disclosed another example, he would have cited it. And the diatribes against the Kochs are little more than lies intended to exploit the ignorant for purely partisan purposes in the service of an unforgivably bad cause.