Political Animal


April 06, 2013 1:16 PM Afternoon Reads

By Ryan Cooper

That’s it for me, folks, Kathleen Geier will take over for tomorrow. As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

Here are some luxurious weekend tidbits, if you need a distraction from all that sunshine:

1. Whoa.

2. Kevin Drum is very sensible on disability payments.

3. Brad DeLong adds some depth to 20th century economic history.

4. WHOA.

5. Another dang oil spill?!

6. Harry Reid is hinting that they might pare back the filibuster some more, at least for judges.

And check out how your knee-jerk reflex works:


Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • cwolf on April 06, 2013 1:38 PM:

    For his Next Act, Harry Reid wil fold himself into the Tallest Origami in DC.

  • somethingblue on April 06, 2013 2:02 PM:

    I long ago stopped being interested in Harry Reid's "hints" about things he "might" do. Wake me up when he and the other Senate Democrats prove they're interested in governing.

  • jrosen on April 06, 2013 2:05 PM:

    Do you think the Bible-thumpers ever wonder why tornadoes like this strike the areas with the most religious extremism? is God unhappy with them? Why don't these catastrophes hit the Sodom and Gomarrah of the NE? (Yes there was Sandy, but that is once a century, not every other month.)

  • Kathryn on April 06, 2013 3:31 PM:

    Ditto something blue.

  • c u n d gulag on April 06, 2013 4:31 PM:

    Harry, baby, you had '07, '09, and '11, to learn what you needed to do in '13.
    Ya didn't.
    You, who has been in the Senate for so long, should know that collegiality, decency, and respect, are as dead as bipartisanship.
    You blew it, 2 months ago.

    Hopefully, you'll have another chance in '15.
    And, if you don't, hopefully the D's in the Senate will tell you to take a step down.

  • jkl; on April 06, 2013 5:42 PM:

    I often go to Brad Delong's site.
    I used to think I was the smartest gal on the planet but find myself having to read and re-read to get the gist there. Even the comments! Always educational.
    As for Harry Reid, I suspect he has residual trauma from the run with Sharon Angle, and he remains overly cautious... I wonder if he even feels well half the time. I would think a new majority leader should be selected, and I'm not being ageist about the matter.
    He kind of stresses me out. Am in burn out territory at this point, trying to focus on his past accomplishments of just compartmentalizing his repeated issues that upset us progressives. He could need an intervention from his Senate colleagues. Part of me thinks this Republican obstructionism has stalled the energy for an intervention.

  • Doug on April 06, 2013 5:56 PM:

    Sorry to take away everyone's easiest target, but there just weren't the votes. According to Sen. Bernie Sanders there 47-48 votes to return to a talking filibuster, so even had Reid voted to do so, there *still* wouldn't have been enough votes.
    Nor is the Senate run along lines anywhere near the House in regards to caucus "discipline". And even in the House there's rarely a "required" vote, usually it's a consensus among the members of the caucus with the caucus leader perhaps applying *some* pressure, but rarely threats. As threats have to backed up with actions to be believable; it ma be an available option when one's caucus numbers nearly two hundred, not so much when there's only 55.
    Another thing people might want to remember: Sen. Reid's idea of Senatorial "tradition" is most likely based on what *he* has experienced during his tenure there. All of which has been *after* changes were made to the filibuster in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
    So to Sen. Reid, a return to a "talking" filibuster *would* be a rather radical step and is probably why he's not that enamored by the thought of either returning to a talking filibuster or completely doing away with it. It's just not the "tradition" he knows.
    Anyway, my faith is in McConnell stepping over the agreed limits - again. He did so in the last session of Congress and Reid lead 51 members of his caucus, out of 52, to the chamber and changed the rules. It was ten months into that Session, in October of 2011.
    Personally, I don't see the present agreement lasting even as long as the last one. McConnell is dealing with Cruz and Paul now and I don't think his threats will deter them from grandstanding and blowing up the agreement between the Majority and Minority Leaders.
    When it happens, probably sometime during the next "crisis" over the Budget/debt ceiling/take your pick, I fully expect Sen. Reid to have 53 or 54 votes to either re-instate a talking filibuster or some other arrangement whereby the minority party suffers the most from a filibuster. Or possibly even removing various nominations from being able to be filibustered?
    I rather like the last myself.

  • pjcamp on April 07, 2013 12:38 AM:

    Harry Reid is full of shit.

  • Matt on April 07, 2013 11:05 AM:

    I'd be a bit hesitant on posting links to stories on RT, they're not exactly a reliable news source. In fact, they're more akin to an anti-western propaganda site.