Maybe retired Senator Harry Reid keeps up with the U.S. Senate these days. Or maybe he is hiding from the ugly mess that he left behind. Who knows and who cares?
Back in my school days, I recall that a history teacher said that the Founders had created the Senate as a firewall against the passions of the day. As George Washington put it, the Senate is the saucer where we cool off the tea.
I guess that we need a new saucer because this one is not cooling the tea, the coffee, or anything else.
The U.S. Senate looks more and more like a place for partisanship rather than statesmanship, as Michael Barone wrote:
Democrats have consistently been more willing to attempt to defeat or discredit nominees of Republican presidents than vice versa.
Few Republican senators voted against confirmation of Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor or Kagan; many Democratic senators voted against confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.
Judging from the hearings, nearly all Democratic senators seem inclined to vote against the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch.
Even those acknowledging his impressive qualifications and temperament, like Michael Bennet of Gorsuch’s native Colorado and Chris Coons of Delaware, have left themselves room to vote no.
The Democratic base seems to be demanding root and branch opposition to every initiative of the Trump administration and the Republican Party, with such vehemence that few Democrats except Senators Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp, from the strongly pro-Trump states of West Virginia and North Dakota, seem wary of anything that could be interpreted as a pro-Trump vote.
Yes, Mr. Barone is right that the Democrat base is demanding total opposition to anything Trump. At the same time, wasn’t the Senate created so that we could have a branch that did not react to everything that a crazy base was demanding?
Add to this awful mix the fact that Senator Reid killed the 60-vote rule to approve judges, and the place stinks. The Senate has the unbearable scent of Reid, one of the most partisan politicians who ever made it to the Senate.