Tensions reached a boiling point on the Senate floor on Monday as Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) hurled insults at Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), accusing the Iowa Republican of engaging in political trickery for refusing to hold hearings for a potential nominee to the High Court.
Stating Grassley’s actions are “out of character from someone with whom he has worked with for decades,” Reid continued to heap scorn at the Judiciary Chairman:
“He (Grassley) is taking his orders from the Republican leader and sadly Donald Trump. (He) is trying desperately to justify his blind loyalty to the Republican leader and to Donald Trump.”
Refusing to be condemned unheard and citing President Obama’s reliable judicial overreach, Grassley responded:
“The tantrums from the other side continue. I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone, as everyone knows around here nothing makes the minority leader more mad than when his side is forced to play by its own rules.”
Familiarity breeds contempt.
Despite Mr. Reid’s gauzy platitudes, he has a short memory: For the better part of 2011-2015, Mr. Reid, the then-Senate Majority Leader, shut down the Senate and smothered opposition to his monarchical rule.
In 2014 alone, Reid held the entire U.S. Senate hostage to his personal, partisan whims and allowed a meager 15 amendment votes. Invoking the procedural tactic, “filling the amendment tree” 50 times, Reid oiled the wheels for a less open and less deliberative body in the upper chamber of Congress.
That Reid did as much is unsurprising as his singular goal was to work in concert with Mr. Obama to prevent popular GOP-sponsored legislation from reaching Mr. Obama’s desk, where a veto was beyond question.
Never earning praise for his governance, Reid was characterized as lacking comity when serving as Majority Leader by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who also revealed his personal opinion of Reid in rather course language.
Tossed aside by the fury of the electorate, Reid’s demotion was welcome by his own colleagues in the Senate, some of whom stated they appreciated the change in leadership and a restoration of civility in the chamber which accompanied GOP supervision.
A serially irresponsible solo violinist, Reid now laments the GOP harnessing a comparable tack to his own methodology as a vulgar procedural approach.
How Mr. Trump, once a donor to Mr. Reid in the amount of $4,800 in 2010, entered into the conversation is no mystery: No longer Majority Leader and current GOP stewardship not to his liking, Reid’s unconvincing mission is to tether Mr. Trump to GOP movement in the Senate.
Given the utter falsehoods he is known to recite on the Senate floor against the Koch family and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, where he is immune to slander lawsuits, Mr. Reid, who is set to retire in January 2017, will leave behind a legacy of tension, mistrust and resentment.
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