Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times today:
President Obama will get a short-term lift for his nominees, judicial and otherwise, but over the immediate horizon, the strong-arm move by Senate Democrats on Thursday to limit filibusters could usher in an era of rank partisan warfare beyond even what Americans have seen in the past five years.(Emphasis added.)
Ultimately, a small group of centrists -- Republicans and Democrats -- could find the muscle to hold the Senate at bay until bipartisan solutions can be found. But for the foreseeable future, Republicans, wounded and eager to show they have not been stripped of all power, are far more likely to unify against the Democrats who humiliated them in such dramatic fashion.
Actually, that's not true. Republicans are not "eager to show they have not been stripped of all power." Republicans are never "eager to show they have not been stripped of all power." Republicans are almost always eager to convey the impression that they have no power, that power is something they've been viciously cheated out of, but that they are nonetheless plucky, determined underdogs who have God and the Constitution on their side, which helps them fight for freedom despite the tyranny of the Liberal Monolith. Even when Ronald Reagan could bend Democratic Blue Dogs to his will, or George W. Bush and a Republican Congress ran the country with impunity, the message was that they were under the bootheel of Sam Donaldson or Dan Rather, or persecuted by left-wing college professors, or by Michael Moore and the Dixie Chicks, who had all the real power.
This tweet is from World Net Daily, but I think it sums up the Republican worldview:
GOP star goes nuclear on 'bully' Democrats It looks like one-party rule has finally become reality in America.... http://t.co/iv1xcoHXfY— WND News (@worldnetdaily) November 21, 2013
(The link goes to a story quoting Rand Paul's whiny "bully" reference to Harry Reid.)
Bullies claiming to be bullied -- does that remind you of anything? It reminds me of a wife beater who gets a restraining order against the wife he beats, and who otherwise claims that he's the real victim. Fight back against a guy like that, even strictly in self defense, and he'll show off every tiny bruise as proof that you're the monster, not him.
In situations like that, the cops often believe the men. The political equivalent of such cops is Dana Milbank:
The Democrats' naked power grabTranslation: If anything happens to her now, she asked for it.
... If Congress wasn't broken before, it certainly is now.
... Reid was right that Republican obstruction has been intolerable....
But Reid's remedy -- calling a simple-majority vote to undo more than two centuries of custom — has created a situation in which the minority leader, Mitch McConnell (Ky.), is expected to use the minority’s remaining powers to gum up the works, and to get revenge when Republicans regain the majority.
... If it was possible to make things even worse in Washington, Reid just did it.
I said yesterday that "The template for the modern GOP is what happened in Wisconsin after the 2010 elections: a blitzkrieg of punitive, revanchist legislation using every parliamentary tool at the new GOP majority's disposal." Victor noted in comments that what's been happening in North Carolina lately is another example. It will happen in Congress if the GOP gets total control -- but now everything the Republicans do under those circumstances will be the Democrats' fault, traceable to filibuster reform as the "original sin." In the future, it will be said that the partisan wars started on November 21, 2013.
Because if the victim fights back, then she was never a victim, right?
UPDATE: Did I say Republicans are determined to persuade you that they're the abused party?
A conservative blog in Louisiana on Thursday posted an image of Sen. Mary Landrieu’s face superimposed on the body of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini -- and an hour later, the campaign manager of Landrieu’s main opponent next year, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), tweeted out a link to the post.
The Hayride blog on Louisiana politics featured an entry -- under the headline, "Mary Voted To Kill The Filibuster Today..." -- about Landrieu's vote with fellow Democrats to invoke the so-called nuclear option, which changed Senate rules to prevent filibusters against most presidential nominations. The photo, which was uploaded to the site with the filename "MussoLandrieu," accompanied the story.
"Landrieu was with Harry Reid in this rather fascistic endeavor," the blog stated....
Mary Landrieu? Mary Landrieu?
And I assume it was Mussolini only because "Landolf Hitler" was, y'know, too obvious.