I really think the Dems miscalculated here. The Party and Obama are not sitting on the popular high ground to make a big power grab. This might even be one of the things that costs them the Senate.
There’s a little liberal elation over their big “win,” but it already seems muted, and it’s probably not going to last long. They must have felt they needed a distraction from the relentless drumbeat of horrible ObamaCare news, and a victory that could get them a dash of “comeback” mojo from the press, plus they clearly loved the opportunity to rail against Republican “obstructionism.”
But even the Party rank-and-file faithful are having a hard time seeing why the current situation was such a big deal that hundreds of years of precedent – and a decade of highly inconvenient quotes from the likes of Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden – had to be cast aside to push a couple more circuit judges into their seats. Something tells me Obama’s abuse of this new power is going to put his party on even shakier ground in 2014, which might suit him just fine, but some of the Dems who voted for today’s rule change will not live long to regret it.
So we’ll be right back on the frozen tundra of ObamaCare tomorrow, with Democrat voters already struggling to remember what they were told to celebrate on Thursday. Republicans, on the other hand, are energized. This is about the most energized I’ve ever seen Mitch McConnell get. And it’s the kind of issue that can unite Tea Party insurgents and old Establishment pachyderms. The Republicans now have a very simple, straightforward, and powerful appeal to make to the electorate: give us a Senate majority, or sit back and watch Obama run wild. The success of that appeal will be inversely proportional to Obama’s popularity, which has already sunk to depths it’s unlikely to recover from.
The pushback against a Democrat power grab is going to last awhile, especially since the majority of the country is currently wishing the Republicans had been able to use that “obstructionism” to stop ObamaCare. That pushback may erupt into something closer to a revolution if Reid and his gang try to nuke any other filibusters.
Of course, this is also going to come back to haunt the Democrats in a big way when they end up back in the minority, which is probably more likely as a result of what they did today. They’re going to have a very, very, very hard time trying to reinstall the nomination filibuster when they face a Republican president. I’ve heard the point made that Democrats were much better, and certainly much more aggressive, at using these tactics to block GOP nominees than vice versa, so Harry Reid just smashed a cudgel that fit more easily into his Party’s hands.