Ed Morrissey doesn’t see any reason for Senate Democrats to keep Harry Reid as their leader after last night’s defeat:
[T]wo members of Reid’s caucus already have reasons to switch sides, and keeping Reid around will almost guarantee that Republicans will pressure Mitch McConnell to make the Democratic wilderness as miserable as Reid made the Republican wilderness. If that happens, both Angus King and Joe Manchin will certainly bolt, and Democrats may face another round of key retirements in the next two years, which will eat into their ability to regain the majority in 2016. McConnell doesn’t have any incentive to make that situation on Reid any easier, and plenty of incentive to force Reid out. McConnell may want to return to normal order, but not with Reid across the table from him. If McConnell wants to play hardball, all he needs to do is insist that Democrats shun Reid entirely — no leadership position, no ranking-member position on committees — for the next two years, in exchange for returning to the pre-Reid Senate environment.
But Susan Ferrechio gets the sense that none of Reid’s colleagues are prepared to challenge him:
If Senate Democrats move to oust Reid, the likely successor would come from the lower ranks of the leadership. Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer of New York and Conference Secretary Patty Murray of Washington are among the Democrats who might vie for the post. But those who know Reid best say there probably won’t be a challenge, because Reid, a former boxer who rose to power from a small town in the Nevada desert, would be too tough to beat. “If a Democrat wants to take him on, then they should know they are in for a no-holds-barred fight,” Eric Herzik, chairman of the political science department at the University of Nevada, Reno, told the Examiner.
In any case, Roger Pilon bets Reid is wishing he hadn’t “gone nuclear” right about now:
And where will those remaining Democratic senators who voted for Harry Reid’s nuclear option be sitting? Why on the minority side, watching Republicans enjoy their newly acquired power to block controversial Democratic nominees by the vote of a mere majority—all because of Harry’s hubris. But it wasn’t Harry’s alone. As the Wall Street Journal editorializes this morning, after his victory speech following his 2012 re-election, President Obama walked off the stage and made separate calls to Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic campaign chairman Steve Israel, telling them “he would spend the next two years helping Democrats retake the House in 2014.” In politics as in life, hubris has its price. We will now have a proper vetting of the president’s nominees, and that is good.
But Danny Vinik encourages Reid to play some hardball of his own and filibuster the shit out of everything, to give the Republicans a taste of their own medicine:
Reid has a history of supporting the filibuster when in the minority and criticizing it when in the majority. There’s no reason to expect that to change with McConnell as majority leader. And that’s a good thing. If Republicans are going to reap the political benefits of indiscriminant filibustering, then Democrats should do so as well.
The advantage of filibustering is that it allows a party to block progress without taking all of the blame for it, for the simple reason that most of the public—and, surprisingly, most of the media—don’t realize that filibusters are basically thwarting majority rule. Presidential vetoes, on the other hand, are easy for the public and media to understand and easy to appropriate blame. If Democrats relinquished the tool now, they’d give up a chance to make the same sort of gains. It’d be the equivalent of unilateral disarmament.