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The Master

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Here’s footage of Lefty Rosenthal’s rant about Harry Reid, a barely fictionalized version of which was portrayed in the Martin Scorsese classic Casino:

This thread by his former aide Adam Jentleson is a good summary of what made him a giant as Senate Majority Leader:

It’s becoming more widely accepted what a titanic achievement the ACA was. Particularly at the time, there was an understandable but ahsitorical and misleading tendency to judge Obama/Reid/Pelosi by a baseline of European universal healthcare rather than past expansions of the American welfare state given the immense structural constraints. But to put Reid’s work into the proper context, let us remember that each and every one of these senators had a veto over the bill:

Max Baucus D Mont.
Evan Bayh D Ind.
Robert C. Byrd D W.Va
Kent Conrad D N.D.
Byron L. Dorgan D N.D.
Kay Hagan D N.C.
Tim Johnson D S.D.
Mary L. Landrieu D La.
Joseph I. Lieberman ID Conn.
Blanche Lincoln D Ark.
Claire McCaskill D Mo.
Ben Nelson D Neb.
Mark Pryor D Ark.
John D. Rockefeller IV D W.Va.
Jon Tester D Mont.
Jim Webb D Va.

What’s amazing is not that they got more, but that they got as much as they did.

It should also be remembered that going nuclear over federal judicial and executive branch nominations is one of the precious few times that Senate Democrats have actually gotten the jump on Republican procedural envelope-pushing. (And, evidently, anyone who thinks that Mitch McConnell would have allowed a Supreme Court seat to remain vacant for 4 years had Reid not done it is an abject moron.) If only Senate Dems would heed his wisdom about killing the filibuster. R.I.P.

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