Who’s the hypocrite?

From Steve Benen, a chart of filibusters over the years. The number went down last year simply because the Senate quit trying to accomplish much of anything since the Republican-controlled House was unlikely to pass anything that came from the Democratic-controlled Senate.

In a Wonkblog post today, Ezra Klein makes the point that both McConnell and Reid are hypocritical because they’ve switched positions on the so-called “nuclear option” – changing the rules of the Senate to reform filibusters. When Reid was in the minority, he opposed it. When McConnell was in the majority, he favored it. Now that their status has switched, so has their position.

But Klein overlooks something important: Reid came to this conclusion only after six years of unprecedented abuse of the filibuster by the minority party (McConnell). Back when McConnell was proposing what he then called the “constitutional option,” it was in response to Democratic opposition to a handful of extreme Bush judicial nominees.

Reid has resisted calls for reform, and rejected the request to institute reforms at the opening of the last Congress. Republican intransigence and unyielding opposition to everything has forced Reid to see the need for reform.

Both men have changed positions. Only one is truly being hypocritical.

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