On Hold

I mostly agree with this post by Ezra Klein.  I don't, in fact, think that having a new head of the TSA would have prevented the attempt to bomb a plane.  But that's really neither here nor there.  The holds on the presidents nominees have gotten entirely out of hand, and are beginning to seem more like spite than anything else.

On the other hand, I expect that's going to change.  Republicans are obstructive because until now, the administration hasn't had any interest in them.  Olympia Snowe, yes, because she has the magic power to make bills "bipartisan".  But progressive myth-making aside, with 60 votes in the Senate, no one has tried very hard to do anything that would make bills a win for both Democrats and Republicans.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it--why would you seek compromise if you had sixty consistent votes?  As a result, however, what's left for the Republicans is voting no on everything, because there's rarely much advantage to voting yes--they get no credit if it passes, but they get to share the blame if it fails.

Now, on the other hand, Republican votes become more attractive--the president is going to want to pass more things that get a lot of Republican votes, i.e. are quite popular.  So I expect the number of holds will go down--perhaps more will be initiated strategically, but the president is now going to have bargaining chips to buy them off.  Or so I mote.