Seems to me that if you're a party frustrated by procedural roadblocks erected by Republicans, if you've lost a Senate race in part because of a trade known as the Cornhusker Kickback, if the White House communications director gently (but actually) upbraids Republicans for their out-sized penchant for filibustering, if you're trying to really hammer the point home that the reason why it seems that your party can't govern or get results is due to factors beyond your control... you'd turn Richard Shelby's unprecedented blanket hold on 70 nominees for reasons no more pure than the preservations of two favorite programs into not only a talking point... but also a way of justifying recess appointments for these nominees. And if you were the Republican Party, or a Republican candidate who wanted to run against Washington, wouldn't you blast Shelby too? Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, called the Shelby hold "the post child for how this town needs to change the way it works, I fear there won't be a greater example of silliness throughout the entire year of 2010."
Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.