Alternate headline: “Democrats surprised to discover Senate’s filibuster rule.” You know, I actually had a glimmer of sympathy for Reid last night when the GOP was obsessing over Boehner’s bill knowing full well that it would be instantly dead in the Senate. It was a waste of precious time with the ceiling deadline looming, but the dynamics of this standoff are such that Boehner and Republicans simply had to save face. This is the Democratic counterpart to that, I guess — a Seinfeldian press conference about nothing, griping about the evergreen reality of the filibuster in hopes of nudging the media yet again into blaming the GOP for the stalemate despite the fact that we still haven’t had a vote on a Democratic plan.
What I can’t figure out is why he’d bother calling a presser to whine instead of pushing his bill and letting the Republicans vote him down. That’s a much more powerful message than complaining about the filibuster. “We had a plan but the Republicans blocked it” is potentially a saving grace message-wise for the left if the stalemate persists and we hit the ceiling next week. Instead he’s ducking the vote for reasons I don’t quite understand. Even if he loses, he can proceed immediately to negotiating with McConnell on a compromise and then attaching that agreement as an amendment to Boehner’s bill. So why not force the Senate GOP to filibuster? It’s the left’s best counter right now to the Republicans’ “we passed two bills and you passed squat” narrative.