Harry Reid is trying to keep Democrats from having to choose between hippies and the Marines. He used a sneaky maneuver to block a vote on the Semper Fi Act Monday. That’s the bill that would strip Berkeley of this year’s earmarks.

Instead of adjourning at the end of a day as usual, the Senate “recessed” twice, a move that, under Senate rules, slows the process of adding new bills to the calendar. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not adjourn until last Friday, effectively pushing back floor consideration on the GOP bill until Tuesday — the same day that the city council is likely to tone down its call for Marine Corps recruiters to leave town.

“The only reason to recess is to block something, and the thing that got blocked by Reid’s stall tactic was the Semper Fi Act,” said spokesman Wesley Denton, referring to the bill introduced by his boss, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

“Democrats have chosen not to defend the Marine Corps, but to pander to anti-war protesters and Berkeley officials that are actively trying to impede military recruitment.”

We should review what the city of Berkeley has actually done. It’s not a “scolding” as the Hill article characterizes it. The Berkeley city council voted to regulate the USMC recruiting office as it regulates adult businesses, circumscribing its operations. It also called the Marines “unwelcome intruders,” called for them to leave town, and gave Code Pink a special parking place to facilitate its protests against the Marines. Those protests have taken the standard Code Pink form of smearing the troops as monsters and war criminals. Dingy Harry is preserving with his parliamentary move, and keeping Democrats in Congress from having to vote on whether a city can run the US military out of town. There is a serious and somewhat dangerous precedent at stake here, and Reid is coming down on the wrong side.

Michelle has more, including the Berkeley city council’s agenda for today. They’re considering measures that would dial down their show of open hostility to the Marines. Move America Forward is in Berkeley today to protest the city’s troop hate.