Senate Republicans could restore a bit of civility by confirming Neera Tanden

Republicans have legitimate grievances after a record-shattering, well over 300 cloture votes obstructing Trump nominees. And some senators, we’re told, have individual reasons to oppose Tanden. Apparently indulging in another collapsed standard of our times, she in the past tweeted or otherwise emitted a number of unkind, personal nastygrams aimed at some of those who now will consider her nomination.

Shame on her. But, in the recent toxic wasteland of national affairs, if we disqualify everyone who ever unleashed a smarmy or juvenile cheap shot, we’d have very few people left in Washington. Don’t tempt me.

Another reason for Republicans to stay their hand is, frankly, the Office of Management and Budget isn’t that important, or at least it’s not likely to be for the next few years. OMB can be an enormously effective instrument, but it depends entirely on the philosophy and governing approach of whoever is president. As a general rule, administrations favoring big spending, hyperactive regulation, and unfettered departments and agencies don’t have as much use for OMB. Odds are that the next administration will prefer higher levels of spending and rulemaking, and OMB will have correspondingly less influence over events.