Mushroom Cloud

In the best news I’ve heard in weeks, Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” in the Senate today, and secured 52 Democratic votes to require only a majority to confirm executive and lower-court judicial nominees.

The only Democrats who didn’t go along were long-time “nuclear” opponent Carl Levin and two red-state senators of wandering loyalty, Joe Manchin and Mark Pryor. It took a lot of GOP obstruction to create this level of Democratic loyalty.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.