Virginia’s two Democratic U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, dutifully marched in lockstep with all but three of their Democratic colleagues on the trampling of the Senate minority’s long-standing rights to filibuster that dates back to 1789. This will come back to haunt both of them – Kaine when he finds himself in the minority after the 2014 elections and Warner in his 2014 reelection campaign.
With each hyper-partisan vote that he casts, Warner exposes himself for the person he truly is – not the “raging moderate” he likes to claim to be, but the lockstep party hack he is. That is a recipe for disaster that is brewing stronger and threatens to create conditions for an electoral upset next year.
This rule change only increases partisan tensions and Virginians can thank their two U.S. senators for making Washington, DC a more partisan place with their votes.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Carl Levin (D-MI) joined with Republicans against this move which is called “the nuclear option”. Manchin is the closest thing the Democrats have to a real centrist. Pryor is running for his political life and, being the most vulnerable of the lot, must have gotten a hall pass from Harry Reid to vote against this. Levin, who is very liberal, is at least intellectually honest and recognizes that this was a bad, bad move.
In 2005, then-Sen. Barack Obama spoke out against the nuclear option when Republicans considered it. The only thing that has changed since then is he is now on the receiving end of things. Warner and Kaine have proven themselves to be the loyal lapdogs we always knew they were.