Letters: 'Nuclear option' -- it's about time

Re "New breed in the Senate," Nov. 23

It's about time the Democrats showed some backbone.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) statement to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) years ago that "we've got to change the culture" was sadly prescient.

Indeed, the Washington culture has changed: Our government is being held hostage by ideologically extreme, recalcitrant and constitutionally uninformed tea party members. Democrats have appeared hapless in the face of that.

Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated their capriciousness. Reid, astonishingly, trusted the "gentlemen's agreement" handshake proffered by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to moderate his party's use of the filibuster. We all know how that turned out. The extreme right wing of the Republican Party has effectively displayed the "tyranny of the minority" to such an extent that Congress has become a joke and effective government has all but disappeared.

Perhaps the Democrats will come to rue the day they used the "nuclear option"; however, this ridiculous gridlock simply has to end.

Rebecca Hertsgaard

Palm Desert


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