NBC’s Kasie Hunt Points to Harry Reid for Igniting Senate Divisions: ‘It’s All a Total Mess’
As divisions deepen and tensions flare within the Senate over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, NBC’s Kasie Hunt lamented intensifying bipartisanship, blaming Harry Reid for helping to drive the wedge between both sides.
Speaking to the Meet the Press‘ Chuck Todd Sunday, Hunt, a Capitol Hill correspondent, said the Senate’s only unity could be found “in the fact that it’s all a total mess.”
“I’ve been covering Congress for 10 years and I’m struggling to remember a point that feels lower than this one,” she told Todd. “People have real doubts about what the role of the Senate is going to be going forward.”
The reason the lawmakers are turning to tribalism, Hunt felt, was a reaction to a key move by Reid during his time as a senator representing Nevada.
“It started with the Democrats in Harry Reid when he took away the filibuster for those circuit court judges and it got lower when Mitch McConnell did it for the Supreme Court nominations,” she explained.
Hunt’s remarks reference Reid’s 2013 decision to adopt the so-called nuclear option, meaning circuit court nominees would only need a simple majority of 51 votes to be approved, rather than a supermajority that could reflect stronger support.
However, Reid used the nuclear option once it became clear McConnell would not allow any of President Barack Obama‘s nominees to be confirmed, thus jamming up the process. By contrast, McConnell’s decision to employ the nuclear option was based primarily on partisanship, a point underscored by D.C. political scientist Norman Ornstein, who called it a “casual and false equivalence” to compare the two. That criticism prompted a Kasie Hunt quote retweet, and subsequent discussion.
The idea that Harry Reid didn't contribute to the Senate's descent into bitter hyperpartisanship is simply ludicrous. https://t.co/UkTwsEP1Fp
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) October 7, 2018
In the MSNBC clip, Hunt concluded her remarks by offering a grim prediction for the future of the Senate, noting that things weren’t exactly looking up.
“I wish I could sit here and say that I thought it was going to get better, but I don’t see it,” she said.
Watch the clip above courtesy of MSNBC.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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