HackWatch: Harold Meyerson


Former Reason Burton C. Gray Memorial Intern Jeremy Lott catches the Washington Post columnist flipping on the use of the Senate filibuster.

Writing in the American Prospect after the Republicans cleaned up in the 2002 off-year elections, Meyerson predicted that the nation would "suffer" under united Republican rule. He worried about "all the right-wing judicial appointments that will be ratified, for the Supreme Court on down, now that the Republicans control the Senate" and about the "lack of scrutiny" that the Bush administration could expect "now that the Democrats control no committees."

"Only the filibuster," he warned, "now stands between the nation and the unchecked rule of the most right-wing xenophobic and belligerent administration in the nation's history."

And now?

In his column yesterday in the Washington Post, he praised the House of Representatives for passing Pelosicare and damned the Senate as "Dithering Heights" for its refusal to ram the bill through tomorrow.

"A catastrophic change has overtaken the Senate in recent years," he wrote. Because of the filibuster, "the Senate has become a body that shuns debate, avoids legislative give-and-take, proceeds glacially and produces next to nothing."

Why just "earlier this month"—that is, November—"Senate Republicans blocked consideration of an extension of unemployment insurance." And when they "finally let it come to a vote"—all of several days later, by his account—"the measure passed 98 to 0."

Meyerson earns a strong 8.5 out of 10 on the completely arbitrary Hackery Index. Well done, Harold!

Prior installments of HackWatch here.