03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mark Schmitt: Victory At What Cost?

"The most troublesome task of a reform president," Henry Adams wrote in his autobiography, is "to bring the Senate back to decency." President Barack Obama did not accomplish that task this year, far from it. But what he and other Democrats did accomplish this morning is something that eluded every reform president before him, and is in a sense, all the greater an accomplishment for the fact that the institution -- not just the Senate itself but the Washington culture that surrounds it -- was at its most indecent.

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