Heres the Democratic strategy:
Reid will not offer a bill during the fiscal-cliff negotiations because many Democrats disagreed with their presidents proposed tax hikes.
He has not produced a budget because to do so would expose the Democrats real spending ambitions, which would create political problems back home for his members.
Reid knows there is a brilliant added bonus to making sure the Senate is inactive: It keeps all the attention on Republicans.
The lamestream press is by now so used to Senate nothingness that reporters automatically turn every spotlight on the House.
This allows the White House and Democrats to avoid ownership of problems that they have created by casting Republicans as the cause of every legislative crisis and as the barrier to solutions. It also keeps the focus on divisions within the GOP.
An example of how this works: Tax bills must originate in the House, so the GOP in August dutifully passed legislation to avert the fiscal cliff by extending rates for one year. With regular order, the Senate would have taken this up, amended it and gone to conference. No crisis.
But Reid didnt want his members to have to vote on a bill that either undercuts Obama or undercuts their own re-election prospectsso he did NOTHING.
As the clock ticked down to the expiration of the Bush tax rates, the White House (and the press) then claimed it was incumbent on the GOP to either cut a deal directly with the administration or be held responsible for tax hikes on everyone.
Obama then sits back to enjoy a public GOP brawl over its tax strategy, followed by his tax victory. Nowhere was it noted that the entire breakdown of the processthe entire reason for the crisisrested on Reids refusal to act.
And since all the spotlight is on the Republican controlled house, VOILA! - GUESS WHO GETS ALL THE BLAME?
Harry Reid has been working his damnedest to keep Dems off the record on as many issues as possible. That way incumbent Dems can pretend to be whatever they want to be on the campaign trail. Pubbie Senate challengers MUST find an effective way to attach the Dem to Reid, his Nevada self dealing and his dictatorial leadership over the Senate.