Harry Reid keeps his word, John Boehner has lost the trust of Democrats

I have worked for House Democratic leaders and senior Democratic senators and cannot remember any time when there has been a breakdown of trust the way there is today.

Harry Reid is a legislator of the first order, a dealmaker and a man of his word. There is now a very clear and recurring pattern of the White House and Senate Democrats reaching agreements with Republicans, and coming to believe, with reason, that Speaker Boehner reneged on those agreements.

This has happened a number of times. It is very troubling to those of us who believe that integrity and trust are the coin of the realm in this town.

The payroll tax is only the latest example.

This is not the moment for legalisms and nitpicking. Presidents and majority leaders should never have to say to a Speaker, "I need it in writing.” A Speaker should never let them believe he agreed on a course of action, and then used a faction in his party as an excuse for not honoring what other party leaders believed he had agreed to.

I have never worked for or known a Democratic Speaker or senior Democratic senator who ever faced even a hint of not keeping his or her word.

I do not know of any previous Republican leader or Speaker who developed the kind of reputation for not being trustworthy that Speaker Boehner has developed with almost all senior Democrats today.