Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has finally pulled the trigger on the nuclear option. The Senate will now need only 51 votes, not 60, to take a vote on presidential appointees and all judicial nominees except the U.S. Supreme Court. Reid has, say critics, broken the protections for the minority party that have held for 225 years. They predict that the United States Senate will never be the same again. No, say supporters of the move, it will restore some semblance of balance to an institution that was paralyzed by partisan bickering. So will this make things better or worse in Washington? Has Reid shown that he means what he says, or has he provoked Republicans into shutting down everything?