Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made a deal with Senate Republicans to allow the vote on Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Inauguration Day along with James Mattis for Defense Secretary and John Kelly for Homeland Security Secretary. Then, Sen Ron Wyden, D-Oregon announced that he was delaying Pompeo’s confirmation, a move that Schumer agreed to. The delay engendered an angry exchange between Schumer and Sen. Tom Cotton. R-Arkansas on the Senate floor. Cotton demanded to know why Schumer had reneged on the deal. Schumer, according to the Weekly Standard, claimed that he had only speaking for himself and not the rest of the Democratic caucus.

Things spiraled out of control from there.

At one point Schumer told Cotton that no director of the CIA had been confirmed on Inauguration Day and if he had been in the Senate eight years before he would have known that. Cotton exploded, yelling, "Eight years ago, I was getting my ass shot at in Afghanistan. So don't talk to me about where I was eight years ago."

The practical, short-term effect of Schumer’s deception was that Saturday President Trump did not have a new CIA director to accompany him when he went down to Langley to talk to the Agency’s spies and analysts. Pompeo was duly confirmed on Monday, and he is now director of the CIA.

The long-term effects of Schumer’s blunder may be direr.

The United States Senate is an institution with a lot of arcane rules and traditions and depends on unofficial deals such the one the Minority Leader reneged on to run smoothly. Schumer proved that he was not a man to be trusted, either because he is a duplicitous weasel or because he is too weak to control his caucus. Either way points to trouble going forward.

Schumer compounded his folly by unintentionally denigrating Sen. Cotton’s military service. Even in blue state New York nothing quite causes a stain as disrespect for a veteran.

Schumer has a couple of options. He can try to mend fences and follow through on some concessions to the Republican majority that he otherwise would not have made.

Or he can declare war and go the Harry Reid route of gridlock, alienating the American electorate and perhaps causing a revolt among Red State Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018. Either way, Schumer has hurt himself and his caucus for no real purpose.