Monday, August 16, 2010

Quick! Harry Reid Needs A Spinal Transplant

Ever wonder why, even with majorities in both houses of Congress, that the Democratic Party has been so ineffective in it's attempts to pass legislation?
Look no farther than the Senate Majority "Leader" Harry Reid, who when pressed on the "Ground Zero" Mosque, proved he's a spineless wimp able to be bullied by the likes of Sharron Angle.
Now, I understand, as a politician, there are times when it's wise to break away from the pack and stand up for what is right. This is not one of those times, unfortunately.
Sure, a majority of American television watchers oppose the plans to build a mosque six blocks away from the former site of the World Trade Center, but many Americans, after being fed a steady diet of misinformation about Saddam Hussein most Americans supported that crazy and illegal pre-emptive strike as well. All this means is that given the choice between rational thought and panic driven emotional overreaction that emotion will win out every time. But, given time to calm down, think, and apply rationality, they tend to see things more clearly.
What this means is that instead of approaching this issue as a First Amendment Issue, Reid is allow the Tea Baggers and Right Wingers to create the dialogue, and is caving in on it. That is not leadership. That is pure pandering to the television watching fear factory. And what's more, it's making Sharron Angle look stronger, which is the last thing an invertebrate like Reid needs.


S.W. Anderson said...

Reid really has put himself in a no-win position. It's almost as though the more political experience he racks up, the less he knows.

A wiser move would've been, when asked about the Muslim center and what Angle was saying, to reply: "On one level, that's a constitutional issue, and I stand by the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom. On another level, it's a matter for the people of Manahattan to work out, no advice from 2,500 miles away needed or wanted, I'm sure."

That said, there are several reasons why Democrats haven't been able to make their numbers on paper work better for them in legislative battles. Reid isn't the most forceful majority leader to come down the pike, but he hasn't been a pushover, either. The Democratic Caucus is badly divided in the face of a monolithic and spiteful Republican opposition.

Reid might be able to strong-arm some conservadems to be more cooperative about measures they don't like. But because those conservadems come from more-conservative states, that could set them up to lose when they run for re-election. Reid might not miss them all that much, personally or politically. But I'm sure he doesn't want to be remembered as the majority leader who quickly burned through his party's majority status after it had been in the minority for so long, as though it didn't matter.

Tom Harper said...

Reid may not be a pushover, but the Democrats have to find a way to counter the monolithic Republican hate machine. When it's a non-issue like a mosque near (not at) Ground Zero, the Democrats could just refuse to be drawn into a catfight.

And it's true that the public usually looks back on dumb things they've been in favor of, but they never apply their newfound wisdom to the present. A lot of conservatives agree that the Iraqi invasion was a mistake, but these same people are clamoring to invade Iran.

Dave Dubya said...

More than a spinal transplant, we need a new majority leader.

Jolly Roger said...

A spine in the acidic waste known as "Stepnfetchit" Reid would just dissolve.

There is no substance hard enough to use as a spine in that one.

Lew Scannon said...

There were many options available to Reid on this, that he seemed to echo his opponent shows how weak he is, and if he does actually believe this, he is in no position to be the majority leader.
I think a lot of people are being emotionally misdirected by this issue, courtesy of the corporate media, which is using this as a precursor to all out war with Iran.
I agree.
Too bad. Most people would agree that a leadership position requires a backbone of some sort.

libhom said...

Reid has been an absolute catastrophe for the Democrats as a majority leader.