Monday, June 08, 2009

It's nice to hear I'm not the only one who thinks this

Greg Sargent at his Plum Line blog picks up on a paragraph buried deep in a New York Times story talking about how House Democrats are ticked off at the timidity of "Give-'Em-Whine-Harry" Reid's leadership in the Senate (Report: House Dems Angry With Reid For Caving To Centrists And GOP 06/08/09). Someone gave me the very helpful hint a long time ago that some of the best material in news articles is often stuck near the end. Greg writes:

Apparently some of what’s driving this is Reid’s run for reelection [in 2010 in Nevada]. He has repeatedly shown he’s determined not to be painted by Republicans as too liberal. As a result, he has let Republicans frame the debate on key issues, even though they don’t even have candidate to run against him yet; one example was Reid’s decision not to fund the closing of Guantanamo before a plan is in place for relocating the detainees. [my emphasis]
This notion of picking a Party leader in the Senate or House from a marginally Democratic district to project a more moderate image is just cracked. The Party leader needs to be an effective partisan, not someone feels its imperative to posture as only a partial Democrat to keep the folks back home happy enough to get re-elected.

It's especially damaging at a time like this, with a new, very popular Democratic President replacing a Republican administration that had become highly unpopular while a world economic crisis is going on; that provides a great set-up for being able to push through major reforms and the nominees that the President and the Party want.

The Times piece also says that the (unnamed) Democratic House critics of Reid framed their criticism as that they "accuse Reid and his lieutenants of repeatedly placating Republicans to avoid a filibuster". I've been amazed how how willing Give-'Em-Whine-Harry has been to pull out the filibuster excuse. If he can't overcome a filibuster with 59 Dems in the Senate, I can only wonder what his excuse for inaction would be if he had 63 or 65 Dems. In any case, the Senate can abolish the filibuster rule with a majority vote.

But even though the Times article hypes it as a budding problem for Obama, it's hard to know how serious it is because it's not a quote from someone on the record on that point.

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