Too Frail a Reid

March 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Posted in Dysfunctional Politics | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from Nevada and Majority Leader of the United States Senate, official portrait, 2009, turned upside down.

Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from Nevada and Majority Leader of the United States Senate, official portrait, 2009, turned upside down.

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Harry Reid is too frail a reed for the Senate to lean upon.

Harry Reid adheres to the principle, ‘don’t bring it to a vote unless you already know that it will pass’.

This led him to withdraw a ban on assault weapons from a recent bill on gun control.  Eugene Robinson’s insightfully described the issues, the calculations, and the trade-offs in a recent article in the Washington Post.

If losing the vote would have made it less likely for the legislation to be brought up again in the future, then Harry Reid’s principle would have been appropriate.
But the legislative histories of the battles for civil rights and for non-traditional pairings in marriage show the opposite.  Losing a vote now, and forcing your opponents to publically attach their names to their position, lays the groundwork for eventual victory.  But to win eventually, you have to bring your legislation up for a vote again and again, never being discouraged by the fluctuations in the political weather.  You never stop proposing your legislation.  You never give the impression that the pressure might fade away.

This is illustrated spectacularly by the imminent victory of efforts to reform the immigration laws – especially those that pertain to those who are here because they or their parents snuck in.  Advocates of immigration reform modeled their campaign on that for gay rights, as recounted in a recent article by Frank Sharry in the Washington Post.

Harry Reid is a good Senator.  But he is not a leader.  Seniority, by itself, is not a sufficient qualification for a leadership role.

Gutless and spineless, Harry Reid is anatomically deficient for the job.

Adult Moon Jelly (Aurelia labiata) photographed at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo by Dante Alighieri (really?)

Adult Moon Jelly (Aurelia labiata) photographed at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Photo by Dante Alighieri (really?)

As urged in a previous post in this blog, at the very first opportunity, Senate Democrats should elect a new Majority Leader.

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