Monday, May 5, 2008

Harry Reid on The Daily Show

I don't normally liveblog TV -- research, reporting, analysis and hopefully a little erudition are more my speed -- but I'm watching Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," and can't resist jumping on the laptop. Reid's the single worst interview I've ever seen on the program, utterly lackluster, a fact that I find politically relevant.

Despite his regular email blasts mistitled "Give 'Em Hell Harry," Reid has been the weakest, least successful Majority Leader in recent Senate history. Reid is, of course, one of the party leaders who's not stopping the self-destructive Clinton-Obama civil war, but that's the least of his flaws. The leader of the Senate majority -- not the minority, but the majority -- actually whined to Stewart, "I'm as disappointed as the American people are we haven't had more change," blaming the Republican minority for merely THREATENING to filibuster Democratic legislation -- yet he hasn't ever forced the Republicans to actually follow through with a real filibuster, let alone punished them in the public eye for doing so. He's weak, weak, weak -- a Minority Leader who proved unable to use the filibuster to block the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, yet (perversely) a Majority Leader who's proving unable to prevent the mere threat of filibuster from stymying every initiative his party was elected to accomplish. (Reid's failure to block the Roberts and Alito nominations are underscored by John McCain's announcement today embracing the neoconservative judges Reid, a pro-lifer, inexcusably allowed Bush to appoint to lifetime posts.)

And now, watching Reid on Stewart, where vigor and humor and a lively intelligence are expected, I can see why: he's old, not necessarily chronologically but physically; and tired, and passive, and patently, ridiculously weak. Those who read me with any regularity know I don't usually stoop to ad hominem criticisms like this -- but American lives and American families are at stake in this time of war and recession and seven years of obscene mismanagement of the nation's government, and this is the wrong man to accomplish the critical tasks the American people desperately need their leaders to accomplish. It isn't just his lack of charisma; it's his lack of energy, of wit, even of interest in current events. It's even his lack of knowledge of Senate rules: listening to him on Stewart, it sounds like he doesn't even realize that Senate rules would allow Dems to keep the majority position at least until January even if they were to kick Joe Lieberman out on his Vichy ass -- an important technicality I didn't know about until recently, but which I'd expect the Majority Leader to have close to the front of his mind at all times.

Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, R.I.P. (figuratively, not literally, please). Step down. Time for new blood. It would help your party in this election; it would help your nation in this time of trial.
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree more!! i was shocked. the worst ever.
he should be in a retirement home instead of majorit leader?!! wow. thanks for the reality check.

Anonymous said...

Tip was Speaker of the House - not Majority Leader.

Thersites D. Scott said...

Anonymous #2: dang, you're right. This is what I get for writing posts at midnight. Thanks for setting me straight.

Anonymous said...

He's not mentally sharp enough to greet customers at Wal-Mart, much less run a branch of the government.

Retiree said...

It is just so hard to believe that out of a nation of 300 million plus, and a U.S. Senate of 100 men and women, that the Senate's leadership boils down to the likes of Harry Reid. Geeze, even Max Baucus would be a better choice.

The man is vacuous! There is no sign of life in his limp body. He doesn't have the intelligence to respond to basic questions or inquiries that Stewart asked.

It would be interesting to know from Stewart himself how painful this interview was.

Karen Chicago said...

A minute into this interview I saw embodied before me the utter hopelessness and helplessness that has allowed Bush to lead the freefall of this country. It was just too painful. I had to switch the channel -- something I NEVER do during the Daily Show. Thanks for writing about this.

llheinsohn said...

Have to agree with your comments here. The Daily Show interview with him was an embarrassment to watch. I had no idea how passive he is until I watched him with Jon Stewart. No wonder he and Pelosi, in spite of their "big plans for America" for congress, have done exactly zip. Yep, retirement time would be good for him and for the country.

Chris said...

100% totally agree. I was so shocked and disappointed by his odd behavior and complete passivity. And the failures of this Democratic led congress suddenly came into sharp focus. If we had a more compelling, strong, vocal leader who could rally those centrist Republicans (of which I know there are enough) tired of going down with the sinking right wing Bush cabal, we might not be in the same spot we are today.

We need engaging, intelligent, STRONG leadership, not this pushover weak crap.

Oh, and also... don't go on The Daily Show if you can't give and take with Mr. Stewart. There have been plenty of Republicans who've put Mr. Reid to shame (Arlen Specter comes to mind).

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please vote this pathetic, weak excuse for a people's representative out of office and away from the Majority leader position.

I blame this man as much as Bush for the failure of our government - and he's earned that designation after only two years. I'm sick and tired of the democrats putting off the fight until "after" Obama is elected.

Get rid of this idiot, please.