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I know that my hero, Rachel Maddow, has expended quite a bit of time and energy enumerating all the ways that House Speaker John Boehner is spectacularly bad at his job, but I really think her sole focus on him has done a disservice to his counterpart in the Senate, Harry Reid.

If John Boehner is absolutely awful at his job, and I believe he is, Harry Reid may be just about the worst majority senate leader ever to hold the post. It isn't fair that his incompetence, ineptitude and downright pathetic performance be overlooked simply because Boehner is flashier in his failure. Fake tan or not, Harry deserves a shout out.

I won't bore you by rehashing all the past ways Harry has failed to demonstrate even the most basic understanding of what constitutes leadership, that's what the dailykos archives are for. I'll simply draw your attention to his latest demonstration that the "Peter Principle" is alive and well in the senate chamber.

According to the dailykos, Senate Majority Leader Reid has recently met with Michael Bloomberg staffers to ask that they not target Democratic senators like Mark Pryor of Arkansas who voted against comprehensive background checks, because his loss might mean a loss of the Democratic majority. Talk about unclear on the concept.

I can only hope that the Bloomberg staffers laughed in his face and asked Mr. Reid exactly what good having a Democratic majority in the senate has been. Under Reid's skilled management, not only has the Democratic majority been unable to get gun safety measures passed that 92% of the country support, they haven't gotten anything else done either including routine confirmations of the President's appointees. Rather than whining to Bloomberg's highly effective pac to please leave Democrats like the undependable, self-serving Pryor alone, shouldn't Reid have gone to Pryor and said, "vote for this bill or I'll find someone to primary you so fast, it'll make your head spin?"

Ok, Pryor probably wouldn't have believed him because Harry has never followed through on a single threat he's ever made, but everyone knows that Bloomberg is made of sterner stuff. He and his pac have been scarily efficient in targeting recalcitrant lawmakers all over the country on the issue of gun control. If Pryor chose to pander to the NRA instead of representing the wishes of his constituents he knew what he was risking. Why should Harry Reid go sniveling to Bloomberg begging for mercy on Pryor's behalf just so he can keep his job as Majority Leader.

Like John Boehner, Harry Reid likes being leader of his chamber. That's the truly frightening thing about people who are terrible at their jobs. They'll do just about anything to hold onto them except actually carry out the job's requirements in a competent, proficient and principled way. The senators who voted against gun control legislation are feeling the heat from the voters and groups like Mayor Bloomberg's who are determined to make them pay for their craven decision to cave in to the NRA. Unfortunately, there is Senate Majority Leader Reid, ready and willing to help bail them out either by pleading with Bloomberg not to go after these losers, or re-introducing an even more watered down gun contol bill that Pryor and his buddies can vote for and save face.

Either way, it's another defining moment in Harry Reid's tenure as Senate Majority Leader. Unfortunately, the moment it's defining is the one where we all recognize that he's the worst Majority Leader to ever hold the title.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Given that Bloomberg's PAC is brand new, how (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, virginislandsguy, skohayes

    exactly do you know that it's 'highly effective'?

  •  Much of the American work experience (11+ / 0-)

    is polluted by those of vast incompetence rising to the positions they truly do not need to be in, but there they are.

    What I learned working for a county government is that where there is the appearence of incompetence, there is serious corruption.

    The incompetence acts as sort of a shield and distraction from the nitty-gritty details these sorts always want hidden from view.

    That's why we have Kabuki, a stage play to distract the masses while they get shit on, robbed, and screwed behind the scenes.

    Harry pleases somebody.

  •  Pretty much. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue May 07, 2013 at 05:02:44 PM PDT

  •  If what you're saying is true... (0+ / 0-)

    "MY God! Look at what a terrible Speaker Boehner is. He is truly pathetic. He's one for the record books...etc. "

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 05:54:38 PM PDT

  •  Have You Got Better Candidates From Those (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alain2112, edrie, skohayes

    areas or is your plan to turn the Senate over to the Republicans because the Democrats haven't been good enough.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:01:51 PM PDT

  •  Not a Harry Reid fan but.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardinal, skohayes

    i suppose you've gone through all the others for comparison?

  •  What about Lucius T Higginbottom, (3+ / 0-)

    the majority leader under Franklin Pierce? He wasn't worse than Reid?

  •  i disagree (0+ / 0-)

    reid was out-sucked by tom daschle, the all-time worst majority leader ever.

  •  When the DSCC Calls... (0+ / 0-)

    I ask, "Has G.D. Harry Reid resigned as Senate Majority Leader?"  Sometimes the people calling don't even know who he is.

    When they do, they of course say, "No" at which point I give them a stream of profanity that would make a sailor blush.  In the middle of that I instruct them in no uncertain terms to not call me again until Harry is gone and that I will NEVER contribute a dime to them until he is.

    They always call again.  It doesn't seem to matter.  My hope is that they are at least recording somewhere that I really, really disdain his presence in that job.

    Harry is a complete moron! Anyone that incompetent would immediately terminate all contact with other human beings if he weren't also stupid. The world would be a better place if he had never been born.

    When the history of our time is written, I believe it will recognize W. as the main catalyst for the demise of the United States of America, but a footnote will assert that the incompetence of Harry Reid significantly enabled the devastation to metastasize.

    Someday soon Republicans are going to drown Grover Norquist - in a bathtub.

    by nuketeacher on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:26:33 PM PDT

  •  Worse than Oscar Underwood? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Hope you fall on your burger and fries.

    by cardinal on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:28:04 PM PDT

  •  not worse than Trent Lott or Bill Frist eom (4+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:32:45 PM PDT

  •  You also forgot to mention (4+ / 0-)

    Reid shaking hands with McConnell on the filibuster.  Me, I would have told McConnell to go fuck himself.  

    We do need to hold a majority in the Senate but not with Reid heading it because we're at the mercy of McConnell and his band of merry men (and women).

    I'm a New York City resident and the only thing I agree with Bloomberg on is his work on gun control.  Hope he does what he did in Illinois, support a candidate that's for gun control.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:52:23 PM PDT

  •  Wouldn't the best message of all (0+ / 0-)

    be to primary Reid?

  •  He can take Nancy Pelosi with him (0+ / 0-)

    Face it.  They have become major liabilities.

    •  She got it done when she had a majority. The House (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, skohayes, Maverick80229, unfangus

      ...passed a lot of good bills that went on to die in the Senate. She got the PO passed in the House, Reid couldn't get it done in the Senate.

      There will never be a majority of politicians that will be pleasing to the far ends of the political spectrum and/or some single issue activist types.

      We would be in much better shape if she was still Speaker.

      The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

      by sebastianguy99 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:39:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She was Speaker for the Tea Party disaster of 2010 (0+ / 0-)

        In my view she should have resigned gracefully after that debacle, as would have occurred in most countries.

        I liked what she did during her time as Speaker, but she has become one of the most unpopular politicians in the country.  

        Jeez, the loathsome Sanford won yesterday in large part because he successfully mocked a cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi.  Talk about a negative poster child for the party.

        We need someone new.  Badly.

    •  Major liabilities? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229, unfangus

      Guess that depends on how you look at it.

      I consider Reid a major liability because of his utter, willful blindness on the filibuster question.

      I think Pelosi did a fine job as Speaker and hope to see her there again.

      If you are speaking politically I recognize the GOPers hate her with a white hot burning passion and trot her out as a bogeywoman to incite their oafish base...

      But I'm not at all in favor of letting the GOP dictate our party leadership.  Their suffering when she retakes the gavel will make it all the sweeter.

      "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

      by Notthemayor on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:29:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pelosi was one of the most effective (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229, unfangus

      House Leaders in history as far as getting bills to the Senate.
      She knows House procedures backwards and forwards.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed May 08, 2013 at 04:00:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was then. She is now massively unpopular (0+ / 0-)

        Whether it's fair is another issue.  But that's the way it is.

        •  She's massively unpopular? (0+ / 0-)

          The only place that matters is in her own district, where she continues to have high approval ratings and gets reelected every two years.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:32:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, she is the poster girl for the Right to mock (0+ / 0-)

            And they exploit it all over the country, fair or not.   Witness the success that Sanford had when he made jibes at a cardboard Pelosi cutout.  Her approval rating makes Obama seem like George Washington.

            I like her just fine.  I am happy for her to continue to run in her SF district.  I just don't want her to serve as the face of the Democrats in the House any longer.

            •  Well, by all means (0+ / 0-)

              let's let the Republicans choose our candidates. We wouldn't want any candidates mocked by Teabaggers, the horrors!
              By the way, the reason they mock her because she was so effective at getting the Democrats agenda passed.

              “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

              by skohayes on Wed May 08, 2013 at 05:23:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just because the RW mock her (0+ / 0-)

                is no reason to keep her.

                •  It's no reason (0+ / 0-)

                  to get rid of her either.

                  “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

                  by skohayes on Thu May 09, 2013 at 05:59:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're stuck on that (0+ / 0-)

                    as are many Democrats.  Rather than develop and support new leadership we insist on throwing back in the ones that have failed.  Yes, failed.   Pelosi got the ACA passed but garnered almost no public support for what should have been a widely supported program.  No effective effort was made to educate the public about what was in the bill and how it would effect them.

                    Within months of its passage it was widely hated, as was Pelosi herself.  She still can barely crack a 30% favorability  rating (so obviously plenty of Dems aren't wild about her either).  The 2010 Teapartier debacle occurred under her House leadership.  She should have resigned then.  

                    Now, living under the TeaHouse, I rarely see her as an effective voice of opposition.  Time to move on.  Actually, we are a few years past that time.

  •  I find this hyperbole pathetic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Clem Yeobright

    Now Harry Reid pisses me off in lots of ways.  He should have worked harder on climate legislation in obama's first two years, and he'a been annoyingly squishy on filibuster reform...

    But he managed to get every single Democratic Senator to vote for health reform.  All 60, including Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman.  He then passed improvements to the law, in the form of increased subsidies along with education reform that cut out subsidies for student bank loans in favour of pell grants for the poor.  He also managed to pass a massive (albeit not big enough!) stimulus with a record investment in clean energy, with Republican votes.  He passed new financial regulations with a consumer financial protection bureau.  And then he repealed DADT during a lame duck.

    God willing, he may still be able to pass background checks, as well as historic immigration reform in this Congress.

    So when you call him the worst majority leader ever, I'd have to suggest that you're talking out of your backside!

    •  Your points are well stated (0+ / 0-)

      but a tad bit revisionist. It was exactly Reid's and Pelosi's mismanagement of the Affordable Care Act and the Stimulus Bill (in conjunction with President Obama's, it must be said) among many other legislative issues that led to the Republican's retaking of the house in 2010. All the Independents who had made the leap of faith for "change we can believe in" but instead got treated to the same old, corporate bought, business as usual congress with the Democrats in charge, went back to voting for Republicans while the Dem base stayed home.

      As someone who works for a state senator trying to implement ACA in our state, the healthcare reform bill that passed is mostly a gigantic mess that delivers little of its promises and almost no reform whatsoever. Its effectiveness was watered down by concessions to Democrats in order to get their votes (Nelson got a huge medicaid payoff for his state that he was later forced to reject in the face of public outrage) and to Republicans who never intended to give it their vote at all. The stimulus bill, minus its jobs and infrastructure components (compromises made by Obama, Reid and Pelosi to get Republican votes) ended up slowing our recovery and swelling public sector unemployment. Oh yeah, no Republican voted for that either.
      Go back and look at all the times Reid and Pelosi drew lines in the sand between 2008 and 2010. And then see how many times they caved and slunk away. Pelosi is certainly better than Reid, but I give her more leeway because she has a far bigger caucus to manage.

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