Harry Reid didn't start out a total and complete wimp. He was actually tough as nails. How did his conversion to wimphood begin?
Harry Reid stood up to the Mafia when he was the head of the Nevada gaming commission. He resisted bombs, bribes and bastards. He wouldn't back down at a time when many thought he was foolish not to. So what happened?
- Harry Reid is a Mormon.
I'm going to flat out say it. I used to be Mormon. I left the LDS church in 2007 when BYU decided that having Dick Cheney as speaker would increase the odds of Mitt Romney become president. Most mormons that you will meet are good, nice, honest and hardworking people. Once you understand Mormon mentality, it is kind of a no brainer that Harry Reid would stand up to the mafia. "Secret Combinations" and the like. That makes perfect sense within the paradigm.
But, unfortunately, the flip side of that is that Mormons are taught to OBEY. Obedience is praised above all other traits. There might be democratic mormons, but how many PROGRESSIVE democratic mormons do you see? Also bear in mind the levels of doublethink required to stay in the church. (I'm not going to outline them here but read "Under the Banner of Heaven", "No Man Knows My History" and "The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power" if you really want to know more.)
But my point is, poor Harry is already stretching his mind to the limit by being a Democrat in a church that pretty much all but officially endorses the Republican party. He is constantly on the mental and spiritual defensive. That, and shouting or being 'disruptive' is bad. You're not supposed to stand up for yourself and obey your elders. Subconciously, it is my belief that the Blue Dog Democrats and the Republican Party equate the leadership of the LDS church in his mind, and Harry is going to his utter limits simply standing up to them occasionally.
The only reason he's showing any guts at all (mainly with harsh language, not with actual actions like stripping Lieberman's chairmanship) is because of reason #2.
- Power Corrupts. Especially the Senate.
The Toilet Bowl Chamber of the Senate is the most corrupting body on earth. Sure, there might be countries that are more corrupt, (like Russia or Afghanistan) but for a nation as high on the non corruption index as we are, with a legislative body as powerful as the senate is, there is nothing like it. The culture of elitism and entitlement are such that even President Obama himself in his book 'The Audacity of Hope' mentions how corrupting it can be to be in government too long.
Harry Reid has been there decades. Hell, you can argue that half the reason Obama is as screwed up as he is is because he was a Senator for two years. That's also one of the reasons he seems genuinine. He still has some of his soul left.
Sure there are a rare few that can resist this corrupting influence, but for a man who supposedly swears an oath to be honest and upright, Harry Reid sure seems willing to arrange sweet land deals to help himself. In fact, one has to wonder how much he is in leauge with the Blue Dog Democrats in sweet deals to pretend like he cares but actually screw up every time.
- Harry Reid still thinks he's Minority Leader.
That's where he came to power. His initial power came into play when he was in the minority. And he became an appeaser. He tried to find ways to seem reasonable to the Republicans. He seemed a good choice because of his 'close relations' with the other Democrats and Republicans.
But Harry never understood when it was time to 'wake up' and start acting like an adult in the majority. But worse, the Democrats never saw that he didn't have the guts to be a compotent leader. All of the democrats are to blame for his incompotence. He's been majority leader since 2006 and offering excuse for excuse for failure.
Even now, even now that health care is on the brink of failure, there are no calls from the other senators for him to step down. They think Harry's doing a fine job. Even Sanders. Even Frankin.
"Oh they don't want to disrupt the party unity." "They want to be team players."
As compared to the Blue Dogs?
Look, the Blue Dogs are jerks. But you have to give them at least one thing. They've GOT GUTS. They're willing to stand up for what they believe. If the Progressive Senators REALLY believe in reform, then they need to start by getting compotent leadership.
Abolish the filabuster.
Abolish the Senate.