Is Harry Reid the Worst Senate Majority Leader in History?
Over the past year, I’ve written many times that U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) might be the worst Majority Leader in recent memory.
I respectfully wish to amend my previous statement.
Sen. Harry Reid is the worst Senate Majority Leader in American history.
Period. Exclamation point. End of discussion.
It’s not even close.
He’s the Secretariat of ineptitude. A disgrace to the office. And this opinion isn’t exactly coming from a Republican, if you know what I mean.
No one in history comes anywhere close to the monumental incompetence exemplified for so long by the senior senator from Nevada. Put it this way: When you get punked repeatedly by Mitch McConnell — Reid’s blundering counterpart from Kentucky, certainly no bastion of intellect — something’s wrong. It might be time to depart the chamber.
Consider yet another bill introduced recently to legalize online gambling and poker. After so-called “attempts” by Sen. Reid to rally support for these bills within his own party have continuously failed, he’s become so pathetic now that he won’t even step up to the plate and take a swing. He’s already surrendered before the other side tossed the ball. Already, he’s making lame excuses before any kind of debate has begun and the game hasn’t even started yet.
Last week, Congressman Peter King (R-NY) introduced a new bill over in the House calling for the legalization and regulation of online gambling — including poker. Here’s what the Honorable Harry Reid said in response to that news, according to the Las Vegas Sun:
“I felt for several months now that I don’t see any movement on this. I don’t see anything happening.”
He doesn’t see any movement? He doesn’t see anything happening? Yeah, sure. That’s because Sen. Milquetoast is always sitting on his ass when it comes to this issue, and so many others. Where is Sen. Reid’s political leadership? He’s not a void. He’s an abyss. He’s pathetic.
Let’s compare this do-nothing senator with some other Senate Majority Leaders from the past century, shall we? Let’s start with Democrats like Reid — Lyndon B. Johnson (the best there ever was, bar none), Mike Mansfield, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Byrd, George Mitchell, and Tom Daschle. On the Republican side, there’s Everette Dirksen (another great legislator), Howard Baker, and Bob Dole. Whether you agreed or not politically with this crop, they were all masters of the legislative process.
Indeed, a Senate Majority Leader should be judged — not by what we may think of their politics. Leaders should be measured by their actions and the things they accomplish (or fail to accomplish in Sen. Reid’s case). The Senate is a highly-complicated factory of conflicting ideas and interests. The very best legislators are able to master the assembly line process. They fight for what they think is right. They compromise when necessary. They do whatever it takes to achieve progress. Whether you liked him or loathed him, LBJ was the very best at this. Everette Dirksen was a close second when it came to cajoling his peers into action. By contrast, Sen. Harry Reid shouldn’t be allowed to enter the same restroom as his political forebearers, unless he’s holding a mop.
Sen. Reid’s repeated failures to move any version of online poker bill out of the U.S. Senate for years is characteristic of a far more serious problem, which is his total failure as a leader. Whether it was initial attempts to pass health care reform, or ramp up federal regulation of Wall Street, or accomplish a myriad of progressive policies mired down in sub-committees without any chance of ever seeing the daylight of the Senate floor and a vote, Sen. Reid has been nothing more than a third-string quarterback struggling to make it in the pros. All he throws is incomplete passes and interceptions. He’s the best Republican Senator in my lifetime.
Speaking of Republicans, don’t blame the opposition on this one. It didn’t matter back when all the dominoes were perfectly stacked up in Sen. Reid’s favor. A few years ago, Washington rested in the palm of his hand. During 2009-2010, Democrats held 59 out of 100 seats in the Senate. They controlled the House of Representatives by a wide majority. And, a fresh new Democratic President had been elected with grand ideas for making progress.
That’s when we desperately needed an LBJ. Instead, we got a DOA. Everything that hit Sen. Reid’s desk was “Dead On Arrival.”
Washington’s insider press, including The Hill, has written that online poker is a “low priority” this session. It’s still called “too controversial.” To which I reply — so what? Remember back to September 2006 when a relatively inexperienced Senate Majority Leader named Bill Frist managed to ram-rod his Neanderthal political convictions into law, dubious as that was? That notorious legislation became the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIEGA). At least give Sen. Frist some credit for having balls and the gumption to jam his vision of America (wrong as it was) through the Senate. By contrast, Sen. Reid is like a neutered cat that sleeps 17 hours a day.
Question is — if the truly despicable Sen. Bill Frist could turn a dead bill that hadn’t ever gone anywhere into law without even going through the normal legislative process, then why can’t Sen. Reid do the same, but in reverse?
There are two possible answers to this important question. It’s either because he’s jacking everyone off who wants this bill to pass for political gain and doesn’t really intend to do anything on the issue despite talking out of his ass for years. Or, it’s because Sen. Harry Reid is the worst Senate Majority Leader in American political history.
Take your pick.
ADDENDUM: If you support online poker, I urge you NOT to contribute to any national political committee — Republican or Democrat. DO NOT SEND THEM ONE FUCKING DOLLAR. Instead, donate to candidates directly. And if they send you a mailer asking for money, write back on donation slip and TELL THEM WHY YOU REFUSE TO DONATE. Money sent to these snakes (I spent a year working for the RNSC, and will write about it at some point) will end up in the campaigns of many candidates who are dead set against us.