Harry Reid is in a fight for his political life against Tea Party–backed Sharron Angle (who’s mighty relieved that Christine O’Donnell is now the left’s poster girl for its scare campaign against the GOP). He’s majority leader but has told us he’s not responsible for the economic bad news. He just works there, apparently.
This week, he again proved that he’s of little use to the people of Nevada and the Democratic Senate caucus. Politico reports:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hoped the defense policy bill would help make a final pre-election argument for Democrats while energizing the base on gay rights and immigration.
But what he got was a failed vote and a mix of frustration and disappointment from the people he was trying to help. The stalled defense authorization bill — one of the last major Senate votes before November’s elections — was emblematic of the Nevada senator’s struggles to cut deals with the GOP while still pleasing core Democratic constituencies.
He managed to upset gay groups, Hispanics, and “Democrats on both sides of the Capitol [who] are unhappy that a debate on gay rights and immigration distracted yet again from issue No. 1: jobs.” It’s never Reid’s fault, yet he doesn’t seem to get the job done. (“But while blaming Republicans for obstruction — a well-worn pattern for Reid — the majority leader also seemed to alienate some of his moderates, who were not eager to jump into a debate about immigration and gays in the military at the end of the session and with the economy slumping.”)
Aside from the Republicans and many of his constituents, his fellow Democratic senators and Democratic interest groups, one suspects, won’t be sorry to see him go either:
Jarrod Chlapowski, field director for Servicemembers United, a group that backs the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” called it a “cynical move” for Reid to push forward with the bill in such a manner, saying it was “pretty much a recipe for failure.”
“It will be part of our education plan that Democratic leaders are just as accountable as the Republicans that are obstructing this right now,” he said.
No, don’t expect Big Labor to really hold Democrats accountable. But neither do I see them going to the mat for Reid.
It’s no wonder Reid tried to make the race about Angle, going negative as soon as she got the GOP nomination. But as the focus returns to Reid, his leadership, his economic policies, and his penchant for gaffes, he may find himself out of a job (along with 14.4 percent of Nevadans) come November. In a year in which Democrats are going to lose a lot of seats anyway, his loss wouldn’t be the worst news for Democrats or for Democratic activists.