Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

Here are some interesting quotes that get more interesting when juxaposed together:

Hartford Courant, August 18, 2006

"Sen. Reid left no doubt in my mind that I would retain my seniority and committee assignments within the Senate Democratic Caucus should I be re-elected," Lieberman said Thursday, "and that has been confirmed to me by several other members of the Democratic caucus."

Firedoglake, June 12, 2006

So I asked him -- if Joe Lieberman leaves the party, what will happen with regard to his Committee appointments? He said he'd met with Ned twice and liked him a lot.  And as to the opposition we've been mounting against Joe?  Reid said it to me twice, and he chose his words very carefully:

It's important for people to know that their actions have consequences.

Ryan Lizza, The New Republic, August 12, 2006

They downplay the national implications of the race and are eager to move on. "We'll put the focus back on Bush," says a senior Senate aide. "You know, 'The primary was a referendum on Bush, and so Republicans have a lot to fear.'" They also reject the idea that the primary changes the Iraq debate: "Our Iraq  policy has been driven by [Harry] Reid and [Carl] Levin. To be honest, they  could give a rat's ass about the blogs. In other words, these are policy-based  decisions, and aren't driven by the politics of Connecticut or anywhere else."

I like Harry Reid as Senate minority leader.  I was one of the first people in the progressive netroots to embrace his tenure as minority leader, because of the pugnacity that all of us love.  Reid hasn't disappointed in many respects - he's really foiled Frist when he wants to, and has prevented a fair number of horrible pieces of legislation from coming through the door.

At the same time, I fear that it's become evident that Reid is a fairly weak leader, and may not really share our values as progressives.  His weakness isn't really a character issue, per se, it's more that the Senate is a creature that doesn't like to be led.  Reid is a strong guy, when he wants to be.  But I just am beginning to doubt that he's really with us when it counts.

Let's put aside the Alito vote, which Reid didn't whip with any sense of priority, if he did any whipping at all.  Or the Bankruptcy Bill, which Reid actually voted for.  I want to focus on his sense of where political power lies, and how he responds to the progressive movement.  There was an excellent insider diary a few weeks ago on an energy bill that came through which opened up offshore drilling in the Gulf Coast.  Long story short, it was a horrible right-wing bill, but Reid whipped for it out of deference to Mary Landrieu and Bill Nelson, neither of whom it will actually help.  In supporting this legislation, Reid allowed right-wing Democratic members to dictate policy, even though it's fairly clear that they will sell us out on key votes.  The Republicans make sure to let their moderates vote against them on unimportant throwaway votes, while forcing them to remain with them on key votes.  Reid often does the opposite.  This is not necessarily because he is a bad strategist; it could be because Reid isn't actually a progressive, and shares the worldview of the centrists.

I'm ok with political disagreements.  What's worrisome is how Reid doesn't follow through on his own key moves, like when he shut down the Senate to force a review of Iraq intelligence.  Bold move, but we're still waiting for that review.  In the talking points sheet Reid's office emailed out, the following sentence reveals what we now know to be false: "We will not let up until America gets answers." Once again, bold move, but no follow-up.

This characteristic, of hinting at darkly strong moves towards a progressive stance, and then not following through when push comes to shove, seems to be somewhat habitual when caucus politics is involved.  That's how it is on Lieberman.  Reid tried to keep Lamont out of the primary and endorsed Lieberman on the condition that Lieberman would stay a Democrat.  Lieberman violated that condition.  And now Reid has insured that Lieberman wouldn't face any penalties for running to the right and stabbing the party in the face by promising that Lieberman will keep his seniority.

I hope Reid reconsiders his support of Lieberman, tacit or no.  It's just not appropriate for a Democratic leader to offer Senatorial perks to someone who is in Lieberman's position.  It weakens the party, it weakens the country, and it weakens Reid's possible status as minority leader next cycle.  It is good for no one except Lieberman.

And at this point, private assurances or hints aren't enough.  Reid needs to publicly repudiate what Lieberman said, that Lieberman has been promised the right to keep his seniority.  Reid needs to come out and say that no such promise has been made, or that no such promise will be honored.

Tags: Connecticut, Continental Shelf, CT-Sen, Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act, Drilling, energy bill, Harry Reid, HR 4761, Joe Lieberman, Lease Area 181, Ned Lamont, Oil Exploration, Pombo, S 2253, S 3171, S 3711 (all tags)

Comments

52 Comments

Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

It's pure foolishness for a party to elect a Minority Leader who doesn't have an absolutely safe seat.  How about Durbin instead?

by drlimerick 2006-08-18 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

How about Durbin instead?

Durbin would be good, but better yet, Boxer. Republicans don't pick yellow-stripe, stand-for-nothing, fence-sitters to lead them -- but Senate Democrats do for some inexplicable reason.

(Actually, it's completely explicable. Daschle and Reid are just the kind of do-nothing-Democratic GOP collaborators the corporate serving DLC wants in positions of leadership.)

by Sitkah 2006-08-18 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

     Yes, because Boxer displayed such superb judgment and devotion to principle by campaigning for Lieberman 3 weeks ago.

by Ron Thompson 2006-08-18 06:47PM | 0 recs
zing!

I love my Senator dearly, her heart is most certainly in the right place, and she's right on 99% of the issues, but she has a certain disconnect that would be a severe weakness as Majority leader or... I hate to say it... President.

-C.

by neutron 2006-08-18 07:32PM | 0 recs
Joe Lieberman's week in review

 This is what Joe Lieberman has done since he lost the primary to Ned Lamont. Joe has:

 -- Insulted Ned Lamont and those Democrats who supported him -- a majority of the party.
 -- Insulted several African-American leaders whose endorsements he'd previously asked for.
 -- Publicly maligned the Democratic Party.
 -- Insisted that anyone who disagrees with him is a traitor to America.
 -- Insinuated that Democrats don't care about terrorism and national security.
 -- Hired Republicans to manage his campaign.
 -- Taken the Republican position on a host of issues.
 -- Followed a course of action that will jeopardize potential Democratic gains in the House.
 -- Generally acted like a petulant, vindictive little prick, with rhetoric and conduct unbecoming of a Senator.

 That ANY Democrat would tolerate that kind of behavior from a supposed colleague, much less REWARD it, speaks volumes as to why the Dems are the minority party today, and figure to remain so indefinitely.

 We've got DINO's. Is the Democratic Party a PINO? As currently construed, the Democratic Party has no relevance -- and its leaders don't seem to have a problem with that.

 The Democratic leadership's handling of Lieberman certainly sheds new light on why they've been so accommodating to the Bush administration's every whim. Where have you gone, Harry Truman?

 

by Master Jack 2006-08-18 05:32PM | 0 recs
Slipping Credibility

The Lamont/Lieberman contest is exactly what we needed.  It's way past time that we have a showdown with the halfass "Democrats" who are sitting in Washington.  We can't defeat the GOP without getting our own army in order first.

by global yokel 2006-08-18 05:37PM | 0 recs
No kidding

  Given that Lieberman's egocentric run could cost Democrats the House, you'd think the Dem leadership might be a little, er, concerned about this.

 I'm just astonished at how mind-numbingly bad our leadership has become. The Daschle Doctrine has apparently outlasted its main practitioner. They walk on eggshells around Lieberman in order to protect -- what? His caucusing with them? Why would you WANT Tokyo Rose listening in on your private strategy meetings?

 It's going to be a long, long road back.

 

by Master Jack 2006-08-18 05:48PM | 0 recs
so change strategy
note to rahm: we need to fight hard for those downticket races in connecticut. as for joe, i have only the love i have for any other soul suffering in the grips of a merciless disease. but dare i say it. . .he has every right to run outside the party line. it's not *cool*, but he has the right. that's democracy, yo.
by Emory Walker 2006-08-18 10:30PM | 0 recs
That's right, OUTSIDE the party line

 The problem with the Dem leadership is that they're still treating him as if he were an integral member of the party, even after he's spent the last ten days dumping on Democrats.

 That's utterly insane. Why is Lieberman so damn important to them that they're willing to throw away the midetrm elections to appease him?

by Master Jack 2006-08-19 03:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Slipping Credibility

Hear! Hear!

by Sitkah 2006-08-18 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

In Jane Hamsher and Joe Lieberman you hardly have two disinterested parties in spinning Harry Reid's motives. We have a hard enough time as a movement Democrats unseating Joe Lieberman without drawing a bead on on the Senate Minority Leader on a whim.       I see a lot of vague and blind quotes that reveal nothing about Harry Reid's motives.

The Alito nomination can be laid at the feet of the incredibly weak instituition Democratic groups who seemed more focused on Alito's Princeton Alumni magazine than educating voters that he's going to vote to end legal abortion. It's not Reid's fault.

As for the oil bill, NOLA blogger Mark Mosely (Oyster @ YourRightHandThief) has a brand new post up at TPM Cafe with an alternative view why the "horrible right-wing bill" is good and essential for Louisiana's survival.
http://afterthelevees.tpmcafe.com/blog/a fterthelevees/2006/aug/18/oil_the_cause_ of_and_solution_to_all_of_las_problems

Let's keep our sights on Joe Lieberman and let John Kerry, Bill Richardson, John Edwards and Ted Kennedy handle the insider politics. It's counterproductive to whine about the fragmented Democratic response now. It only reinforces GOP strategy. Harry Reid isn't LBJ but he also isn't Tom Daschle. The Lamont case is about building Lamont credibility in CT and undermining Lieberman's bullshit.

Debating Harry Reid's performace as leader is an ill-timed distraction IMHO.

by joejoejoe 2006-08-18 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

let John Kerry, Bill Richardson, John Edwards and Ted Kennedy handle the insider politics.

They've BEEN handling the insider politics! Who likes the result?

by Sitkah 2006-08-18 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

As for the oil bill, NOLA blogger Mark Mosely (Oyster @ YourRightHandThief) has a brand new post up at TPM Cafe with an alternative view why the "horrible right-wing bill" is good and essential for Louisiana's survival.

My sources on the hill are uniform that this bill is badly structured and oriented towards the right.  For instance, Obama wanted to attach higher CAFE standards, for instance, but Reid ensured there would be no amendments offered.  

by Matt Stoller 2006-08-18 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

 On Alito, the Dems SHOULD have probed into the unitary-executive crap he was peddling. That to me was more important than the abortion issue -- as a Republican, Alito's hostility to the pro-choicers was obvious anyway.

 But the filibuster "deal" -- we can "keep" the filibuster as long as we never, ever actually USE it -- was a sad capitulation that Reid could have been more aggressive in avoiding.

 When the account of this dismal chapter in American history is written, future scholars will be struck by a recurring pattern in America's descent into fascism: The opposition party never stood up and fought back. Every slight change, every institutional takeover on the part of the Republicans was met with token, cosmetic resistance at best.

 And when the future scholars notice that the opposition party wouldn't even stand up to a "member" who publicly spat in their faces, they'll  wonder HOW the party managed to sink to such depths of ineffectuality and irrelevance.

 But hey, the powder's dry. Atacama dry. I'm sure that counts in collectors' circles...

by Master Jack 2006-08-18 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

I just don't get this Lieberman worship.  What has the dumbfuck done in his Senate career that warrants all this fellating?

He has zero charisma, is one of the most selfish people in Washington (and that's saying a lot), and he rarely goes out on a limb for any issue unless it's about Israel.

I guess Lieberman is the second coming or something.  If I were Chris Dodd, I'd be very irritated.

by jgarcia 2006-08-18 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

I hope Reid reconsiders his support of Lieberman, tacit or no.

What's needed is for many more outside-the-beltway Democrats to reconsider their support of Reid. He's poison to the party and its principles, yet too many hold him up as a great leader.

by Sitkah 2006-08-18 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

He's been more effective than Daschle with a far weaker position.  But I do agree that he shouldn't stay as leader.  He's not with the party on enough of the issues, and yet his high-profile stance in the party has already cost him support in Nevada.

Durbin would be fine, as would Hillary (instead of having her run for President...save us, dear god).  

by bosdcla14 2006-08-18 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

matt, i see you have a firedoglake quote from june, but did you bother to read that blog today?  (or for that matter, the rest of the hartford courant article?)  christy hardin smith writes:

from sen. reid's office, in the same article:

"as is customary, the caucus will consider such things as committee assignments only after the elections in november. there's nothing automatic about anything," said manley.
and i have it directly from another member of reid's staff that this quote is exactly sen. reid's position on the matter -- that the caucus makes the decision together, it is not something that is issued by fiat.  and this will be voted on by incoming democrats -- not the outgoing caucus -- so whatever chits lieberman thinks he's piled up (and by bob geiger's count, that would be six definites at the most at this point, in the "feed joe's hungry ego" connecticut for lieberman party apparatus), they may not be operative come november.
i have no problem w/your being disillusioned w/harry reid as a strong leader...welcome belatedly to the club i've been a member of for some months now.

but i wouldn't read too much into reid's silence on joe-nertia's horn-blowing.

i think a lot of joe's retention of loss of the perks of office will depend on our work in the next few weeks...even if he wins, if we make a strong showing and are adamant about calling and writing and faxing our reps, we can still make a difference.

by skippy 2006-08-18 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

You're quite the cynic, skippy, on most everything.

Yes, I did read the blog, but I don't think Lieberman is lying, nor does what Christie wrote contradict my post.

I am not disillusioned by Reid, and I have been in this skeptical camp for about four or five months now.  I've just been trying to figure out how to articulate this persuasively and with evidence.

by Matt Stoller 2006-08-18 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

you're quite the cynic, skippy, on most everything.

you know what they say...a cynic is an optimist who's met reality.

by skippy 2006-08-19 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

Liberman has punk'd a lot of Democrats. Looks like Reid may be a repeat victim. Which really doesn't say anything good about Reid either.

by Sitkah 2006-08-18 06:04PM | 0 recs
Lamont's campaign

 Lieberman's a pain in the ass, but I think Ned Lamont can beat him if he hammers on the accountability theme -- because Joe has NO credibility on the issue. This is the issue in which Joe's "experience" can be effectively used against him: "Joe's been in Washington 18 years, six of them under Bush, and he STILL hasn't bothered to hold him accountable."

 And voters want accountability.

 I think Ned's smart enough to focus his campaign accordingly. And he's got the money to stay in the game. The things working against Ned are (a) the free media, which will whore for Lieberman in a way that will make the Reeperbahn look like the Vatican, and (b) swiftboating from the Joe campiagn, which will reach unprecedented levels of viciousness. Given that Ned thinks like we do, I think he'll be able to handle the challenges.

 But please, no more vacations.

by Master Jack 2006-08-18 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Lamont's campaign

Ned's vacation was a very short trip to Maine for only a few days.  He was back working the campaign the following week.  He had a great appearance in New Haven last week with John Edwards.  Check out Ct.Bob and the other ct bloggers.  They will keep you updated as to what he is doing!!

NanaMoe

by momaloney 2006-08-18 08:05PM | 0 recs
I think you're missing the point

First of all, I think a lot of what you've said about Reid is true.  His failure to insist on the Iraq investigation after grandstanding about it is unconscionable and inexplicable.

But with Lieberman, Reid has his eyes on the big prize.  And the big prize is taking back the Senate.  So let's just say, for argument's sake, that we win those five targeted seats in November, and that somehow, Carter or Webb or Pederson or Ford squeaks by.

What has the Majority Leader gained if he gains his six Democrats and loses one Lieberman?  He'd be the biggest dolt of modern times.

I don't think Harry Reid wants Lieberman to be reelected.  But he can't afford to drive him into the arms of the Republicans if he is.  So Reid is, frankly, trying to have it both ways.  And I think that's really all he can do, given the situation.

by Nonpartisan 2006-08-18 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you're missing the point

  If the Democratic Party completely and unequivocally throws its support behind Ned Lamont -- institutionally, financially, and operationally -- Ned will win easily. And Ned wouldn't just vote for Reid as Majority Leader, he'll vote like a REAL Dem in committee and procedural votes as well. Quite unlike Joe.

  The party leaders' coddling of Joe after Joe's spent the last week insulting Democratic voters has served only to embolden him. And it's made the party look weak and unfocused.

  Joe's stabbing the Dems in the back NOW. Why would he be any different if he gets back in the Senate for a fourth term?

by Master Jack 2006-08-18 06:41PM | 0 recs
That's it Jack
Reid himself and the other Senators are bungling it -- not only Connecticut, but the whole campaign for Senate insofar as Joe is sabotaging the message. The Dem establishment needs to go Ned strong, fast, and effectively to keep this on track. I think it will happen too and expect the entire AFL-CIO apparatus to fall into place soon, for example. But the Reids and Dodds are stretching it out for some reason, sluggishness and misplaced friendship perhaps. They are playing with fire.
.
by MikeB 2006-08-18 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you're missing the point
The ONLY way to counter this is for everyone to send letters to the DSCC (which isn't doing its job)or emails.  You must demand that they support Ned as he is the duly elected DEMOCRATIC candidate for the senate race....LIEBERMAN LOST!!  They have to see that.  Once LIEberman has been certified as a candidate, he should have his Democratic label taken away and chastised if he uses it with INDEPENDENT.
I agree with the writer above...the DSCC MUST
SUPPORT Ned with personal visits and with financial support.....if not, they should be removed from their postition...they are not representing what they were elected for.  
by momaloney 2006-08-18 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you're missing the point

So Reid is, frankly, trying to have it both ways.  And I think that's really all he can do, given the situation.

That's the strategy and attitude that has driven the Democratic bus into the ditch for more than a decade.

Democrats -- and especially their leaders -- have to stand and fight for things. Failure to stand and fight for Lamont will demoralize Democrats all over the country and tell Indy voters that the Dem Party is the vacillating wimps the GOP says they are, and will quite possibly make the numbers game you cited irrelevant if Democrats fail to even win enough seats to control the Senate because of it.

by Sitkah 2006-08-18 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you're missing the point

Ummmm... as someone from the West, I feel compelled to comment that I suspect Reid knows things that evade the notice of more urban, more East Coast commenters.

Joe Lieberman is sucking up plenty of airtime, blogtime, and he's the current ruckus.  Let Joe continue to reveal the fact that he IS a tool of the WH.  Lieberman is digging his own grave fast enough without Reid having to help with the shovel.  

Note that it certainly appears the WH jigged up the newz of the British liquid bomb conspiracy right on the heels of HoJo's loss in CT.  Forget about Lieberman; the more important message is how the WH continues to invent terrorist events every single time they have bad political newz. That's the key; Joe's just the smokescreen.

Reid has Bush scoped out  -- far more than Daschle ever did!

Reid's from Nevada. He's Mormon.  I find the notion that he's going to roll over for anyone -- especially Joe Lieberman -- preposterous.  Reid worked his way through college and law school. No one handed him anything, and Lamont's messages about entreprenurial pragmatism are *far* more resonanat out West than Joe Lieberman's corporatist, pro-AIPAC views.

As for Lamont, the smartest thing he could have done was go on vacation.  He's tired.  Knowing when to take some time off and build in 'down time' is very characteristic of high performers like Lamont.  (Bush is a different story; his vacations really don't fit the high performer pattern -- they fit the 'avoidance' pattern.)

Note that Lamont, as US candidate for Senate, had an OpEd published in the WSJ that was perhaps THE BEST economic statement that I've seen in 20 years from any politician.  If there was some other Dem Senate candidate who made such an impact in the conservative biz press, whether or not they were 'on vacation', please enlighten me.

Reid is basically up against a criminal conspiracy, and although I'd like to see more progress, he's done more the past couple years than we'd seen in the previous... four.  With Lamont articulating a refreshingly bold 'entreprenurial' approach to politics, with some very smart Dems running for the Senate, Reid has to bridge the Tester voters out in MT (who would perceive too much airtime about Senate caucus rules as 'just more ineffective political bullshit'), as well as the Virginia Webb voters.  It's a great opportunity; Reid's been a strong proponent of the Rural Strategy and from where I sit, that's the surest ticket to regaining the Senate.

But if the voters in the West perceive the election as just 'more politicians wrangling in DC' they aren't going to turn out to vote, and they'll have a hard time crossing over to the Dems.  Because they'll perceive it as niggling over Senate rules, which they don't understand or care about.

Reid probably has a Western perspective; in that worldview, squandering airtime to talk about the niggling details of Senate caucus rules is a sure-fire path to keeping voters home in Nov.  What Reid needs to hammer is how the country's gone to hell, and how fuel costs, global warming, and tax shenanigans are jeopardizing farmers and ranchers across the West.  Voters don't want to hear about Senate rules -- they want to know who's going to call bullshit on Bu$hCo.

by readerOfTeaLeaves 2006-08-18 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you're missing the point

Reid is basically up against a criminal conspiracy

He's part of it.

and although I'd like to see more progress, he's done more the past couple years than we'd seen in the previous... four

It's hard to argue that any ML could be as openly corrupt as Daschle was. But just what has Reid done but bluster and then capitulate?

by Sitkah 2006-08-18 11:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

Duh Matt!

At the same time, I fear that it's become evident that Reid is a fairly weak leader, and may not really share our values as progressives....  

He's a conservative, what did you expect?  If it talks like an R, votes like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.  The Nelson twins, Landrieu and Nelson are each worse than Lieberman...

out of deference to Mary Landrieu and Bill Nelson, neither of whom it will actually help.
 Yeah, defer to these two idiots, screw the people, because you can also count on Landrieu and Nelson to vote against the Dems.  

by oakland 2006-08-18 06:44PM | 0 recs
eh. . .
maybe i agreed with your substantial argument, but it's so deeply washed with vitriol that i got distracted. what troubles you, sir?
by Emory Walker 2006-08-18 10:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

If the Dems toughen up on Lieberman, there is no way he can threaten to caucus with the Repubs. If he does then he is just the Republican candidate, and the fig leaf of 'connecticut for lieberman' will mean nothing in the eyes of the public.

by 2liberal 2006-08-18 06:44PM | 0 recs
They draw the wrong lesson

Reid thinks Lieberman got a primary challenge because he could not keep his mouth shut when supporting Bush.

He thinks members should be able to do what they want, as long as they don't make a fuss about it.  Bankruptcy Bill?  No problem.  Just don't get in front of a microphone about it.

He's not a progressive.  He doesn't even really like being Leader.  He does not push or persuade the caucus, he lets it lead him.

This is not a successful model of leadership for a party that needs to be trained.  You can do it, maybe, with a team that is already whipped into shape and knows how to win, but that's not this team.

by Pachacutec 2006-08-18 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

What? You distrust Sen. Dirksen?

Senator Dirksen has been leading the good fight on behalf of our great Republican Party since the New Deal. He's great on the Senate floor and great on TV.

You don't trust him, Mr. Goldwater? What's the matter with you?
http://www.danablankenhorn.com/2006/05/t he_harry_and_n.html

by Dana Blankenhorn 2006-08-18 08:11PM | 0 recs
This is how Howard Dean loves you

This is how Howard Dean loves you, Matt: Howard Dean honored bloggers, netroots and grassroots at Yearly Kos by praising the pragmatic move towards what we can get out of our politicians while at the same time rooting for what is progressive and good for the country. We know we can't get it all the first time and we aren't going anywhere. We're still here. We'll be here after Landrieu's name is forgotten. Thanks Matt for the clarity here. We're getting clearer, more focused, more determined, better, more unifed, more loyal, smarter, more attractive to people like Edwards, more effective, more enduring, and more patient. This is real.

by mrobinsong 2006-08-18 08:29PM | 0 recs
excellent comment
we both seem to hew to the oft-forgotten maxim 'rome wasn't built in a day.' i'm not sure about you, but i find the din a bit disturbing of late. interesting that you mention edwards. . .how might he feel reading some of the vituperative comments on this or any thread. if we are to be taken seriously, we need to express ourselves the way you have in your comment. calm, even, positive, facts in hand. best to you.
by Emory Walker 2006-08-18 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: excellent comment

rome wasn't built in a day

tho i didn't use that metaphor i said most the same thing over on firedoglake.

the doom-sayers crying over the forseeable refusal of politics to bow down to lamont and the bloggers in the wake of lamont's primary win is laughable.

if you couldn't follow that sentence construction, what i meant was, these crybabies who are mad because the world is getting tougher for lamont are just stupid-heads!

by skippy 2006-08-19 05:37PM | 0 recs
Minimum wage?

What happened to Reid's vow to tie any raise in congressional salaries to a minimum wage increase? He made a big deal about it a couple of months ago, and then it was never mentioned again. Did he actually have a plan to block the congressional raises that somehow failed, or was it only talk with no intention of following through?

by KCinDC 2006-08-18 08:52PM | 0 recs
local issues & c.
defying the local senators on gulf drilling would have been a political albatross. maybe anwr is too given the politics of the moment. i'll tell you this new york city-based, public transportation-schlepping progressive wouldn't vote on it, and i suspect that's true of a lot of us. in the politics of the moment, saying "i voted against domestic oil production" would be a really asinine thing to say. for better or worse, the environmental groups deliver precious little, and seem to be a source of energy for spoiler greens efforts more than a reliable source of energy for the democrats. we don't like it, but that's the way it looks from here. as for the coast, it needs all the help it can get, in part due to the ineptitude of political leadership from the white house on down.
by Emory Walker 2006-08-18 09:05PM | 0 recs
Old news...

...at least to me - and this was before his complete non-action against Lieberman.

Color me disappointed...again.

by PsiFighter37 2006-08-18 09:52PM | 0 recs
in the future
perhaps markos will consider running his vacation plans by all uf us, just in case we, or even just a few of us, have better plans for his time.
by Emory Walker 2006-08-18 10:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

Presumably Lieberman is blackmailing Reid.  Either give me these assurances or I will caucus with the Republicans if I win, and they have offered me anything I want.

by Bob H 2006-08-19 03:08AM | 0 recs
'following through'

I think tying the idea of Reid's 'weakness' to the notion that he does 'not follow through' is a phrase that could very, very quickly spread through the netroots and create incredible pressure.  

The idea that Reid does not follow through--that's just a great way to put it.  I would even like to see a second post, today, on Reid with this title.  I think that phrase could be a powerful lead all by itself.   In fact, it might be worthwhile to put up a post with does not follow through in the title and see if Reid responds.

My sense from YKos was that Reid turns on pressure, but that the pressure needs to be big and as clear as a cow standing in the middle of the road.  

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-19 03:36AM | 0 recs
Frame the Question

Ask the Lieberman campaign whether they are lying about Ried's guareentee of senoirity since Ried by his refusal to support joe's claim makes it obvious that Joe is lying on this,

I always thought Ried was bad
anti- labor
anti-environment ( only reason he does vote the proper way on some green issues is that the greens are his allies on the Yucca Mountain issue)
anti-woman - He's a mormon need anything else be said.

Weak hold on his seat in a swing state that precludes him from being strong on D's issues.

People should start to use this as a standard upon which his leadership position will be measured. if he cannot, or will not, work for a Democrat and even suggests that a quisling like lieberman might get rewarded with a chairmanship if he defeats a true D then he doesn't have any creditability as a D much less a caucaus leader.

By the way what has the Sen. from Ill said after his disgradeful fawning to support joe in the primary? Has he come to his senses and made a public loud statement in support of Ned?

by Rational 2006-08-19 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

What's worrisome is how Reid doesn't follow through on his own key moves, like when he shut down the Senate to force a review of Iraq intelligence.  Bold move, but we're still waiting for that review.  

Now wait a minute, the right question to ask is:

Where the fuck is Jay Rockefeller on this?

Feinstein, Rockefeller, Baucus.....it isn't that these guys are DINOs, they are just plain dumb and ineffective.  Look at Feinstein phoning in every appearance she does on a talking heads show.  I'm sure it was Baucus that Daschle was speaking of when he said he was "running scared the day he got to the Senate."  Rockefeller has spent the last six years deferring to Pat Roberts; Roberts must be shaking his head in disbelief that he keeps getting away with his shit.

Don't blame Reid for the crappy material he's given to build a team out of.  His anger the day he threw the Senate into closed session was palpable.  Maybe he just doesn't have time to do his own job and Rockefeller's at the same time.

by Taylor26 2006-08-19 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility
I wrote a "strident" letter to Harry Reid yesterday saying --
We have long felt that the Democrats in Washington were selling out their constituents to the Republicans ...
 Now if the Democratic voters turn someone out of office, and if the Republicans elect him, how could he possibly be considered a DEMOCRATIC leader?  He would have been elected by Republicans.  Isn't that institutionalizing the sell-out to Republicans?
It is anti-democratic in the extreme. Holding onto office and power by someone who WAS DEFEATED.
I called on Reid to "say it isn't so!"
 I hope many others are writing letters as well.
--sandra
by syolles 2006-08-19 07:05AM | 0 recs
Harry Reid's Cred not Slipping Anywhere but here

I think it was a 'tactical' comment like a single move in a long game of chess. Again I believe that the Blogspehere draws too much from any one comment or couple of articles.

If Harry Reid was a boxer, and he was, he knows the importance of footwork, positioning and patience, not to mention reading your oppponent.

I have no doubt that a non-Democratic will never find his way into the Caucus.

However, for him to say that now would have implications for the term that won't end until January.

Until then he needs that Democratic vote however distasteful that reality may be to most of us.

Remember it's my candidates
petition that has to date generated over 5300 personally written messages to Harry Reid's office.

I believe strongly that Lieberman should be stripped of his committee assignments but it may be that cannot happen until after the election or until Lamont is in place for vote counting reasons.

He is playing chess and I don't believe many other are doing the same thing. The Blogsphere,and Matt I include you in this comment, wants faster reactions...quicker change etc.

I don't believe that is truly possible in most circumstances. I want it to be true. But in my heart after a lot, a lot, of years in the game I know that things take time.

So no I don't believe that means he supports Lieberman, I think his comment means he is playing a much deeper game than we know...and for greater stakes.

by BigDog 2006-08-19 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

I would like to know what Lieberman has on the talking heads of the DEMOCRAT PARTY. Is he the KARL ROVE OF the DEMOCRATS. NOT one of the big guns has gone up to CT. and capained for LAMONT all I hear is a bunch of B.S out the CLINTONS and alot of the rest the only ones that have reall come out for LAMONT in the SENATE is RUSS FEINGOLD. Where are the rest of the DEMOCRATS, I wish they would tell LIEBERMAN HE NOT A DEMOCRAT BUT a asskising,suck-up,lap-dog,quislong,vichy . REPUBLICAN the quicker they do this the BETTER.

by blackjack 2006-08-19 10:42AM | 0 recs
This is simple

This is about power. Reid is battling a republican congress. Lieberman is, for better or worse, a means to an end.

We must lay down our idea that we can apply the kind of force that the current GOP has strengthened lieberman with.  Reid essentially says Ned Lamont will not win, here.

Its that simple. Ned has to get momentum. So far, he's blown the victory - lieberman has played the standard republican tactic of salted earth during such wins of reason and faith.

And , to everyone here - Matt's conciliatory language hides a likely behind the scenes deal that states lieberman will maintain his committee positions.

So, Lieberman will maintain his status as a senator. The primary victory has sub-officially been undermined and until Lamont starts making sense as a real competitor in the general the whole act of "progressive bloggers" helping someone will be more like "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" and the senate will yawn and look the other way.

Reids statements, as I see them have now officially defined the race: the battle is on.

"Old money " is now in play.

by heyAnita 2006-08-19 07:47PM | 0 recs
Lose the Progressives
For years whenever the mainlaine D's nominated a dino such as lieberman, cantwell, and others they always went to the left and said thats the way the game is played support our candinate who wan the primary and when you get a progressive nominated we will support them.
So in most cases the progressives have come through. Kerrey was a wishy washy DLC candinate nad the progressives worked for him. Salazar was conspiciously a Dino but the progressives came through.
Now that the progressives beat the establishment candinate for the mainstream to not come through and support him 100% is to write off the proggressive support in the near future.
This "staying nuetral" or supporting Lamont while helping Lieberman with a wink and a nod is unacceptable.
Ried must come out and state clearly with no equivalition that holy joe will become the junior senator at the very bottom of the totem pole and can only expect appointments to the sub committee on widgets for the next 6 years.
While at the same time he should offer to promote Lamont onto whatever committees are most important to Conn. That way the voters of Conn. will have a choice between a powerful voice on key committees to speak for them or a nuetred voice on irrelevent and trivial committees who will not have a voice in the decisionsbeing made.
Support Lamont by structuring the election to appeal to Conn. voters self interest.
Vote Lamont and Conn. gets a voice at the committees that matter to them.
Vote Lieberman and Conn is effectivly reduced to single Senator.
by Rational 2006-08-20 12:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reid's Slipping Credibility

I am assuming that Reid's lack of a Strong rebuke to Lieberman is,  WHAT HAPPENS SHOULD HE WIN?        Does the Dem party want to ostracize Lieberman even more?    Unfortunetly we have witnessed the fact that Democratic leaders do not have much backbone!    Instead of Censuring Lieberman, attacking him, coming in here to CT and standing with Lamont and showing support, they lie back and let the chips fall where they might.

btw, Good Commentary in morning's Harford Courant by toby Moffett.   "Lieberman Imitates Nader" !      After railing against Nader's dirty trick in 2000, Lieberman has turned around and is doing the very same thing!

by Bergs 2006-08-20 05:26AM | 0 recs

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