03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"Leader" Reid Must Lead

(Harry Reid responded -- more below.)

Last night, Rachel Maddow reported that thousands of people have signed the Progressive Change Campaign Committee's new petition to Senator Harry Reid -- and read the petition aloud on national TV:

Any Democratic senators who support a Republican attempt to block a vote on health care reform should be stripped of their leadership titles. Americans deserve a clean up-or-down vote on health care.

In a little over one day, 38,000 have signed this petition -- and we're aiming for 50,000 before our news conference and petition delivery to Harry Reid next week. If you haven't already, you can sign the petition here.

Another big piece of news happened yesterday: Harry Reid issued his initial response.

Unfortunately, Reid showed that we need to keep pushing him to live up to his title of "Leader."

A Reid aide told Talking Points Memo:

Ultimately this is not a decision for Senator Reid to make. This is a decision that's going to be made by the caucus as a whole.

But...our whole point is: Harry Reid needs to lead.

Harry Reid led the fight for Joe Lieberman to be let back into the Democratic Caucus after Lieberman endorsed John McCain for president. From Salon:

Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders argued for punishing him, but it was clear that Reid and his cohorts in leadership wanted to keep Lieberman in the caucus. When Reid opened talks with Lieberman immediately after the election, the apostate Democrat had said losing his committee chairmanship was "unacceptable."

So, this week, when Lieberman said he "hasn't decided" whether he will help Republican block a vote on health care, why can't Reid say, "That's unacceptable"?

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass a public health insurance option -- but only if Harry Reid makes sure that his Democratic super-majority does not side with Republicans on basic procedural things like allowing or denying a vote.

If Reid calls himself Majority Leader, he needs to lead. Please sign our petition telling him that today. Let's keep the pressure on!