I don't normally liveblog TV -- research, reporting, analysis and hopefully a little erudition are more my speed -- but I'm watching Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," and can't resist jumping on the laptop. Reid's the single worst interview I've ever seen on the program, utterly lackluster, a fact that I find politically relevant.
Despite his regular email blasts mistitled "Give 'Em Hell Harry," Reid has been the weakest, least successful Majority Leader in recent Senate history. Reid is, of course, one of the party leaders who's not stopping the self-destructive Clinton-Obama civil war, but that's the least of his flaws. The leader of the Senate majority -- not the minority, but the majority -- actually whined to Stewart, "I'm as disappointed as the American people are we haven't had more change," blaming the Republican minority for merely THREATENING to filibuster Democratic legislation -- yet he hasn't ever forced the Republicans to actually follow through with a real filibuster, let alone punished them in the public eye for doing so. He's weak, weak, weak -- a Minority Leader who proved unable to use the filibuster to block the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, yet (perversely) a Majority Leader who's proving unable to prevent the mere threat of filibuster from stymying every initiative his party was elected to accomplish. (Reid's failure to block the Roberts and Alito nominations are underscored by the McCain press release I received while finalizing this post, discussing the nominee's judicial philosophy -- a philosophy that expressly embraces the neoconservative judges Reid inexcusably allowed Bush to appoint to lifetime posts.)
And now, watching Reid on Stewart, where vigor and humor and a lively intelligence are expected, I can see why: he's old, not necessarily chronologically but physically; and tired, and passive, and patently, ridiculously weak. Those who read me with any regularity know I don't usually stoop to ad hominem criticisms like this -- but American lives and American families are at stake in this time of war and recession and seven years of obscene mismanagement of the nation's government, and this is the wrong man to accomplish the critical tasks the American people desperately need their leaders to accomplish. It isn't just his lack of charisma; it's his lack of energy, of wit, even of interest in current events. It's even his lack of knowledge of Senate rules: listening to him on Stewart, it sounds like he doesn't even realize that Senate rules would allow Dems to keep the majority position at least until January even if they did kick Joe Lieberman out on his Vichy rump -- a technicality I didn't know about until recently, but which I'd expect the Majority Leader to have close to the front of his mind at all times.
Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, R.I.P. (figuratively, not literally, please). Step down. Time for new blood. It would help your party in this election; it would help your nation in this time of trial.
Visit the writer's blog, VichyDems