Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Harry Reid again

A while ago I posted on my concerns about Harry Reid, the new Senate minority leader. Now that it is certain he will win the position, my concerns are increasing. Not only is he a anti-abortion Democrat, he is also supposed to be even less telegenic than Tom Daschle. Yes, that's right. Less telegenic. Not good.

In addition, it seems the Democrats in the Senate are interpreting their losses as happening because they were too obstructionist to Bush. Reid hopes to be less obstructionist. This is a total misunderstanding of Daschle's loss. My understanding of his defeat is that it happened primarily because Daschle was seen to have lost touch with South Dakota. He recently bought a house in DC where he claimed to be a DC resident in order to receive a tax break. That did not play well in Rapid City or Mitchell. In addition, he had been seen driving around in a Porsche, not a car you see too often in Spearfish. And in western South Dakota, otherwise known as the Progressive Mecca of the nation, he was too soft on killing prairie dogs. In other words, he lost in a divided state on purely local issues. People who voted for Thune might have said that they did so because Daschle was too obstructionist, but those people almost certainly would have voted for Thune anyway.

So in response, we have a weak minority leader who wants to be less obstructionist. The exact opposite of what we need. We need a strong minority leader who will hold Bush accountable for his actions and build an opposition to him. I am happy that Dick Durbin took over the whip slot that Reid vacated. Maybe he will play a very active role. But overall, I find this to be very worrisome.

Perhaps our greatest hope is that since Harry Reid is a Mormon and a Democrat, he is protected under the Endangered Species Act and therefore it's a federal crime for Republicans to attack him.