Thursday, January 17, 2013
Do Nothing Harry
Read all about Harry Reid's Do-Nothing Senate.
Mr. Reid's Senate has not produced a budget in three years. The majority leader rarely moves on a bill, and when he does, he uses tricks to block senators from amending legislation, or he shuts down debate in such a way as to kill legislation. Regular order and conference reports are nearly nonexistent.
Mr. Reid's primary motive is to shield his vulnerable members from tough votes and to hide the huge divisions in his party.
He does not want a debate on gun control, as it would force Democratic senators to choose between President Obama and their own pro-Second Amendment constituents. The majority leader would not offer a bill during the fiscal-cliff negotiations because many Democrats disagreed with their president's proposed tax hikes. He has not produced a budget because to do so would expose the party's real spending ambitions, which would create political problems back home for his members.
Mr. Reid knows there is a brilliant added bonus to making sure the Senate is inactive: It keeps all the attention on Republicans. The press is by now so used to Senate nothingness that reporters automatically turn every spotlight on the House. This allows the White House and Democrats to avoid ownership of problems that they have created by casting Republicans as the cause of every legislative crisis and as the barrier to solutions. It also keeps the focus on divisions within the GOP.
Reid it all.