Friday, April 27, 2007

Senators Sign Letter

I usually don't get into political material here, but this is, I think, very unusual. The Washington establishment is having a hard time realizing that things have changed, but I think the occasional reminder may turn them around.

Last week, you remember, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a comment that the war in Iraq has been lost. Whatever you think about maintaining morale, you have to see that we don't even know who we're fighting against, things are not getting better, it's a civil war, and victory is simply undefined over there. So, whether you agree with him or not, it seems to me that it was a a point of view that is not completely out to lunch.

Yesterday David Broder wrote a column, published in the Washington Post, that suggested Reid had gone over the edge, that he was not a good leader for the Democrats in the Senate, and they should replace him as their majority leader.

Today the Post has a letter signed by every single member of the entire Senate Democratic caucus:
Friday, April 27, 2007; A22

We, the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, contest the attack on Sen. Harry Reid's leadership by David S. Broder in his April 26 column, "The Democrats' Gonzales."

In contrast to Mr. Broder's insinuations, we believe Mr. Reid is an extraordinary leader who has effectively guided the new Democratic majority through these first few months with skill and aplomb.

The Democratic caucus is diverse, and Mr. Reid has worked tirelessly to make sure that the views of each member are heard and represented. No one ideology dominates the caucus, so that a consensus can be reached and unity achieved. It is hard to imagine a better model for leadership.

Because Mr. Reid has the support of members of the caucus, is a good listener and has an amazing ability to synthesize views and bring people together, the Senate has accomplished a great deal during his time as majority leader. Armed with his years of service in the Senate and with a mastery of procedure, Mr. Reid has led the chamber with a slim majority and a minority that is, at times, determined to stop legislation with which it disagrees.

In the first 100 days alone, we made great strides under his leadership on long-neglected legislation concerning stem cell research, the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations and the minimum wage, to name three. In addition, under Mr. Reid's leadership, we have fulfilled our obligation, left uncompleted by last year's Republican-led Senate, to fund the federal government. He has accomplished all of this in the face of stiff opposition and with a commitment to giving ideas full opportunity for debate.

Finally, in this age of scripted politicians speaking only to their base or claiming that they "don't recall" anything, the fact that Mr. Reid speaks his mind should be applauded, not derided. His brand of straight talk is honest, comes from the heart and speaks directly to the people.


This letter was signed by Sen. Reid's 50 colleagues in the caucus.

Sen. Reid's Fine Leadership


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did it ever occur to you that, due to his position, he has the power to make these senators' job very easy or very hard? This letter has conflict of interest written all over it.

This would be like having people on the White House staff sign a letter saying the President's doing a great job. What idiot would want to be known as the one who didn't sign it.

April 27, 2007 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senators work for the people of the several states. White House staffers work for the President. Your analogy is most certainly off.

Also, Sen. Reid got his leadership position because of the support of the members of the Democratic Caucus. If they were upset with him or mad at him, they could take away his leadership position. There is no conflict of interest here; there's only an anonymous blog poster who doesn't have a clue.

That's not to say that Sen. Reid's comments were bizarre and moronic - they were.

April 27, 2007 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If they were upset with him or mad at him, they could take away his leadership position."

Here's a clue for you:

It's a little more complicated than that.

April 27, 2007 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compare the unity on the Democratic side of the aisle to recent headlines about the disunity on the GOP side:

McCain Launches Candidacy With Bush Critique

Gonzales' efforts yielding little in way of GOP support
White House praise may not be enough to save job

Sen. Brownback faults Bush, GOP for lack of political effort in Iraq

Conservative Christians fault GOP candidates
Private meeting finds little to like among presidential hopefuls

GOP support for No Child Left Behind wanes

Senators Rebuff Bush on Troop Plan
Panel's Partisan Vote Masks GOP Misgivings

Even when the Democratic candidates for President debated each other at South Carolina State University last week, they displayed Democratic unity with the majority of Americans who feel it is of the utmost importance that we get our troops out harm's way in the quagmire that was created in Iraq by the Bush administration's neocons.

In Debate, Democrats Show More Unity Than Strife

April 29, 2007 10:08 AM  

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