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Time to Remove Harry Reid as Leader

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 02:06 PM
Original message
Time to Remove Harry Reid as Leader

The public option was winning over the weekend. Sen. Bill Nelson was leaning towards voting for a level-playing field public option. Then Harry Reid, a Senator who has done such a bad job that his constituents in Nevada are considering throwing him out at the next election, had a senior staffer say that he wouldn't include the public option in the bill that would be brought to the Senate floor. By doing this, Reid biased the Finance Committee against the public option, and ensured that it will be voted down today.

The Bagof Health and Politics's diary :: :: Reid's office admitted as much when they tried to pull back the damaging quote by saying that they didn't want to "bias the Finance Committee vote." But the fact is that Reid did bias the Finance Committee vote, and he did so for his own selfish political reasons.

Senator Nelson then told the Committee. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE, no relation) told the press that the health care reform bill needed 65% to be credible.

Further, while the public option will never get 65 votes in the Senate, it will get 65% support from the public. A recent CBS/New York Times poll found that 65% of the public supports empowering people to opt into a "Medicare-like plan run by the government." Other polls have confirmed that there is broad, bi-partisan support for a public option. Yet even with two-thirds of the public at his back, Harry Reid still can't lead.

Harry Reid wants to deny millions of Americans the right to buy into a Medicare-like public option in order to be re-elected as Majority Leader. Senator Reid is worried that Sen. Chuck Schumer--who anyone who pays close attention to beltway politics knows is running for Majority Leader--would get the credit if the public option passes.

Reid, a Majority Leader who hasn't accomplished much of anything is worried that Democrats might see what is possible with effective leadership. It might go beyond a public option that would enable Americans to choose something besides the unending greed of health insurance CEOs. It might mean real climate change legislation. It might mean tough financial reform that holds Wall Street responsible for their reckless endangerment of the economy.

And Reid will have none of it. You see getting those things passed requires the hard work that Senator Schumer put into the public option. Passing a positive agenda for America has Harry Reid worried. He's worried he'll go the way of Tom Foley and be a leader who loses at the ballot box.

Harry Reid may well not be re-elected. But if Harry Reid is defeated next year, it'll be because he didn't have the courage to pass a positive agenda for America. It'll be because he was so obsessed with beltway-intrigue that he forgot to listen to the people--and their broad bi-partisan support for a public health insurance option.

Harry Reid's failure to lead the Democratic Caucus has damaging effects for our party and the country. It's time for a new Majority Leader. Here's hoping frustrated progressives who had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by a selfish Majority Leader more focused on his own re-election than the common good will finally stand up to the Ineffective Senator from Nevada.

Update: Correction. As noted above, I got my Nelson's wrong. Bill Nelson may well still vote for the public option, despite Harry Reid's biasing of the vote. Ben Nelson said 65 votes were needed. I regret the error
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/9/29/787582/-Tim... -(Updated-with-Correction)
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Zen Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ben Nelson is a gnarly POS. That is all.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. I disagree. It's not time to do that
It's way past time. He should have been removed before the start of the current session.

His performance in the last congress was underwhelming. We've known for years he had no balls.

Why wasn't he removed before Health Care Reform was introduced?

I would never wish that any Repub would prevail in a General Election against a Dem. But in Harry's case I might just keep quiet.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. silly, silly stuff.
there's is absolutely nothing we could possibly have less of an impact on than the Senate leadership.
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Not if we want it really, really bad...
...and start lots of threads about it. That's the DU way.

Reid is Majority Leader because a majority of the Democratic caucus in the Senate voted for him. End of.
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SIMPLYB1980 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. This will not happen. nt
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t0dd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Let's see if he is re-elected next year.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. Way past time.
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. that's been long overdue for years! nt
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
8. He should never have been leader in the first place.
He did not represent true Democratic values much of the time.
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
10. Reid is a GOP mole. Fifth Column.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. Recommend, because Reid is squandering a 60 vote majority.
He's terrible.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Unrecommend for the sheer stupidity of talking about something that will not happen.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. That doesn't stop you most of the time.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. For many, many reasons, Reid has to be targeted in next election go-around . . .
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ChoppinBroccoli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-29-09 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. Senate Majority Leader John Kerry
Kinda has a nice ring to it.

The other guy I really like is Jim Webb, but he's probably too young to hold any kind of leadership position in the Senate. Wouldn't mind seeing him run for President in 2016, though. Or his fellow Virginian Mark Warner either.
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