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I have had it with Harry Reid!
01-15-2013, 06:14 AM
Post: #1
I have had it with Harry Reid!
As reported by Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM Senate majority leader Harry Reid has apparently decided to concentrate on bills he feels have a chance of passing the Senate as related to gun safety and control. Translation: I won't make the Senate take a public stand on a tough issue.

Quote:The Democratically-controlled U.S. Senate will not be a free-for-all of new gun regulations following the shooting at Sandy Hook, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid. Instead, Senators will focus on passing legislation that can move through the Republican-controlled House, Reid said.

That could spell doom for an assault weapons ban. Speaking on Nevada Week In Review, a news show on the PBS affiliate in Las Vegas, Reid said there’s no real chance of a new ban passing the House.

“Is it something that can pass the Senate? Maybe. Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it,” he said in video of the program provided to TPM by Vegas PBS. “So I think there are things that we know we can do.”

GOTV in 2014
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01-15-2013, 07:31 AM
Post: #2
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
I didn't quite take it that way, Pappy.

I may be in the minority, but the Harry Reid I've seen over Obama's first term has been a fighter who's gone to the mat for the President's initiatives, and who has never wavered in fighting off the legions of Orcs in our midst who currently pass for senate Republicans -- even with great personal challenges facing him (remember when his wife and daughter were in a serious vehicle accident involving a truck hitting their car on the eve of the HCR vote?) -- Reid never missed a step, even then. What I see here is that he'd rather not telegraph Dems' planned actions to the GOP. And another point that strikes me -- remember how Dem offices were attacked and thousands of death threats phoned into them over healthcare reform? Now the issue is gun safety and there are crazy Republicans out there with guns convinced by other whackjobs that Harry Reid is coming for them. No wonder he is making cautious statements. The fact that the President is also looking at taking Executive-level action, I think does provide Reid some breathing room on this topic.
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01-15-2013, 11:50 AM
Post: #3
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
Weren't there moves the President could make in executive orders? Maybe they have an agreement on what Congress will do and what the President will do.
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01-15-2013, 04:45 PM
Post: #4
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
I respect Reid. He is doing what he can.

I think that he is right about what can be passed.
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01-15-2013, 05:01 PM
Post: #5
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
I had it with him a long time ago. He refuses to bring controversial measures to the floor to protect conservative Democratic Senators from taking difficult votes. We can't hold Republicans accountable to their voting record because he doesn't want us holding conservative Democrats accountable.
He didn't bring up the Employee Free Choice Act. He didn't bring an Energy bill to the floor because it didn't have the votes to pass. But, then he held three votes on limiting EPA authority to regulate CO2, even though those didn't have the votes to pass either. I think history would be very different if the Senate had a stronger leader during Obama's first two years.
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01-15-2013, 05:12 PM
Post: #6
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
Hey Willinois, with everything that had to be done, and urgently done, over the Prez' first term, why would it have been a better use of time for Reid to bring legislation to the floor that had no chance of passing? Not doing snark here -- serious question.
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01-15-2013, 05:58 PM (This post was last modified: 01-15-2013 06:00 PM by Willinois.)
Post: #8
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
(01-15-2013 05:12 PM)janedrake Wrote:  Hey Willinois, with everything that had to be done, and urgently done, over the Prez' first term, why would it have been a better use of time for Reid to bring legislation to the floor that had no chance of passing? Not doing snark here -- serious question.

I think time was less of a problem than the decision to hold off on other issues until after health care passed. Maybe that was the best choice, but it meant several important Democratic constituencies went into the 2010 election disappointed.

Also, I don't think we know for sure what can pass until Senators know it's really coming to a vote and the public has a chance to pressure undecided votes. Unions and green groups didn't get the chance to make a full push on the Senate because they were told their top bills weren't going to be voted on.

Finally, it gives groups a chance to hold Republicans accountable for their vote in the next election. It gives donors and voters something to rally around (or against). That might have helped in 2010. But, we couldn't blame Republicans for voting against the Employee Free Choice Act and Cap-and-Trade because it was Reid who wouldn't hold a vote.
The trouble for Reid is that he knows some members of his caucus are going to anger a lot of their donors and home state voters no matter which way they vote. We can't stick it to Republicans because half a dozen Senate Democrats need to be protected and are equally to blame. That's why having too many conservative Senate Democrats ends up being a liability for the entire party.
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01-15-2013, 08:57 PM
Post: #9
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
(01-15-2013 05:58 PM)Willinois Wrote:  
(01-15-2013 05:12 PM)janedrake Wrote:  Hey Willinois, with everything that had to be done, and urgently done, over the Prez' first term, why would it have been a better use of time for Reid to bring legislation to the floor that had no chance of passing? Not doing snark here -- serious question.

I think time was less of a problem than the decision to hold off on other issues until after health care passed. Maybe that was the best choice, but it meant several important Democratic constituencies went into the 2010 election disappointed.

Also, I don't think we know for sure what can pass until Senators know it's really coming to a vote and the public has a chance to pressure undecided votes. Unions and green groups didn't get the chance to make a full push on the Senate because they were told their top bills weren't going to be voted on.

Finally, it gives groups a chance to hold Republicans accountable for their vote in the next election. It gives donors and voters something to rally around (or against). That might have helped in 2010. But, we couldn't blame Republicans for voting against the Employee Free Choice Act and Cap-and-Trade because it was Reid who wouldn't hold a vote.
The trouble for Reid is that he knows some members of his caucus are going to anger a lot of their donors and home state voters no matter which way they vote. We can't stick it to Republicans because half a dozen Senate Democrats need to be protected and are equally to blame. That's why having too many conservative Senate Democrats ends up being a liability for the entire party.

I take your points, Willinois, but have to admit, I largely considered "the disappointed" going into the midterms to be politically immature, a la "I want my pony." I say that as one who only finally grew up politically through the candidacy and election of Barack Obama, and one who previously railed against Harry Reid at every opportunity.

Watching Reid over these past four years -- often observing senate all-nighters on C-SPAN -- I've come to respect his dogged efforts that have changed the trajectory of my family's generation coming up behind me for the better. No, he may not have given the 'Kooch' crowd much satisfaction, (not saying you're a 'Kooch' dude - or no) but his efforts were part of the extremely productive 111th Congress. But most of all, the "change we can believe in" has been delivered largely due to Reid -- and I can't help but appreciate that. No one's perfect -- I guess I'm willing to forgive Reid his 'sins' against the 'progressive' playbook, 'cause as the saying goes, politics ain't beanbag.
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01-16-2013, 04:00 PM
Post: #11
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
(01-15-2013 08:57 PM)janedrake Wrote:  
(01-15-2013 05:58 PM)Willinois Wrote:  I think time was less of a problem than the decision to hold off on other issues until after health care passed. Maybe that was the best choice, but it meant several important Democratic constituencies went into the 2010 election disappointed.

Also, I don't think we know for sure what can pass until Senators know it's really coming to a vote and the public has a chance to pressure undecided votes. Unions and green groups didn't get the chance to make a full push on the Senate because they were told their top bills weren't going to be voted on.

Finally, it gives groups a chance to hold Republicans accountable for their vote in the next election. It gives donors and voters something to rally around (or against). That might have helped in 2010. But, we couldn't blame Republicans for voting against the Employee Free Choice Act and Cap-and-Trade because it was Reid who wouldn't hold a vote.
The trouble for Reid is that he knows some members of his caucus are going to anger a lot of their donors and home state voters no matter which way they vote. We can't stick it to Republicans because half a dozen Senate Democrats need to be protected and are equally to blame. That's why having too many conservative Senate Democrats ends up being a liability for the entire party.

I take your points, Willinois, but have to admit, I largely considered "the disappointed" going into the midterms to be politically immature, a la "I want my pony." I say that as one who only finally grew up politically through the candidacy and election of Barack Obama, and one who previously railed against Harry Reid at every opportunity.

Watching Reid over these past four years -- often observing senate all-nighters on C-SPAN -- I've come to respect his dogged efforts that have changed the trajectory of my family's generation coming up behind me for the better. No, he may not have given the 'Kooch' crowd much satisfaction, (not saying you're a 'Kooch' dude - or no) but his efforts were part of the extremely productive 111th Congress. But most of all, the "change we can believe in" has been delivered largely due to Reid -- and I can't help but appreciate that. No one's perfect -- I guess I'm willing to forgive Reid his 'sins' against the 'progressive' playbook, 'cause as the saying goes, politics ain't beanbag.

I'm not one of the constant whiners looking for a pony, and viewing my comments in that frame is overly simplistic. The Senate was a roadblock to the top priorities of core Democratic party constituencies. Labor, environmental groups, young people, LGBT voters all saw their top priorities stalled in the Senate. It's no wonder there was an enthusiasm gap that led to low participation in 2010. There are political consequences when organized groups do a lot to get you elected and then you don't deliver. You have to dance with the one who brought you. 2010 was the cost of the Senate stalling other issues until health care was finished. Much of the Democratic base saw no reason to exert effort for Congressional Democrats who blocked much of their agenda and then distanced themselves from Obama.

I suspect the reason for it is that taking action on EFCA and cap-and-trade is either not a priority or strongly opposed by too many major donors. I hope Congressional leaders took the right lesson from the 2010 losses. Regardless of what donors want, you can't ignore the people who make up the Democratic coalition.
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01-15-2013, 05:21 PM
Post: #7
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
I understand both sides. Even failed legislation can and often is used against a candidate in the next election. It is standard procedure to NOT vote on bills that will fail - no point in giving one's opponent a free issue on a vote that meant nothing anyway. Not saying I like it, it's just how our barely functional Congress works.
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01-15-2013, 09:31 PM
Post: #10
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
I read that but I'm not so sure that that is an indication of Harry Reid taking a hard stand on the issue. I think what he is doing is being is pragmatic. With Republicans in control of the House, it is going to be hard to get anything done pertaining to guns, but the President is moving really fast on this and if the momentum stays with the President I wouldn't be surprised to see Harry Reid go along with it.

"Understand that the more deeply you hold your ideals,
the more you are morally obligated to be pragmatic...Idealism without pragmatism
is just a way to flatter your ego." -Barney Frank
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01-17-2013, 05:22 PM (This post was last modified: 01-17-2013 05:23 PM by janedrake.)
Post: #12
RE: I have had it with Harry Reid!
Willinois, I can see how you might take my comment that way, but I wasn't implying you were a 'pony-er." It was the constantly "disappointed" and "betrayed" whom I found to be as often misinformed and enraged over what they thought was or wasn't happening as any teabagger.

The frustrating problem with the way the various Dem tents thought in 2010 is that if the Blue Dog-infested Senate was blocking their priorities, how in the world was it going to be better with a Speaker Boehner and a Tea-Party-infested House? Long-term thinking and patience just didn't seem to be on the menu, and now here it looks like we're stuck with GOP control of the House for the next ten years because too many Dems pouted in 2010. Now, yes, that is simplifying things a bit, but only just.
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