Hank  Adler

In my novel, From Three to Five, I included a vignette about a small, politically moderate group of Members of the House of Representatives going to the left wing Speaker of the House with a demand that the Speaker resign his/her position. The threat was if the Speaker did not resign, this group would vote for a middle of the road Member of the House of Representatives from the other party as Speaker. The group had a sufficient number of votes to determine the outcome of who would be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. These renegade Members of the House of Representatives provided the Speaker with a short list of Members of more moderate Members of their political party who would be acceptable to them.

If I was Kay Hagen, Mary Landreiu or any of the other highly at-risk Democratic Senators seeking re-election in 2014, I would be considering having real life imitate fiction.

Senator Harry Reid is the poster child of what many Americans think is wrong with the United States Congress. Removing him as the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate would be a relief to anyone of either political party who believes the U.S. Senate is not under the grasp of a single individual.

Senator Reid has eviscerated two hundred years of history during which the U.S. Senate was one of the great deliberative bodies in the world. He will not allow literally dozens of important bills passed by the House of Representatives to be discussed and/or voted on in the Senate. He will not allow amendments to be discussed or offered to the Senate on the few bills which are deemed acceptable to him. (With respect to these non-allowed amendments, Senator Reid is impartial; he will not allow amendments by either Democrats or Republicans.) Effectively, the United States Senate could have a going out of business sale or in the real world, the Senators, except Harry Reid, can or could "call it in".

Smart Republican campaigns this fall are going to be asking how many bills that were passed by the House of Representatives have been voted on and how many were not voted on by the U.S. Senate. Smart campaigns will identify the important bills passed in the House that have not been taken up in the U.S. Senate.

Smart Republican campaigns are going to ask, whether under Harry Reid's leadership, their state in reality has been denied representation in the United States Senate and whether their State's sitting Democratic Senator has literally given his/her vote to Harry Reid.

A significant part of any Republican Senate campaign against any incumbent Democrat should include a series of questions:

1. Did the sitting Democratic Senator seeking re-election vote for Harry Reid for Majority Leader of the United States Senate?


Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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