Surprise: Ignoring Voters, Senate Democrats Stand by Harry Reid

Daniel Doherty
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Posted: Nov 13, 2014 9:10 PM
Surprise: Ignoring Voters, Senate Democrats Stand by Harry Reid

Serious question: Did Senate Democrats somehow miss or forget about the elections we had last week? Wow:

Senate Democrats voted on Thursday to keep Senator Harry Reid of Nevada as their leader, but his victory came only after a nearly four-hour closed-door meeting in which 28 caucus members expressed their frustration with the party’s direction after an Election Day drubbing. The voting was done by secret ballot, but it was not unanimous, reflecting a divide within the party over the need to elevate new faces and younger leaders. Those concerns were reflected in part in the decision Thursday to create a new but relatively small leadership role for Senator Elizabeth Warren, 65, of Massachusetts, a folk hero of the left.

“When you have an election like this, common sense says we need to change things,” said Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, one of the Democrats who did not vote for Mr. Reid. “The voice was very loud and unmistakable,” she added. “To me that means changing leadership, and it was just that simple.”

I’ll be the first to say that the guy deserves some credit. He presided over a largely ineffectual and gridlocked Senate chamber, gutted the filibuster (a power-grabbing procedure he once inveighed against), and tabled hundreds of bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, thus relegating his Senate colleagues to a kind of legislative purgatory. Through it all, however, he still managed to keep his leadership position. Well done, Harry. I'll tip my cap to you. (Then again, there was never any serious challenge to his reign of power. Amazing.)

Be that as it may, now that Senate Democrats have re-elected their intrepid leader–despite the clear wishes of the American public–perhaps we can take some solace in his greatly-diminished status and waning influence. It is richly deserved.