April 26, 2007

When David Dumped Harry

The port side of the blogosphere rings with rage over David Broder's Washington Post column today. Talking Points Memo has called for a "blogswarm" to shout down Broder for the unforgivable offense of pointing out that Harry Reid has been as incompetent as Alberto Gonzales [not quite -- see update below]:

Here's a Washington political riddle where you fill in the blanks: As Alberto Gonzales is to the Republicans, Blank Blank is to the Democrats -- a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance.

If you answered " Harry Reid," give yourself an A. And join the long list of senators of both parties who are ready for these two springtime exhibitions of ineptitude to end. ...

[C]onsider the mental gyrations performed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as he rationalized the recent comment from his majority leader, Harry Reid, the leading light of Searchlight, Nev., that the war in Iraq "is lost."

On "Fox News Sunday," Schumer offered this clarification of Reid's off-the-cuff comment. "What Harry Reid is saying is that this war is lost -- in other words, a war where we mainly spend our time policing a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. We are not going to solve that problem. . . . The war is not lost. And Harry Reid believes this -- we Democrats believe it. . . . So the bottom line is if the war continues on this path, if we continue to try to police and settle a civil war that's been going on for hundreds of years in Iraq, we can't win. But on the other hand, if we change the mission and have that mission focus on the more narrow goal of counterterrorism, we sure can win."

Broder offers more examples of Reid's ineptitide as caucus leader. Remember when Reid's intellectual basis for opposing George Bush was that the President was a "loser"? Brave Harry managed to wait until Bush traveled to Europe before calling him names. He called Alan Greenspan "one of the biggest political hacks" in DC, despite Greenspan's successful management of the Fed. He insulted Bill Frist for keeping his campaign pledge to serve only two terms in office.

Of course the netroots love him -- he's pandering to them. Rather than exercise statesmanship and decorum, Reid spews personal insults as argument and hyperbole as analysis. Schumer and Dianne Feinstein had to hit reverse away from his unprecedented announcement of defeat last week. Only Nancy Pelosi, with her no-show at the Petraeus briefing, could make the Majority Leader look mediocre. Otherwise, Reid is Keith OIbermann with less coherence.

And let's not forget the land deals that Reid has conducted in Nevada. Add that to Harry's deep involvement with disgraced lobbyist and Democratic Bogeyman of 2006, Jack Abramoff, and we have a picture of a floundering hack kept alive only by the blind loyalty of the Democratic base. Now that base has become enraged because David Broder has the audacity to point out what an embarrassment Reid now is.

Hope you like the view from under the bus, David.

UPDATE: As I reread Greg Sargent's post at TPM, my characterization is unfair. He was more predicting the blogswarm than stumping for it ... and he was prescient indeed. My apologies to Greg for the error.


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Comments (19)

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 7:32 AM

Our enemies use idiots like Reid, Murta, or Pelosi to build hope and in effect defeat us. But those guys were also dully elected by the public. Is Democracy really the best system to govern?

Posted by Cindy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 7:35 AM

"Talking Points Memo has called for a "blogswarm" to shout down Broder..."

This seems to be the usual MO of the left. Shout down anyone who dares to say something that they do not like....


Posted by chsw [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 7:40 AM

Broder is as mainstream a DC liberal as you can find. The nutroot Kos crowd should continue to ignore his advice and bully the less-left Democrats into electoral untenability.


Posted by Linh_My [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 7:52 AM


"Is Democracy really the best system to govern?"

Democracy is actually a terrible system of government. It's only virtue is as Churchill said, "Every other system of government in the history of the world is worse."

Posted by dajames [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 8:06 AM

Capt. it appears your making crap up, again. TPM (Greg Sargent) is not calling for a blogswarm, he is predicting one; his phrase "Blogswarm Alert!" is a forewarning, a concern for " something to keep an eye out for."

Sargent was being cautiously prophetic (he was right) that Broder will now have to defend careless comments in rational blogs likes tpm, washington monthly, tapped and so forth.

To compare Gonzo's incompetence with Reid's is farce hyperbole, and you know it!

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 8:15 AM

I love irony.

Broder states that Reid is a loser. The left is outraged. They know this emboldens and strengthens their enemy, the right wingers.

Reid says the war is lost. The right is outraged. They know this emboldens and strengthens the enemy, terrorist thugs.

Posted by Angevin13 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 8:41 AM

History has already given us a "Blind Harry" - the 15th century poet who wrote about the life of William Wallace. But the moniker is far more appropriate for Senator Reid!

Posted by Geoff [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 8:42 AM

Picking up on SoldiersMom's point, it seems to me David Broder's next communique should be: hey democrat party, don't question my patriotism.

Posted by biwah [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 8:58 AM

Reid is no one's darling, rather the left has given him the benefit of the doubt for a while because he seems to have a spine, which was a problem spot for Dems, particularly at the time he stepped into the leadership.

He is indeed a fool who has coupled his constant opposition to the admin with little that resembles a plan or a vision. That's my lay perspective.

But he's no Gonzales, and Broder overplays it. I would submit that Gonzales seems to have been an empty suit in a position vital to the nation for some time, or alternatively perjured himself before the Senate. I can't excuse Reid's snappish remarks about the war, but they are just qualitatively different.

Another pundit trying to put his own stamp on unrelated issues rather than discuss it straight up.

Posted by capitano [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 9:10 AM

Wait, I know it's hard to keep up with Reid's ever-changing position on the Iraq war, but didn't I read that he tried to explain his "war is lost" comment by saying that we had already won the military victory, it was our failure to win the political victory that was "lost."

Why does the Left support him if he agrees with "Mission Accomplished" -- is it too much to ask for some semblance of coherence?

Tell me again why I should care what TPM has to say on any subject.

Posted by Jeanette [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 9:18 AM

"Is democracy the best system to govern?"

No, and that's why we have a republic. In a democracy the majority rules regardless of what the minority wants. In a constitutional republic the wishes of the minority are supposed to also be considered.

Posted by theScrivnr [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 9:52 AM

Rare kudos in these parts to David Broder, who has largely distinguished himself over the years as a transmitter of conventional wisdom. He finally shows a flash of insight over "White Flag" Harry Reid. To be direct, my usual reaction to a Reid-ism ranges somewhere between "twerp" on the one hand and "ninny" on the other. Perhaps at last his ruminations will be seen for the damage they do to the country as well as his party.

Posted by I R A Darth Aggie [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 9:57 AM

To compare Gonzo's incompetence with Reid's is farce hyperbole, and you know it!

You're right. Reid is at least compentent enough to use the government to funnel money into his back pocket. Did he give Barbara Boxer lessons?

Posted by dajames [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 10:08 AM

Sargent explains that Michele Malkin has now joined the Captain on hype:

"It's hard to be surprised by the antics of the wingnut bloggers, but every now again you come across something that proves them to be so utterly without irony -- so completely lacking in basic literacy and self-awareness -- that you can only sit back and marvel in amazement at the spectacle they make of themselves.

"Case in point: Here's Michelle Malkin, attacking this blog because of this post yesterday previewing David Broder's column today. Malkin is blasting us over the fact that the post began with the words "blogswarm alert!" -- which she took as a sign that we were literally ordering the "nutroots" to wage "preemptive" war on the WaPo over the Broder column.

Michelle, please take a moment to bone up on the meanings of the words "literal" and "irony." This was not a literal call for a blogswarm, you silly figure of fun. It was meant ironically -- that is, as a gently self-mocking way of acknowledging that this column would create yet another anti-Broder blogswarm in the liberal blogosphere. Hence the word "alert," as in, "tornado alert" -- you know, as if to say, "here comes a blogswarm.""



Posted by Captain Ed [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 10:18 AM

Dajames and others --

You're right - I misread what Greg intended, and I posted an update and apology to the post.

Posted by jr565 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 10:37 AM

Broder is just speaking truth to power.

Posted by dajames [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 10:46 AM



Posted by horse [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 11:43 AM

SoldiersMom, nice way to point out that the left considers the right their "enemy", which makes them by default more inclined to be sympathetic to our other enemy, terrorists.

You can not dialog and cooperate with someone who considers you an enemy on par with terrorists. The sooner the right as a whole acknowledges the left as an "enemy" and deals with them as such, the better off our country will be.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 12:33 PM

"Blogswarms" and unbridled rage is how libs show how tolerant and openminded they are, just like holding up defense appropriations shows how much they support the troops. White is black, up is down, treason and sedition are the highest forms of patriotism.

Liberalism IS a mental disease.