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.