[Note - 11/15: I wrote most of this on the 5th, but a discusion over at the Baseball Crank made me come back, finish and post it. I dated it the 10th so it wouldn't get buried beneath last week's long-ass "liberal media" screed.]
Not an encouraging first step for the recovery of the Democratic Party. Harry Reid is the new Senate minority leader. But what's worse is Harry Reid is the also the new Tom Daschle...
After all the misery and mourning I've done over the last few days, not one second of that time was spent feeling bad for Tom Daschle or his loss. If we're giving away Senate seats by the handful, I'm fine with his being one of them. Sure, I'd rather've won the Senate and held his seat, but I was done with him as leader a long time ago. Good riddance, Tom.
Tom Daschle may have been a procedural master. He might have been a nice guy. He might even have been a great Senator. But he was a shit leader (Majority and Minority). His mealy on-camera persona was the very embodiment of the Washington politician people don't like. His responses to the Republicans whiny and weak. Basically he came off like a (try as I might to find a different word...) pussy. And in this age of "the Democrats are weak on morals and weaker on defense" I've got no use for guys like that being the public face of the Party.
Long before 9/11, under Daschle's "leadership" the Senate Democrats were led like a pet dog into the car by Bush's promises of a ride to the park, when every one of them should have known they were going to the vet to be "fixed". After 9/11 they were completely neutered. And muzzled. And then tied out behind the garage. Every once in a while Bush would call them up to the porch to beg for scraps, and then laugh as he kicked them back down to the dirt.
No more. I wanted a real debate for a real opposition leader for a Party that was going to try and function as best they could in an unenviable position to try and put a brake on this out of control radical agenda we'll be facing.
What does the caucus do? Quickly rush selection of a new leader with little or no debate. Who do they pick? Another "nice" guy from a red state. Yeah, Reid just won re-election, but he had to support the Patriot Act, Partial Birth Abortion ban and other non-Democratic platform issues to do it.
Durbin, Schumer, hell, even Kerry would all have better choices for personality as well as having completely safe seats so they could oppose the Republicans without regard for covering their own ass. In fact, not only would they be free to push a more progressive position, they'd actually be representing their contituency in the process.