He only controls 46 seats, but Harry Reid is acting like he has 60.
Reid’s uncompromising posture during the flap over homeland security funding and his emerging plans for an upcoming fight over immigration make clear he’s doing little to change the hardball style that defined his tenure as majority leader. This despite losing control of the chamber after last fall’s Democratic debacle and tamping down a coup among centrists seeking his ouster.
The 75-year-old Reid, who may seek reelection next year and is in his second stint as minority leader, is betting that Republicans are so nervous about being blamed for a crisis in Washington — as they have been repeatedly before — that they will capitulate again.
Naturally, his unyielding stance has maddened Republicans.
The new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, wanted to initiate a lengthy floor debate on a House-passed Department of Homeland Security funding bill. But Reid surprised Republicans by rallying his caucus on four separate occasions to block the measure from even coming forward — demanding McConnell drop contentious immigration provisions. After a month of inaction in the Senate and up against Friday’s funding deadline, McConnell ultimately bent to Reid’s demands.
As Ace of Spades HQ put it yesterday, McConnell is only Majority Leader “when Reid let’s him play the part”.
This is the problem with the “Ted Cruz is a hothead” crowd, which is led by McConnell: they worry more about how things will play out in the media than doing what is actually right for the American people. That is precisely why McConnell’s victory speech after November’s election immediately took a dig at Cruz and not the Democrats.
My PJTV colleague Scott Ott stated it brilliantly earlier this week: Republicans love to play defense even when they are on offense.
The GOP gets savaged in the press not just because the MSM is biased, but also because it is so awful at getting out in front of something or counter-punching. The messaging is forever muddled or nonexistent, and letting Admiral Ackbar’s mushmouthed cousin McConnell drone his way through an explanation that’s really designed to curry favor with the New York Times is never anything short of disastrous.
Freeze this moment in your minds for the next time conservatives mount a primary challenge to an entrenched candidate and the establishment starts babbling about “experience” or “knowing how to get things done”.