Thursday, March 17, 2011

Harry Reid’s Tin Ear

Maybe Harry Reid's good at working his will in the Senate behind the scenes, although that's not how it looks from the outside.  But could there be a worse front man for the Democratic Party? This, you’ll recall, is the guy who thought that best way to draw attention to the savagery of Republican budget cuts was to point to the precarious future of a cowboy poetry festival in Nevada.

Here Reid’s fielding a question from an interviewer trying his best to make him and the Democratic Party look good: what does he propose to do about Social Security now that we’re going to have to start adding to the deficit by paying off IOU’s in its trust fund with borrowed dollars? That's a politically sensitive question a couple of months after Democrats had their heads handed to them in an election that turned on the voters' perception of their fiscal irresponsibility and a ABC-Washington Post poll is showing that "81 percent of those polled see Social Security as veering severely off-course, up 10 percentage points from 2005, when former president George W. Bush led a push to privatize the government-run program." 

You have to listen to Reid's answer to believe that he said it:

I don’t need to be advised that financing Social Security isn’t our most urgent fiscal challenge and that any budget cuts we’re obliged to make now should be carefully targeted to cause as little pain and as little economic damage as possible. But if that’s what Reid was trying to say, could he have picked a more politically inept way of saying it? You have to wonder whether anyone on the Democratic side can still play this game.


Anonymous said...

This is priceless. I have to remember this answer whenever I'm asked whether I'm going to take care of a foreseeable problem. I'll just say, "ask me when I'm dead."

Also, does this mean Harry Reid will still be in congress in twenty years??

Lone Wolf said...

What is it about Senate majority leaders? Before Reid there was Bill Frist and before Frist it was Tom Daschle and before Daschle it was Trent Lott. All of them, despite having had pretty impressive careers before they rose to the office, looked like clowns. Guys like George Mitchell, Bob Dole and LBJ didn't. It must have something to do with trying to run an ideologically polarized body under rules designed for a collegial body.