I love it when “progressive” Democrats put me down for stating that there’s not much difference between Democrats and Republicans because then Harry Reid goes and proves me right. Actually, Reid also proves the BIG difference between Democrats and Republicans: with the Republicans, you know what you’ve got. They are overtly destructive to the middle class and you can see through their every lie. The Harry Reid Democrat talks about introducing liberal legislation but that’s as far as he goes—just talk. Dianne Feinstein got the assault weapons bill out of committee with great fanfare. The majority of Americans are on record as supporting a total ban on assault weapons. So what does Reid do? He refuses to bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate. Why? Because he claims he only has 40 votes and not the 60 required to end a filibuster. And why is there still a filibuster in the Senate? Because Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, left it in place despite all the calls from liberal Senators to have it eliminated.
Oh sure, Reid may introduce the assault weapons ban as an amendment to another bill the Senate Republicans may be forced to vote for, but he knows any gun control legislation is DOA in the House, so once again he looks like a good guy instead of the weasely wimp that he is.
Why would he do this? Because Harry Reid is a lousy and incompetent Majority Leader. In the House, Speaker John Boehner typifies how the GOP frames itself. He’s just as incompetent as Reid, but he projects the image visually and aurally of a politician at the peak of his power, which in a way is true because the Tea Party still controls the House as it gives him his marching orders. In fact, the Republicans ALWAYS act as if they’re in power. With Reid, he always acts—or refuses to act—as if he’s AFRAID of losing power. It’s his timidity that is projected loud and clear visually and aurally. But in his case, he may be the Senate Majority Leader but it is clearly the coalition of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the fake Democrats who control the Senate.
Reid has FIFTY-THREE Democrats in his Senate, and he can only convince FORTY of them to vote for the assault weapons ban. Fake Democrats like Heidi Heitkamp , Max Baucus and Mark Pryor may be proud of their pro-gun stance and their Republican-friendly stance on other major issues, but some other stealth fake Democrats get just plain worried about having their names linked to a “No” vote on banning assault weapons, especially with 2014 looming ever closer. If Reid keeps the filibuster in place, these phonies are spared the embarrassment of revealing their right wing natures to their possibly more liberal constituents since the vote will be blocked by the Republican filibuster. A real majority leader would tell the fake Democrats to either toe the party line or get used to not getting any prestigious committee assignments or pork for their home states. The only choice left to those phony Democrats would be to switch parties and take their chances with the voters in the next election. But Harry Reid isn’t a real majority leader.
Another handy use of the filibuster is that enables Reid the opportunity to position himself as a Democrat, to excoriate the Republicans for acting like Republicans, and to otherwise do absolutely NOTHING in the way of bringing Democratic legislation to the floor of the Senate. It’s all for show and—that’s all, folks!
Reid is too much of a chicken heart to employ the tactic of introducing the assault weapons ban to the Senate and then sitting back and allowing the Republicans to preen and filibuster it until it is dead. Let the Republicans take the hit come 2014 for their blocking of stricter gun ownership laws and their focus on pushing anti-abortion ones.
Trouble is, there are fellow Democrats who might be forced to publicly take sides during the filibuster, and we wouldn’t want to embarrass our fellow Democrats by having them unmask themselves to the national electorate as the gun nuts their constituents already know they are, would we? Hence, the safe protection of the filibuster which also enables Harry Reid to do absolutely nothing and get plenty well for not doing it. Lyndon B. Johnson may have been a scoundrel, but he knew how to get Democrats to be DEMOCRATS and pass laws that would benefit the country as a whole. With a Democratic majority in the Senate, no Democrat crossed him and no Republican caused much trouble if they knew what was good for them, professionally and personally. If Reid had been Senate Majority Leader in the sixties, we wouldn’t have to worry about cuts to Medicare and Medicaid because neither program would exist. I’d hate to think what other programs—Social Security—would also not be around had Reid been head of the Senate in 1935.
At least with Republicans you know what you’ve got: they intend to cut all social programs out of existence. With Reid, he talks about protecting social programs and then agrees to start implementing these same cuts behind closed doors.