This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Politico: Blog: Dylan Byers: Chuck Todd: Senate Democrats May Overthrow Harry Reid
First of all, I hope that Senate Democrats will overthrow Harry Reid as their leader which will be the Senate Minority Leader in the next Congress and I’ll explain why. If there are two faces that are the faces of Congressional gridlock in this Congress and previous Congress’s going back at least since 2009, it is current Senate Leader Harry Reid and current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Leader Reid because he won’t allow amendments to major legislation in the Senate, especially from Senate Republicans, but even from Senate Democrats. And Minority Leader Mitch McConnell because of all the legislation that Senate Republicans have blocked under his leadership because of the sixty-vote rule.
Senate Republicans won huge on Tuesday. So you could argue that the McConnell tactics have worked and that Mitch should be rewarded for that with the promotion to Leader of the Senate. Senate Democrats lost big Tuesday night and even lost their majority. Not all Leader Reid’s fault, but the fact that so many Senate Democrats who lost were tied to President Obama an unpopular President and the fact they couldn’t offer and vote on amendments in the Senate to separate them from the President, contributed to their losses’ on Tuesday. Whether that is fair or not, the fact is it worked.
But here’s another reason and why Leader Reid should step down as Democratic Leader or be defeated for reelection in the Senate Democratic Caucus. Leader Reid is up for reelection just as Senator in 2016. He is not popular in his own state, running for reelection in a swing state like Nevada. Even though it will be a presidential election with a lot more Democrats voting in 2016 than in 2014, he would be better off concentrating in his own reelection as a seventy-six year old in 2016. And lining up as much resources for himself. Instead of trying both to win reelection as a U.S. Senator and electing as many Democrats as possible in 2016 to win back the majority.
Senate Democrats would be much better off in the next Congress with a new leader who won’t be up for a tough reelection or reelection at all. That will give Senate Democrats a fresh face as they try to take on Senate Republicans and whatever partisan agenda they may try to pass in the Senate. As well as work with Leader Mitch McConnell and President Obama where they can and must in order to keep the government running smoothly. And to do things for the economy like infrastructure, energy, immigration and tax reform.
I give you Dick Durbin the current Assistant Majority Leader and Chuck Schumer the Chief Political Strategist for the Senate Democrats as great alternatives. They both know how to legislate, things they prefer to do than obstruct even if that means working with Republicans. And they both know how to debate and use the media and the Senate rules very well to kill bad legislation when a bipartisan compromise can’t be reached. They were both great at these things during the Bush Administration when Congressional Republicans and President Bush tried to pass bad legislation. And would be very effective as the top two Democratic leaders in the next Congress.