The worst Majority Leader in Senate history

David Broder:

Here's a Washington political riddle where you fill in the blanks: "As Alberto Gonzales is to the Republicans, Blank Blank is to the Democrats — a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance."

If you answered Harry Reid, give yourself an A. And join the long list of senators of both parties who are ready for these two springtime exhibitions of ineptitude to come to an end.

President Bush's highly developed tolerance for egregious incompetence in his administration may have met its supreme test in Attorney General Gonzales, who at various times has taken complete responsibility for the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and also professed complete ignorance of the reasons for their dismissal. This demonstration of serial obfuscation so impressed the president that he rushed out to declare that Gonzales had "increased my confidence in his ability to do the job."

As if that were not mind-boggling enough, consider the mental gyrations performed by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as he rationalized the recent comment from his majority leader, Harry Reid, the leading light of Searchlight, Nev., that the war in Iraq "is lost."

On Fox News Sunday, Schumer offered this clarification of Reid's off-the-cuff comment. "What Harry Reid is saying is this war is lost — in other words, a war where we mainly spend our time policing a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. We are not going to solve that problem. ... The war is not lost. And Harry Reid believes this — we Democrats believe it. ... So the bottom line is if the war continues on this path, if we continue to try to police and settle a civil war that's been going on for hundreds of years in Iraq, we can't win. But on the other hand, if we change the mission and have that mission focus on the more narrow goal of counterterrorism, we sure can win."

Everyone got that clear? This war is lost. But the war can be won. Not since Bill Clinton famously pondered the meaning of the word "is" has a Democratic leader so confused things as Harry Reid managed to do with his inept discussion of the alternatives in Iraq.

Nor is this the first time that Senate Democrats, who chose Reid as their leader over Chris Dodd of Connecticut, have had reason to ponder the political fallout from Reid's tussles with the language.

...

Most of these earlier gaffes were personal, bespeaking a kind of displaced aggressiveness on the part of the one-time amateur boxer. But Reid's verbal wanderings on the war in Iraq are consequential — not just for his party and the Senate but for the more important question of what happens to U.S. policy in that country and to the men and women whose lives are at stake.

...
The only good thing about Harry Reid is that he is the Democrats' embarrassment. While he and Chuck Shumer brag about picking up senate seats if we lose the war in Iraq, people outside the Democrats' kook base have to be asking themselves what kind of mistake they made last November. Just trying to diagram all of Reid's position on the war since November can make his head spin like a movie special effect.

It is interesting to note that Democrat Paul Begala responded with insults--David Broder Is a Gasbag.

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