I know that my hero, Rachel Maddow, has expended quite a bit of time and energy enumerating all the ways that House Speaker John Boehner is spectacularly bad at his job, but I really think her sole focus on him has done a disservice to his counterpart in the Senate, Harry Reid.
If John Boehner is absolutely awful at his job, and I believe he is, Harry Reid may be just about the worst majority senate leader ever to hold the post. It isn't fair that his incompetence, ineptitude and downright pathetic performance be overlooked simply because Boehner is flashier in his failure. Fake tan or not, Harry deserves a shout out.
I won't bore you by rehashing all the past ways Harry has failed to demonstrate even the most basic understanding of what constitutes leadership, that's what the dailykos archives are for. I'll simply draw your attention to his latest demonstration that the "Peter Principle" is alive and well in the senate chamber.
According to the dailykos, Senate Majority Leader Reid has recently met with Michael Bloomberg staffers to ask that they not target Democratic senators like Mark Pryor of Arkansas who voted against comprehensive background checks, because his loss might mean a loss of the Democratic majority. Talk about unclear on the concept.
I can only hope that the Bloomberg staffers laughed in his face and asked Mr. Reid exactly what good having a Democratic majority in the senate has been. Under Reid's skilled management, not only has the Democratic majority been unable to get gun safety measures passed that 92% of the country support, they haven't gotten anything else done either including routine confirmations of the President's appointees. Rather than whining to Bloomberg's highly effective pac to please leave Democrats like the undependable, self-serving Pryor alone, shouldn't Reid have gone to Pryor and said, "vote for this bill or I'll find someone to primary you so fast, it'll make your head spin?"
Ok, Pryor probably wouldn't have believed him because Harry has never followed through on a single threat he's ever made, but everyone knows that Bloomberg is made of sterner stuff. He and his pac have been scarily efficient in targeting recalcitrant lawmakers all over the country on the issue of gun control. If Pryor chose to pander to the NRA instead of representing the wishes of his constituents he knew what he was risking. Why should Harry Reid go sniveling to Bloomberg begging for mercy on Pryor's behalf just so he can keep his job as Majority Leader.
Like John Boehner, Harry Reid likes being leader of his chamber. That's the truly frightening thing about people who are terrible at their jobs. They'll do just about anything to hold onto them except actually carry out the job's requirements in a competent, proficient and principled way. The senators who voted against gun control legislation are feeling the heat from the voters and groups like Mayor Bloomberg's who are determined to make them pay for their craven decision to cave in to the NRA. Unfortunately, there is Senate Majority Leader Reid, ready and willing to help bail them out either by pleading with Bloomberg not to go after these losers, or re-introducing an even more watered down gun contol bill that Pryor and his buddies can vote for and save face.
Either way, it's another defining moment in Harry Reid's tenure as Senate Majority Leader. Unfortunately, the moment it's defining is the one where we all recognize that he's the worst Majority Leader to ever hold the title.