I wouldn’t wish the current Democratic Congressional leadership group on any incoming President, especially not one with a mandate for change like Barack Obama. In the Jib-Jab year end film, 2008 is expelled from the room badly beaten up by crisis after crisis. Hope and change may be coming but without real Democratic Congressional leadership the Republicans will ensure Obama, Emanuel, Pelosi, and Reid enter a quagmire of their own making.
Harry Reid is described as a moderate, quiet leader. I’d choose invisible. Way to go Harry in disciplining Joe Lieberman. You cowered in the corner, let the turncoat back but expressed no outrage. Instead of taking the lead and saying, “this is the way it is going to be in the 111th Congress, get on board or get out of the way because you will lose, you and all Democrats cry as Ron Silver said so eloquently in a West Wing Speech, “please, don’t hurt me.”
Nancy Pelosi is trying to flex her muscles but seems to be doing it on the wrong side of the aisle. She has said to Obama, “do not even think of contacting members of MY House without first clearing it with me” as she and Rahm Emanuel have this dance of the dinosaurs gig going on trying to figure out whose is bigger. If she is worried about Team Obama, what will she say to John Boehner and his freestyling Aouthern Republican counterparts who believe they have absolutely nothing to lose by being contrarian? Nancy, why not send some of the warning shots across their bow? I know, “please don’t hurt me.”
[ad#tickets-120x60]Where are the Tip O’Neills and Mike Mansfields (shown above) of my generation? Do you think either of them would allow Southern Republicans to so brazenly threaten the auto industry in Detroit, union bust and protect their own state interests? I just cannot see Pelosi or Reid facing down Mitch McConnell and Boehner. The Democratic leadership should be the 500-pound gorillas in the room. Instead they cower behind the two midgets with big mouths because Karl Rove is hiding behind them (not even saying, just) implying, anything you say about my boys I’ll put in an attack advert against you?!?!? “Please don’t hurt me.”
You won! It was an historic victory. Huge majorities in both houses of Congress and the White House won with 53% and nine million more votes. You have a nation waiting with bated breath for the next 20 days, a mandate to fix things and yet worry about a group of nattering gnats who threaten to filibuster? “Please don’t hurt me?”
Get the moderate Republicans from Maine on your side and you win. Focus on those moderate Republicans most at risk in 2010, get them on board and you win. Instead you focus and worry about the bloviaters, blowhards and right wing-nut dissidents. “Please don’t hurt me?”
On the Republican side the leadership is looking for a fight and does not seem to care if it kills what’s left of their party or… the country’s economy in the process. So are you going to let them load up an economic stimulus and infrastructure with loads of southern Republican pork amendments cowering and again saying, “please don’t hurt me?”
Senator Reid, Speaker Pelosi, grow a spine and pair of solid brass ones. Come out swinging on 06 January or spend two years cowering against a bully. Close the door to lobbyists and special interests and for once, do the right thing.
Get this right and special interest money won’t be needed in any of your campaigns ever again. You will be credited with saving the global economy and never have to seriously contest an election for the rest of your career.
Blow it and there is not enough money in the world to save you. The choice is yours and you’d better get it right. Or the voters WILL hurt you.
Happy New Year. Break’s Over. Now get to work and get it right!
Denis Campbell is a US journalist based in the United Kingdom. He contributes to newspapers and magazines, is a BBC Radio election commentator and publishes the daily e-magazine The Vadimus Post from the Latin Quo Vadimus – where are we headed and do we know why?
Articles by Denis Campbell: