GOP should not press for Harry Reid’s defeat

As the poster child for the administration’s government-controlled health care legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada makes a tempting target for the GOP.  From a practical perspective, however, the GOP should be cooling the rhetoric against Reid, not gleefully tossing fuel on the fire and kicking him while he’s down. 

And down he is — recent polls of voters in Reid’s home state reveal a shockingly high “unfavorable” rating of 52%.   In other words, more than half of Nevada voters have an unfavorable opinion of their incumbent, four-term senator who serves in one of the two most powerful legislative posts in the government.  Only 33% of those voters harbored a “favorable”opinion of Reid.  Numbers like those are not just bad; for an incumbent they are pitiful. 

Reid indicates he will fight to maintain his seat, and his defeat certainly is not a foregone conclusion.  However, with numbers this low, and with Republicans already smelling blood as a result of President Barack Obama’s plummeting numbers, it’s easy to understand why the GOP is publicly beating up on the Nevada Senator who never smiles.  Were the Republicans clamoring for Reid’s hide to step back and take a slightly broader perspective, however, they might see that defeating Reid would likely result in a case of jumping  ”out of the frying pan and into the fire.”  Why?  Because Reid’s likely successor as majority leader is New York’s Chuck Schumer.  Next to Schumer, Reid comes across as the GOP’s best friend; especially on issues like gun control, which many Nevadans oppose.  Schumer, unlike Reid, is an unabashed, dyed-in-the-wool liberal, and is probably the most staunchly pro-gun control of any member of Congress in either house and in either party. 

While Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin currently serves as Reid’s assistant majority leader and technically ranks ahead of Schumer, who is the majority party’s conference vice-chair, in a post-Reid battle for leader the tough-as-nails New Yorker, who has more political chits to call in than his Illinois counterpart, would likely prevail.

Of course, if the GOP were realistically to expect to reduce the Democratic majority in the Senate from 60 to 49 seats (the Democrats hold 58 seats outright but add two “independents” who caucus with them), and thereby win the right to once again elect a Republican as majority leader, working against Reid would make perfect sense.  However, such a scenario is highly unlikely.  Given that it is much more likely the Democrats will lose a few but not 11 seats in November, and therefore retain a majority in that body, focusing on defeating other, more liberal Democratic incumbents rather than openly trying to depose the one man who stands between them and Chuck Schumer as majority leader, would seem to make a great deal of sense for the Grand Old Party.  Good sense, however, does not appear to be in great supply in our nation’s capitol these days.

62 comments Add your comment

David Willis

January 13th, 2010
6:47 am

This is the same stupid line that has gotten the GOP where it is. We must not critize our opponent even thouh he does not hesitate to blast us. Of course we should go after Reid and Schumer Your right on one thing. The GOP doesn’t use good judgement on confronting these people. They want to hold hands and sing Kumbyya. We need to clean as many of thses liberals out as possible and Reid needs to be one of the first to go.

Stan Kelley

January 13th, 2010
6:56 am

Is it your opinion that Obama and Reid should govern based on the current polls? Bill Clinton was criticized for governing by polls, but now, it seems, people think that every turn in the latest polls should determine policy. That way lies chaos.

Not in NV

January 13th, 2010
7:14 am

Agreed first toss Reid, then toss Pelosi!

Karl Marx

January 13th, 2010
7:14 am

Just another wrong Loon-atarian view. You can hold Lott to that standard but the Democrats get a pass? Not no but heck no Reid must go. You libertarians helped put the Democrats in office and we will remember.

GB

January 13th, 2010
7:17 am

Reid may be preferable to Schumer; however, without Reid and a few other Ds that are likely to lose, Schumer would be the leader of a smaller majority, one that is less powerful than the current cloture-proof majority the Ds now have (counting the two independents, of course).

We are safer without Reid and with one more R, even if the Rs are still in the minority.

Joyce

January 13th, 2010
7:21 am

“Cleaning out the liberals” seems to be the motto of the day for the GOP. Isn’t that just ducky. Liberals, conservatives, moderates…they’re all alike when it comes to politicking in Washington. You just cannot point your finger at one group and say they are to blame. These 100 senators are all to blame for what is happening to our country today because so many of them have been there through not only the Bush years, but the Clinton years and some even go back further. Instead of making an inane statement of throw out the liberals, I say throw out all of them. We should have term limits on the politicians. Re: Strom Thurmond who stayed almost until he became a corpse. I can say that about him because he was from my home state. Don’t live there anymore and their politics stink.

Ed Willis

January 13th, 2010
7:44 am

Joyce,
You are dead on. Run the whole lot out and start over.

High School Dropout

January 13th, 2010
7:49 am

You’d think there were more important things to worry about.

Ace

January 13th, 2010
7:58 am

Republicans have done a very bad job in the past in national and state jobs when in power, when out of power they act like children.

Name (required)

January 13th, 2010
8:10 am

Asking a Republican to show some decorum and self-restraint is like asking a Democrat to have a good idea. Neither are capable of such.

Chris

January 13th, 2010
8:11 am

Another sign that Bob Barr has been programmed by the ACLU.

Chris Broe

January 13th, 2010
8:44 am

Bob Barr is……RIGHT! The GOP is overreacting. This is like when Jesse James Warren’s daughter found out her father had been fired by Penske. She looked up at him and asked, “You gonna make ‘em pay, Jesse?” He answered, “I weren’t, but now that you’ve called me by my name…..”

Barr’s assessment of the Reid backlash comes as close to the truth as that piece of space junk that whizzed by Earth this morning, (but I don’t have the time or space to explain that here).

Some exotic pet owners get mauled to death by their once-cute, no-longer-familial cubs. Reid is about to find out how voters grow from loyal-and-pure into knee-jerk citizen nullifiers, (set on “puree”).

It’s amazing how words become such powerful credibility emulsifiers. If it weren’t for the 4 second attention span of all voters, no person would be electable.

If Sarah Palin keeps reinventing herself, then she has a chance. We’ll forget about the dumb, then dumber, then dumbest one, and focus on the next one.

Palin 2012. A new face. A new start. (as dumb as that sounds).

Ridgerunner

January 13th, 2010
9:17 am

I am sick and tired of the “Double Standard” !

DAVID-AJC Truth Detector

January 13th, 2010
9:19 am

GOP IS IN THE minority because they lack the ‘FIRE IN THE BELLY” required to be a majority….Best word for members of the GOP is TIMID…..Gentlemen…We need conservatives like Mike Tyson……..who will bite off chunks of an opponents EAR…

DAVID-AJC Truth Detector

January 13th, 2010
9:20 am

DEMOCRATs know politics is a BLOOD SPORT……..

twodawgs

January 13th, 2010
9:25 am

So Hairless Reid is defeated. What then? He will eventually be hired in some high profile position with an obscene salary in the current administration just like Tom Dashole.

Cindy can call me Bwana

January 13th, 2010
9:36 am

Reid is doomed at the polls regardless of what we do, so let us concentrate our efforts on winning the races that are tight. Sure, we should exploit the Democrats double standard on race, but more importantly we should concentrate on the unemployment rate, the two foreign wars, and the massive budget deficits. Social Security has gone negative, paying out more in 2009 than it took in, thus ending a huge federal cash cow that made the Federal deficit look smaller than it really was over the last decade. So the message should be jobs, jobs, jobs, protect social security, and cut the deficit.

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
9:51 am

David Willis: “This is the same stupid line that has gotten the GOP where it is. We must not critize our opponent even thouh he does not hesitate to blast us.”

Do you not realize the inanity of that statement? The GOP bathes in mud neck deep then cries foul if there is some backsplash. Puh-leese! LMAO

DAVID-AJC Truth Detector

January 13th, 2010
9:52 am

BOB……..I strongly believe you are a CLOSET LIBERAL…..in reality.

DAVID-AJC Truth Detector

January 13th, 2010
9:52 am

BOB……..I strongly believe you are a CLOSET LIBERAL…..in reality.

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
9:54 am

Hey, D-ATD, maybe, just maybe, Bob is an independant thinker. That might be a new concept for you.

william

January 13th, 2010
9:54 am

Barr, did you get a consensus from a closed smokey filled backroom about what the GOP should? Or is this an early morning email flyer from the DNC.

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
9:57 am

D-ATD: “GOP IS IN THE minority because they lack the ‘FIRE IN THE BELLY” required to be a majority….Best word for members of the GOP is TIMID…..Gentlemen…We need conservatives like Mike Tyson……..who will bite off chunks of an opponents EAR…”

This is so funny, I don’t know where to begin. Seems the fight in which Tyson revealed his fondness for ears was a fight in which he was getting pummeled, and lost. Good one!

Chris Broe

January 13th, 2010
10:02 am

It weren’t Tyson’s fault. Hollyfield had “cauliflower” ears, man.

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
10:06 am

Myum, myum, republicans like man ears….

Ridgerunner

January 13th, 2010
10:11 am

When Democrats control Congress they are in power.

When Republicans control Congres they are ………. well ……….. in office.

It’s time to take the gloves off …………..

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
10:16 am

RR-”When Republicans control Congres they are ………. well ……….. in office.

It’s time to take the gloves off …………..”

Do you not remember the take-no-prisoner days of Tom Delay, or did you just start paying attention when a brother was elected? So, we need to get rid of the dems so we can return to…what got us in this mess in the first place.

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
10:17 am

Last post should have ended in at least one question mark.

DAVID-AJC Truth Detector

January 13th, 2010
10:23 am

BOB….You stilll have an ACLU mindset…….irrational…

jconservative

January 13th, 2010
10:34 am

I believe Bob is right on this one. But I believe Reid will remain in his post through this session. He has the votes.

Chris Broe – “…now that you’ve called me by my name…”
Wonderful movie! One of my top ten.

random observer

January 13th, 2010
10:34 am

Okay, let me get this! If a basketball player wins a game by making a three point shot, then why can’t a footbal player win a football game the same way? Isn’t there a double standard? That’s about how much sense it makes to try to compare Trent Lott’s 2002 public pronouncement with Harry Reid’s 2008 private remark that later became public!

Libertarian

January 13th, 2010
10:55 am

Hey Karl Marx,

As a Libertarian voter I think you should know that Raplh Nader recieved more votes than our canidate Bob Barr. Google it and there it is. So not sure how much affect you have when you recieve less than 1%of the popular vote. Sorry mr Barr to bring this up but As usual Republicans are some of the most uninformed people in the country. The only people worse are democrats.
Maybe you should blame the loss on a horrible canidate named John McCain and his ditz Palin who was used as vote getter.

Libertarians maybe in the small manority but at least we vote our conscience and not for moderate to liberal democrat butt kissers and a former potential Kerry vp.

Benjamin Purser

January 13th, 2010
10:58 am

The GOP are in the minority because their policies sucks. This last decade was term the lost decade and who was in charge for most of the decade, the GOP. It’s not in our country’s interest to bring these people back to power. They have no new ideas, they worship Sarah Palin who knows nothing, hate radio seems to be driving their agenda and lately they have become revisionist and irrational. All you right wingers should just sit down and shut up, you had a whole decade and you blew it.

Libertarian

January 13th, 2010
11:05 am

“candidate” —does a mispelling invalidate everything you say?

Libertarian

January 13th, 2010
11:07 am

I apologize to the Democrats upon second thought Republicans are the most uninformed. As an Evangelical Libertarian I go to church with many republicans who have no clue about the real world. Not that are politicians do on either side of the asile. Republicans continue to miss the forest for the trees.

Chris Broe

January 13th, 2010
11:22 am

Thank you, Paul Bunyan.

Ridgerunner

January 13th, 2010
11:44 am

hatin’ on the stupid:

Backlash is a comin ………….. get ready for 2010 !

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 13th, 2010
11:55 am

I partially agree with our esteemed columnist. Rather than “don’t fire,” I would urge “don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” The worst potential result for republicans right now would be a decision by Harry Reid to not seek re-election, a foreseeable likelihood if our conservative brethren continue to fire the heavy bombs now.. We want him to run, so Nevadans have a clean choice between a democrat with horrific baggage and a fresh republican face. Even Chuck Shumer with 51 votes would be a better outcome than Harry Reid with 52 votes, as his hubris would almost certainly ensure another huge Senate democrat erosion in 2012.

Chris Broe is a piece of crap

January 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

“This is like when Jesse James Warren’s daughter found out her father had been fired by Penske. She looked up at him and asked, “You gonna make ‘em pay, Jesse?” He answered, “I weren’t, but now that you’ve called me by my name…..”

That SOB massacred two people yesterday at Penske and left three more on death’s doorstep and you make cute jokes about it? I would have stronger words for you but I’m sure your rants are drug-induced.

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
12:38 pm

RR: “Backlash is a comin ………….. get ready for 2010 !”

Yeah, and Tennessee was going to rule the SEC for the next decade. Moral: Don’t count your chickens. Polls show the GOP less liked even than the dems, so don’t wet your pants just yet.

Chris Broe

January 13th, 2010
12:55 pm

That’s right, Chris Broe is a Piece of Crap, fall apart. I think there was more outrage when the kid shot arrows at that horse than in any of the massacres that have been taking place with regularity lately. They have a shelf life of ten minutes. Boortz even weighed in with a thousand so nobody would forget about the horse….etc.

I think that there’s more concern over Conan’s 7.2 ratings than with the 7.2 earthquake in Haiti. (Haitian are not light skinned.)

I purposely took liberties with tragedy just to see if Bookman’s trolls would come over here and swing at it. Bookman coddles his trolls and they get real frisky. I always let it go.

But now that you’ve called me by my name…….

MrLiberty

January 13th, 2010
12:55 pm

Endorcing attacks on Reid’s comments only furthers the horrible PC culture that has taken over this country. Virtually anything said against Obama’s policies, his lack of legitimacy as the president, etc. is now considered “racist.”

What Mr. Reid said is absolutely truthful and correct. Obama is just an Uncle Tom for the white establishment who can both swing ignorant black voters with the appropriate “accent” when needed and can swing the guilt-ridden leftist liberals who think he is just black enough to asuage their collective guilt but not too dark to scare them.

These issues and plenty of others have been pushed to the collective back of the closet for far too long. Republicans encouraging this kind of behavior do so at their own peril. Blacks are never going to vote for them, and as we have seen with the Chris Dodd race, eliminating a horrible current office holder only gives a clean slate to his replacement in the democratic party. In that case, the criminal Dodd would likely have gone down in horrible defeat hopefully to the wonderful Peter Schiff. Now the near-communist Attorney General is leading in the polls by a wide margin.

Let Harry continue to embarass himself and further bring down the democrats. No sense tying onto that sinking ship with more PC crap.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 13th, 2010
1:02 pm

This is what Bill Shipp used to refer to as “inside baseball”.

Chris Broe

January 13th, 2010
1:04 pm

Uncle Tom? PC crap? You use those phrases a lot, Liberty. I dont they mean what you think they mean.

I can name that loon, (person posting to himself with multiple aliases), in one comment.

Bob Barr, expect the line to be crossed with liberty’s next comment. I’m preemptively reporting it.

A preemptive report of an abusive comment! An internet first!

David Axelfraud

January 13th, 2010
3:04 pm

Hey, anyone want to see Hillary Clinton’s blatant racism towards Indians?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDHbHcOV1N4&feature=related

BS Aplenty

January 13th, 2010
4:27 pm

If the American people’s distaste for the plate of Obama/Reid/Pelosi socialism has caused the evident reversal in the Dems best laid plans, and I think it has, then, your reasoning goes, the potential ascendancy of the socialist heavyweight, Schumer, is to be more feared by Americans. More feared because the Republicans likely won’t gain a majority in the Senate or House and the new agenda may become radicalized. Hmmm, that would be an interesting strategy for the Dems.

Alas, I believe, at last check, the people of the great state of Nevada will have the final say on this issue. My sense (and I think your pragmatic side will agree, Mr. Barr) is that they want Mr. Reid (and some of his colleagues gone. The rest of us may not have much of a say in the matter.

Sluggo

January 13th, 2010
5:37 pm

Barr’s comments prove that Washington is not the only place short on common sense these days.

Toss all the liberals, every last one. Local, statewide, national. Every single one.

Niki

January 13th, 2010
8:02 pm

I’ve read all of these comments & find the one thread that comes through the loudest is ANGER! But I maintain that while we are all mad as Hell, we should not be directing it at each other or at any one political party or its leaders. THEY ARE almost ALL CORRUPT. We need to work together & throw the bums out – all of ‘em, especially the “lifers,” or carreer politicians. The comment I agree with the most strongly here was written by Joyce, who said that we should impose term limits on all of them.
I know it will be a hard fight & it will take a Constitutional amendment, but it CAN be done. There are at least 3 state/national organizations working toward it now. WE THE PEOPLE could streamline the effort if we rallied the forces of those organizations, plus the internet, plus people in the public eye who are like-minded (talk radio, TV pundits who would support it, etc.). Some of those may be people some of us don’t like, but if we could all get past the hang-ups & personality quirks that bug us, for once, we could come together & put aside some of our lighter issues in favor of this one, big agenda. Whether or not we like some of these folks, or whether or not we agree totally with their worldview, many of them would speak out in favor of term limits, gathering more support for the amendment. TOGETHER, we could GET ‘ER DONE, and I, for one, would work really, really hard to help.

hatin' on the stupid

January 13th, 2010
8:30 pm

Slug: “Toss all the liberals, every last one. Local, statewide, national. Every single one.”

Yeah, cause we all know that the “liberals”, who have never been in power, by the way, are responsible for all of America’s woes. The party that claims to value personal responsibility sure thinks we’re all stupid when it comes to remembering what happened the past decade. They drove the country to the brink, if not completely over the cliff. The adults are always having to clean up after the republicans. And they think we’d prefer them back in power??

Bob

January 14th, 2010
7:32 am

Hatin now being stupid, no liberals in power. Who gave us entitlements you idiot, not the founding fathers.