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Harry Reid and the Daschle Spectre

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) came to his post in late 2004 thanks to the stunning defeat of then leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), a loss largely attributed to a multi-year campaign by Republicans to erode his support in his GOP-friendly home state.

Reid -- and his political team -- pledged privately that they had learned from the Daschle defeat and would never let the Nevada Senator be painted as out of step with his home state.

Two recent developments suggest that keeping Reid above the partisan fray is easier said than done.

The first is a Research 2000 poll conducted earlier this month for the Reno Gazette Journal that shows Reid has grown into a more polarizing figure since ascending to the job as leader. Forty-eight percent of the sample approved of the job Reid is doing as a senator compared with 41 percent who disapproved.

By contrast, surveys conducted in the leadup to Reid's 61 percent re-election win in 2004 showed him scoring considerably higher on questions of personal likability and job approval. A Mason-Dixon survey conducted in July 2003 showed Reid with a 49 percent favorable/23 percent unfavorable score; Penn Schoen & Berland, a Democratic polling firm, pegged Reid's fav/unfav at 61 percent/25 percent in February 2003.

One Democratic pollster, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak frankly about the party leader, said that the Research 2000 job approval and favorability numbers for Reid jibed with other recent private polling done by various pollsters in connection with other races in Nevada. The explanation? As Reid has assumed a more high-profile and partisan role as leader, Republicans who had supported him in the past have begun to fall away, according to the pollster.

The Research 2000 numbers bear that theory out as 85 percent of Democrats approve of the job Reid is doing while just nine percent of Republicans feel the same way. The good news for Reid is that Independents by a nineteen-point margin (54 percent to 35 percent) approve of how he is handling his office.

The numbers were less flattering when Nevada voters were asked whether Reid possesses the "leadership qualities to lead Democrats to control of the Senate in 2006." Thirty six percent said he did as compared to 46 percent who said he didn't. The most telling internal number in that question were the 20 percent of Democrats who said Reid did not have the leadership qualities to guide his party back to the majority.

Asked about the poll, Reid spokesman Jim Manley said that "everyone in Nevada understands Senator Reid is fighting for their interests every day and he is going to continue to do the best job he can to represent the people of Nevada."

Even as the Research 2000 poll numbers were being mulled by the political press, the Associated Press broke a story that Reid had accepted free boxing tickets on three seperate occasions between 2003 and 2005 -- a period when he was urging a larger government oversight presence for the sport.

Reid defended his acceptance of the tickets, telling the AP: "Anyone from Nevada would say I'm glad he is there taking care of the state's number one businesses. I love the fights anyways, so it wasn't like being punished." Manley echoed that sentiment this morning: "When a Nevada Senator attends a major Nevada sporting event with the state agency he is working with to protect a Nevada industry that's called doing his job. Nothing more, nothing less."

Regardless of the ultimate impact of the incident on Reid, it illustrates the perils of being the number one target for Republican researchers who are constantly peddling information on Reid to political reporters both in Washington and around the country -- emboldened by the success they enjoyed with Daschle's defeat last cycle. The Republican National Committee released a 13-page document last year -- entitled "Reid All About It" -- that sought to detail the Nevada Senator's alleged hypocrisy and obstruction. Reid reacted angrily, taking to the Senate floor to denounce the effort.

While there are similarities between Daschle and Reid, a direct comparison is not entirely apt. First and foremost, the territory they represent is decidedly different. Bush carried South Dakota by 22 points in 2004; he won Nevada by just two percent. Second, Reid is more conservative (especially on social issues like abortion) than Daschle, making it harder to paint him with a liberal brush.

The biggest x-factor when calculating Reid's potential vulnerability come 2010 is fellow Sen. John Ensign (R). After narrowly losing to Reid in 1998, Ensign won an open Senate seat in 2000 and since then has enjoyed a mutual non-aggression pact with Reid. Ensign played no role in helping Republicans recruit a challenger to Reid in 2004 and Reid has not been tremendously involved in the campaign of Jack Carter, son of the former president, who is running against Ensign this cycle.

In order for Republicans to make a real run at Reid, Ensign will need to not only give his sign off but play an integral role in candidate recruitment and fundraising. It remains to be seen whether he can be convinced to do that.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 31, 2006; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Sorry, it's been a while since I've spoken to you, but I have to say once again you continue to prove your value week after week. Worth every penny (you did get this week's check, right?).

I mean, blatantly retyping that bogus piece we planted at the AP. What stroke of genius! You obviously took to heart that session we ran for our friends at the Post on "Keeping the narrative flowing: Reporting the spin regardless of the facts" led by your own fabulous Ms. Connelly. By retyping bogus articles which have already been debunked, you keep the false allegations alive in the media! Truly beautiful to behold.

I especially love the fact that you haven't corrected. Stick to your guns regardless of the facts, that's our motto! I think someone's going to see a nice bonus in next week's check.

Thanks

Your Friends, the RNC

PS - Ken's expecting you at his last Foam party this weekend. With the stadium coming in, he's going to have to put these on hiatus until he can find a new location.

Posted by: Chris, we love ya! | June 1, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

As a Nevadan, you've done a good job assessing the situation.

This is all accurate and shows both sides. It gives me faith that when I read your other synopses that I'm getting the straight story.

Nice work!

Posted by: Sr. Bojangles | May 31, 2006 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"The Nazis never attacked us."

Um, zouk, the Japanese attacked us and the Nazis were part of the Axis powers along with Japan and Italy.

Take your own advice and read a history book before you start talking down to people who are smarter than you.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 31, 2006 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"Reporters have revealed several super secret programs conducted by the US government. It is against the law to tell anyone about this. someone broke the law. the ends do not justify the means." - koz

Zouk - what about the government officials including Bush who authorized these illegal programs which BREAK THE LAW and spy on Americnas without a warrant? Do you support their prosecution as well? I dount it - which makes you a hypocrite.


"If required I would pick Liberetarian althought there is no party I agree with on most topics."

LOL...zouk don't try to pass yourself off as a moderate libertarian.....it's insulting to all the real libertarians out there. Sorry to break it to you but real Libertarians do not take the shredding of the Constitution as lightly as you do. A real Libertarian would be calling for the impeachment of the president over an illegal wiretapping scandal. Anyone who takes your position of "if Bush does it then that means it's legal" cannot be anything but a neocon Bush loyalist.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 31, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse

By Zouk, "I think a great country like ours can afford a little discomfort to finally bring some relief to a region that is long overdue for a good cleaning. this is our history and our calling."

Given the comment above, taken with the e-mail the other day where Zouk considered the U. S. Military not to be actual human beings, but simply pawns in international dealings where their deaths "advance the national security," I now feel that Zouk has no moral ground in which to stand.

He is simply a shill for the RNC!

He no longer deserves any attention.

We should ignore him!

It won't be at our peril to do so.

Let that be "our calling."

The death of a U. S. serviceman is not a little discomfort! Nor are life long disabilities.

Go home sonny! Nobody appointed you Philospher King; and you certainly haven't earned it by being a mouthpiece for others. You've forfeited all moral standing. Those of us who have fought the wars of this country don't need chicken hawks like you and Wolfowitz pushing personal pipe dreams which get decent people killed.

That you treat so many other's lives so callously is disgusting!

Posted by: Duh! | May 31, 2006 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Zouk-

"do you mean misinformation like the previous 42 presidents never made preemptive war:"

You know perfectly well that "preemptive war" does not necessarily mean "provoked response to attack on America." Iraq 1 was not a "preemptive war" because it involved international response to an aggressor nation on another. Likewise with Nazi Germany.

Posted by: Will | May 31, 2006 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Zouk-

"The Nazis never attacked us. the Vietnamese never attacked us. the Spanish never attacked us. the north Koreans never attacked us. this is a very long list. read a history book."

The Nazis did attack us. They were in a military alliance with an entity that attacked us at Pearl Harbor.

Spanish might've sunk the Maine, not that I'm using 19th century Foreign Policy as a guide for how we should operate in the 21st century.

After World War 2 a governing international body, called the United Nations, was established to prevent World Wars (and preemptive strikes). North Korea invaded South Korea. As a UN member the United States had an obligation to defend them (and some healthy self interest in combating communism) and thus defended South Korea on South Korea's behalf with the authority of the United Nations.

North Vietnamese did attack the South Vietnamese, whom we were pledged to defend ostensibly in their best interests, but more likely in ours. We turned out to be wrong. As a result this war is largely considered one of the biggest Military mistakes in American history.

I don't know if you are trying to be purposefully obsfucating or if you just don't have a very strong grasp on American history. Why don't you submit your "bona fides" (a High School edumacation will do, if possible) and I can stop guessing at it.

Posted by: Will | May 31, 2006 6:20 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk-

"Iraq made war with Kuwait true, but also Iran and the Kurds and the March Arabs..."

I wouldn't parrot out this nonsense about Saddam massacring Iranians just yet... history might be on Saddam's side when it comes to that debate. Ahmadinejad's craziness makes the debate a little akward; putting neoconservatives in the position of defending Iran, of all places. Not that Iran has ever been particularly progressive, it's just another Islamic Fascism where women get hanged for crimes as grievous as "defending oneself from a rapist."

So hold off on the "Saddam was mean to Iran" rhetoric until you are certain that we aren't going to be "mean" to Iran in the near future. Turns out he might've been right to be the aggressor.

"What really happened we may never know, but what could have happened is the important part which is being ignored."

What a fantastic (fantasy) world you must live in. What really matters is not what the facts showed, but what the non-facts might have showed? Well, not exactly. What's important is that WMDs didn't exist. Preemptive warfare could be conceivably necessary in certain circumstances; this just turned out to not be one of them. What we do from here is important, and it isn't based on "could haves": we need to acknowledge a mistake and work immediately to restore our international integrity so that, should we need to do so, we can rally the international community towards a future common threat. That means admitting mistakes. Not justifying past bad decisions ad nauseum.

"And it is not because I disagree with you ( I don't on many things), it is because I don't consider it a convincing argument."

Zouk, if you aren't "convinced" by things you "agree with" then there are more fundamental problems to our disagreement; YOU.

Posted by: Will | May 31, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk-

"will you seem to have some sort of tax increase mentality wrapped around any straw you can find, but let's take them on one by one."

Actually I'm willing to give ground on this. At the very least I proposed no new tax cuts (sounds somewhat Bush of me... senior that is). A repeal would be better. An increase? Best of all.

It's not around any straw I can find, either. I recognize, as any reasonable person could, that 500 billion dollars in deficit is no small amount. And that ameliorating the debt might just require *gasp* more government revenue.

Even Conservatives in the past have acknowledged that drastic circumstances call for drastic measures. Namely the Republican President George HW Bush who signed a new tax bill to pay for the first war in Iraq. That's what patriots do.

"Patriotism is not a good foil to use in your argument. you are demanding that the entire nation give up things and it is not clear that you or others agree on the "things" to give up."

Relevance? War requires national sacrifice. Anything short of sacrifice is an affront to the troops. Cutting taxes during war is, gulp, short of sacrifice which puts you on the wrong end of the whiners and anti-Americans.

Also cutting taxes during war has the unfortunate side effect of benighting the electorate to the detrimental effects of war -- which makes them more willing to engage in it even when it comes with no substancial gain. Like the Iraq War, for instance.

"why should my grandchildren pay for my retirement or my healthcare?"

They shouldn't, that's why you shouldn't borrow money to pay for Retirement or Healthcare, or airplanes or Gas Credits or anything for that matter. That's why fiscal responsibility is really the only democratic policy; anything less is just forcing your own short sightedness onto your unfortunate children -- who don't have the luxury of voting your voice into insignificance-- should you have any. (children that is. I can guess about your "significance").

"Morality is something I would rather not debate, it seems yours and mine may differ and I have no special claim to a better one than you have."

Didn't take you for a multi-culturalist. I'll tell you what claim I have to distinguish between your clearly effed up moral compass and mine; my brain, reason, and the power of the intellect. Only a looney multi-cultist would treat morality as subjective.

"the only poll I would give credence to is the one that happens every two years in november. the others are just specualation and are subject to statistical manipulation. the last time we checked, the current administration won. we will see how people feel in a few months."

Please, we all know what lines you will parrot regardless the results come November. If the Democrats win it won't be because America is filled with "Democrats" it will be some trite nonsense about polarization, or referendum on Republican rule, or bla bla bla revisionist garbage.

The fact is the rest of America does care about the War in Iraq, even if you don't, and they have a right to care. And just because you think America is "too stupid" to make polls worthwhile doesn't mean the rest of us are resigned to your retardedly reductionist attitude about the American "mood" (as if people are resigned to feel the same way in October 2006 as they did in November 2004.)

Posted by: Will | May 31, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk -- Are you being cute, or do you not understand what preemptive war means? Of COURSE we have fought wars where the other country did not directly attack the US. However, the "Bush Doctrine" is unique (do you deny that its a new doctrine?) in that our invasion of Iraq was not based upon any evidence of imminent danger towards US or ANY OTHER COUNTRY. This wasn't '92 when Kuwait was being invaded, or 1917 when WWI was already well under way and German was trying to take over the world. Rather, Bush decided - I still have no idea why - that somehow Iraq represented MORE of a threat than N. Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and any number of other countries that affirmatively hate America and therefore took us to war. No one had done that before KOZ. And god willing, no one will in the future either.

For those who are interested, here's a strange but interesting discussion (from an economics view point) about whether preemptive war can ever be justified.

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/archives/2004/12/preventive_warp.html

Posted by: Colin | May 31, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, B20. There's some interesting posters here today [I'm sorry to hear about your arms, Bobby, jeez] but so often one troll [with way too much time on his hands] manages to hijack the discussion.

Ignoring is the best idea, I think. But thanks again for mentioning all the places we haven't attacked yet. There's so much to do!

Don't you all think zouk should answer me on why he isn't in the military? I mean, if you believe in the President's mission, how can you not enlist?

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

do you mean misinformation like the previous 42 presidents never made preemptive war:
Bosnia never attacked us
The Phillipines never attacked us
Germany never attacked us (1917)
Italy never attacked us (1943)
Hawaii never attacked us
Iraq never attacked us (1991)
Here is a shorter list, who did attack us:
British, Confederates, Barbary pirates, Japanese, Mexican terrorists but not Mexican government, American Indians. Inconvenient truths no?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Zouk:

The Dutch never attacked us. The Swedish never attacked us. The Polynesians never attacked us. The Zambians never attacked us. The Irish never attacked us. The Kiwis never attacked us. The Namibians never attacked us. The Greenlanders never attacked us. The ...

We are way behind in pre-emptive invasions, then, don't you think?

The mention of Vietnam in your post almost gave me hope that a light was coming on, but alas, my optimism was premature.

Posted by: B2O | May 31, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Will, you and I probably need to just save our breath instead of talking sense to Bush supporters on Iraq. God knows what FauxNews is feeding them, but the majority of them (as of October '04, per Harris) still thought that Saddam attacked us on 9/11. What kind of understanding can you engender in them in an environment of that profound misinformation?

It's like trying to teach multiplication to someone who believes that addition is a fraudulent invention of the "liberal education establishment". You can't build on a balsa wood foundation. It just ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: B2O | May 31, 2006 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The Nazis never attacked us. the Vietnamese never attacked us. the Spanish never attacked us. the north Koreans never attacked us. this is a very long list. read a history book.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"we are fighting our enemies so that we can live in peace. why has it taken you this long and you still don't get it?"

You sound like you have a lot of enemies. Is there anyone who isn't in that category? Iraq was run by a tyrant, but they never attacked us. Period. The pre-emptive argument can be abused ad libitum if one is of a mind to and his corporate backers want him to. That's why the first 42 presidents shunned the idea. We now see why. At least most of us do.

Posted by: B2O | May 31, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

will you seem to have some sort of tax increase mentality wrapped around any straw you can find, but let's take them on one by one. as background, I am not a Republican. nor am I a democrat. If required I would pick Liberetarian althought there is no party I agree with on most topics. I agree we should decrease spending, I do not agree we should raise taxes. Patriotism is not a good foil to use in your argument. you are demanding that the entire nation give up things and it is not clear that you or others agree on the "things" to give up. I offered several ideas of things I wouold like to get rid of first. and the idea that our grandchildren have no stake in the debate is not proper. they do have a stake in a free and safe society, just as you had a stake in winning WWII. and all spending programs can be lumped into this category. why should my grandchildren pay for my retirement or my healthcare? Morality is something I would rather not debate, it seems yours and mine may differ and I have no special claim to a better one than you have. this is the purview of politicians and churches.
the only poll I would give credence to is the one that happens every two years in november. the others are just specualation and are subject to statistical manipulation. the last time we checked, the current administration won. we will see how people feel in a few months.
Iraq made war with Kuwait true, but also Iran and the Kurds and the March Arabs... the world as a whole elected to stop this behavior. the weapons programs did exist, everone knew it, then they faded a little. What really happened we may never know, but what could have happened is the important part which is being ignored.
I never said I was owed a job by the governemtn, on the contrary, I said this has little to do with the governemtn and everything to do with the FED. Like it or not, they are responsible for printing money and deciding how much to print. there are consequences to the amount printed. I won't try to give you a lesson in Economics since you seem to know everything you need to know about it already. but I would suggest some remedial training in this area. but essentially your moral argument has no sway with me although I am sympathetic to your goals. And it is not because I disagree with you ( I don't on many things), it is because I don't consider it a convincing argument.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Cassinni,

All I am saying is, if we vote out all incumbents on the message clean up your act then maybe government will get back to doing the people's business - right now it is only about power for Pelosi and Hastert and company

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | May 31, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who thinks king of zouk has waaaaaaaay too much time on his hands?

Why do we even care about this story? Surely the political press has something better to report on...

Posted by: Thin Man | May 31, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Report from planet earth:
Reporters have revealed several super secret programs conducted by the US government. It is against the law to tell anyone about this. someone broke the law. the ends do not justify the means.

"If I can't spew my lies and opinions at will without being challenged on them, I'm going home." soooo typical.

bobby, I don't think it is so clear cut that congress is wrong on this one. I am waiting to see what the courts have to say. I am not jumping to conclusions. It seems both branches have made missteps. I am certainly not a constitutional scholar. but I do admit it smells bad at least. this 24 hour news cycle and rush to judgment is really harming our society. remember the reports about the 10,000 bodies in NOLA. didn't happen, the rapes and murders in the Superdome - nope. what really happened was the most efficient rescue in history of something like 75,000 people. I am begining to think that reporters are becoming sleazier than politicians and used car salesman. what can we do about this? the articles offered as "news" about hillary's time with bill is beyond belief. Obviously a hidden editorial agenda there. but the NYT has been over the edge for a long time. will the WaPo follow? this article indicates it just might. more gotcha journalism masquarading as information but mostly just BS.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Bobby W.C.:

Are you saying a return to "divided" government will be beneficial to the U.S. come Nov. 8th should that occur?

Posted by: Cassini | May 31, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk-

"Once all the improper spending is wrung out of government, I will consider increased taxes, but I doubt it will be needed."

You aren't a very good Republican. Fiscal responsibility is gone the way of the dodo on the platform.

I can suffer this "cuts only to fix deficits" only as much as I can suffer a "increase taxes only to cut deficits." The fact is, at 500 billion annual deficit neither alternative will work by itself. You must, at the very least maintain --likely increase-- taxes, AND decrease spending.

Anyone who proposes alternate plans that involve "cutting spending and taxes" or "increasing taxes and spending" is just making noise. Taxes are not cut when you run 500 billion dollars in deficits. If you aren't a "fiscally responsible" conservative then I appeal to your sense of patriotism; what kind of self-depraved wimp society cuts taxes during WAR? What happened to rationing and freedom gardens?

It is undemocratic and immoral to cut taxes during war. Undemocratic because it forces the costs of war, which are substantial, on a polity that had zero part in the war "debate": our grandchildren. That we fight now for "democracy" just makes the whole spend-without-care-affair all the more laughable (or depressing, depending on your world view).

Cutting taxes during war is immoral because it shows a lack of support for the select group of people who are actually fighting this war; and that select few also happen to be Government employees funded by TAX dollars. It exposes the electorate for the uncaring mass the conservatives frequently accuse Democrats of being. It is unpatriotic to demand tax-cuts during war. We owe our soldiers our support, both vocal and material. That means we will fund them not with borrowed dollars but real ones. That means national sacrifice. That means taxes. That means, at the very least, not CUTTING taxes.

"you all keep ignoring the point that we were already at war with Iraq because they represented a threat to our interests."

You go on to say that "polls" don't matter because Americans are too stupid. But what else to polls show besides what honest, hard working Americans consider their "interests"? And last I checked Americans are deciding overwhelmingly that the War in Iraq now constitutes a threat to "our interests" far more than it did prior to the war.

After the Iraqi elections, when sectarian religious zealots finally take over the formerly secular Iraqi government under Saddam, this "interests" argument will look like even more garbage. Because really our interests might just have been better served with a Secular, Crazy Dictator who hated Islamists as much as we do buffering up against the rest of the Islamic world. My opinion.

"they had made war all over the region, and it is ridiculous to assume that weapons programs were not under way and hidden, ready to be resurrected upon our leaving."

First off they made war with Kuwait, not "all over the region." Secondly Ahmanidejad is making think fondly of the days when Saddam was in power because no one has benefited from this fiasco more than him. Third, things that are "ridiculous" typically should have a relationship with the World of Facts, namely "ridiculous" things typically do not have much in common with Factual things. What turned out to be "ridiculous" was that we DID assume that weapons programs continued where none had. It was ridiculous to argue that WMDs existed where none did. If you really want to argue that "ridiculous" essentially means "reasonable assumptions that are later proven by indisputable evidence" then go right ahead. It makes the term meaningless as an adjective. Or it makes you meaningless. Or something like that.

"but tax cuts also have to do with economic policy and unemployment and interest rates and so many other things. It is not just about the balance sheet. Tax cuts have clearly helped and the economy is roaring along. Is this a bad thing? how bad? woud you want to change that aspect? At what cost?"

Fine, tax cuts improve the economy. But economic growth has existed with higher levels of taxation. At some point spending gets so ridiculous that Americans have to make some sacrifices to pay for the things they politically demand. And some of this sacrifice is going to be in taxation, which means unemployment *might* go up by half a percent. It might also mean spending cuts, which is tough luck for America because if you keep spending recklessly there won't be enough money for the really valuable programs; like the MILILTARY.

You are a crybaby Growthaholic who is essentially no different than a welfare queen demanding hand outs. The government doesn't OWE you some ridiculous low level of unemployment. It's up to people like you to find jobs. If the only way you can create jobs is through tax cuts, then tough luck.

In any event you are just wrong. Unemployment rates don't even trace the tax cuts; unemployment was lower in 1999, prior to any tax cuts, then it has been throughout the Bush Presidency. The highest unemployment rate the United states has seen in the past decade was a Europenaesque 6.3 in June of 2003. Thanks, Tax Cuts.

The economy is roaring which means it is prime time to start focusing on this deficit. You cannot constantly cut taxes because eventually the interest on the debt gets so high that funding essential government programs --like purchasing guns for your troops-- becomes impossible. Or people just stop loaning you money.

So when you tritely ask "at what cost" would I repeal the tax cuts? Virtually any, because the real cost isn't in eliminating tax cuts, the real cost is perpetuating this "increase spending AND cut taxes" philosophy which is guaranteed to lower my quality of life. At what cost? Give me a break.

Posted by: Will | May 31, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I have always said the it is Congress that should take most of the credit for the economy. but in this case, Bush ran on a platform of tax cuts and delivered, so he gets the lion's share of the credit. But realistically, in a giant economy like ours, no group of people can claim credit for the good or the bad. It is most likely a result of increased productivity and a rather loose money supply. I am a Freidman guy so when it comes to economics, that is my standard explanation.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Since teh discussion has turned into 'you're a bigger liar than me" here we go - they both stink to high water and here is the proof.

The idea is simple if you are the leaders of the House of Representatives - if you are engaged in criminal conduct you hide the evidence in your official office within the House of Representatives and you will be protected from accountability - you are above the law. This was the intent of our Founding Fathers according to Republican Dennis Hastert and Democrat Nancy Pelosi. The leadership in both political parties has proven that when it comes to Congress there is no accountability. They are above the very laws they enact.

Any concern of the Executive Branch using search warrants in Congressional Offices as harassment is allayed by judicial oversight of the seized documents. Any member of Congress should be allowed to claim privilege of any seized document subject to judicial review. If the court orders the seized document released, the member of Congress always has the option of mandamus relief to a higher court. The Checks and Balances are complete. Hastert and Pelosi are simply out of line for their objection to the search of Representative William Jefferson's office in the House.

There is a bigger issue in play - power. The old adage that power corrupts was proven in Pelosi's decision to join forces with Hastert. Pelosi could have remained silent and then used Hastert's complaint about the search as evidence that the Republicans are corrupt. There was something more important to Pelosi than the political advantage of remaining silent - power - she was not willing to recognize the power the Executive Branch has over enforcement of the laws when it comes to Congress. For her actions, the Democrats should demand her resignation - they will not because such as Pelosi - the power is more important than the law itself.

A more dangerous power play played out in the White House. Attorney General Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller threatened to resign the President's Administration if they did not get their way as it related to the documents seized from Congressman Jefferson's office. It is a dangerous matter when members of any president's cabinet can threaten resignation as a means to force the president's hand.

President Bush's failure to outright fire Gonzales and Mueller for their power play gave the American people a glimpse into the White House unseen heretofore. The President of the United States balked under threat from his servants. If Bush were really this uncompromising my way of the highway leader such as the liberal press wants us to believe he would have publically discharged Gonzales and Mueller for their insubordination and then ordered the FBI to proceed with the investigation using the seized documents, subject to judicial review, for claims of privilege. Bush did not act as so many would have predicted. For lack of a better term, President Bush has become impotent when it comes to control over his servants.

The Jefferson Affair has taught the American people that the leaders of the House of Representatives in both political parties believe that Congressional offices are safe havens for evidence of criminal conduct by members of Congress, and that our President is so weak all his staff has to do is threaten resignation to get their way. This is sad.

We have a Congress above the law, and a President subject to coercion from his underlings. Come November 2006, the American people need to send a strong message to the Government - we are throwing you out. As a people, we must all vote against the incumbent.

Some will say this is just a backdoor way of endorsing control by Democrats. Not so - In Utah the 2nd Congressional District is a good example of how Republicans can make sure they can still vote Republican come November. The Republican primary is a tight race. The people of Utah simply need to vote the incumbent out in the primary and then vote Republican in November.

The United States is at a turning point in its history. The Congressional Leaders have declared Congressional offices are safe haven for evidence of criminal conduct. The Attorney General and FBI Director are de facto running the White House by threatening resignation if they do not get their way. These are dangerous times which demand serious and strong handed solutions. It is time as a matter of policy we all vote against the incumbent in November if the incumbent has not already been thrown out in the primary.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com
Posted May 30, 2006

Oh, sorry for those of you have missed me (SMile) I'm dependent on healthcare through the VA - my appointment is in 3 months to find out why it feels like knifes are cutting me from my hands to my shoulders - both arms - I've had to hire a typist - a dishwasher - a driver -

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | May 31, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

zouk,

Paying a compliment to someone is not fawning. 'Get a grip on reality'? Me? You're the deluded dittohead. Why is the NSA specificially spying on journalists? To defend their 'freedoms'?

To most of us, verbal sparring with a belligerent semi-literate -- who after all, if he truly believed in his 'convictions' or possessed any honor, would be serving in Iraq -- is a waste of time. So just keep spewing your vomitous lies. I'm leaving the room. You've stunk it up.

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk:

Isnt it funny how when the economy is doing badly, the president has "little or no influence" on it and when it's doing well, the president has "everything" to do with it?

Posted by: Cassini | May 31, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 31, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, quit fawning over her. she lifted that story from another source. In case you didn't notice, she had quotation marks around everything. Seriously, get a grip on reality. to think that reporters in this country have any limitations placed on them by the government is just plain folly. And to argue that most reporters are right-wing indicates you have no control of your own faculties. what planet are you living on?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Corinne,

Too bad you aren't a political reporter! Your careful ferreting out of the FACTS was such a rare treat. Of course, if you were a political reporter you'd probably have General Michael Hayden following you around, recording your every move.

I have a feeling jounalists are going to come to regret their blind obseisance to the rightwing story line.

In any case, the term 'liberal media' makes me laugh too, when it doesn't make me gag.

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

After the unprecedented political manuever/stunt at the time, of having the Republican majority leader of the Senate, Sen. Frist go to the home state of the Democratic minority Senate leader, former Sen. Daschle, to campaign for his defeat,
it has to make Republicans sick to their stomachs to see the successful& effective performance of Sen. Reid, who took over for Daschle with LESS of a minority and still clogs up, stalls and kills much of the Bush/Republican agenda.

For some reason after Daschle was defeated, Republicans rejoiced thinking that the democratics were going to roll over and play dead and rubberstamp their right wing extremist agenda...They found out different didnt they?

GIVE EM HELL HARRY!!!

Posted by: Cassini | May 31, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I am all for cutting all those useless federal programs. Let's start by eliminating the Dept of Education and the Dept of Energy. these are local and private concerns, respectively. then dispose of social security and stop spending that money on other things. Once all the improper spending is wrung out of government, I will consider increased taxes, but I doubt it will be needed.

you all keep ignoring the point that we were already at war with Iraq because they represented a threat to our interests. they had made war all over the region, and it is ridiculous to assume that weapons programs were not under way and hidden, ready to be resurrected upon our leaving.
I don't really care muchy what the popular opinion of the war is, nor do I care much about Paris Hilton. the people you are putting so much stock into don't read, don't know who the VP is, etc. the military in particular is not a good thing to be run by popular opinion. who will say that war is good and should be done. when an election is coming, some sit up and pay a little attention but for the most part, they are sleeping and relying on an agenda driven media for thier ideas. Just look at all the simple talking points quoted over and over on this site. and the belief that the press is out to get "candidate X" for some idealogical reason.
but tax cuts also have to do with economic policy and unemployment and interest rates and so many other things. It is not just about the balance sheet. Tax cuts have clearly helped and the economy is roaring along. Is this a bad thing? how bad? woud you want to change that aspect? At what cost?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"but you offer nothing of substance - ever." - koz

"Judge - Ney stepped down despite no indictments, only a whisper campaign." - koz

Ladies and gentlemen may I present - the undisputed KING OF HYPOCRISY. He claims others offer no evidence or facts and then makes idiotic claims like Ney did nothing wrong without offering any facts or responding to the facts that Abramoff and two former aides have implicated him. On top of that, accuses others of being short on substance. Amazing.

"coming from Ohio-guy and demanding some points be responded to is like answering that loon in Iran. "there was no holocaust". " - koz

Hey king of hypoocrisy - can you show me one statement I ever made that is so clearly wrong such as "there was no holocaust"? No - you can't. B/c unlike you I don't say things that I can't back up or are supported by facts.

But oh wait, here's something you said that is just as stupid as saying that the holocaust never happened:

"Judge - Ney stepped down despite no indictments, only a whisper campaign." - koz

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 31, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I am not confusing policing the world with action in Iraq, are you? And my point about the local polls was simply that you do not have any special insight into how happy the Iraqis are. Ultimately, we are not that concerned with how happy the Iraqis are, we are concerned with how safe we are, here at home. and that should be the only measure that counts. all the other stuff is fine and dandy but it is not the goal of the mission.
A non-interventionist policy before 9/11/01 was altered. that was a campaign promise that was in contrast to Gore's UN theory of the world and and international involvment everywhere. the campaign promise needed to be changed after that. and many problems can be solved with military force.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk-

I'd love to offer you some substance.

It is your opinion, not fact, that Iraq represented a threat to the United States of America. The administration has admitted that they were wrong; Iraq was not a threat because there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. The only link Saddam has with terrorists is tangential garbage related to donations to Palestinian suicide bombers.

In any event you're really the only one spouting that nonsense. Even your party's platform is not that we must remain in Iraq or else... domestic terrorist attacks. Remaining in Iraq went from WMD to "you break it you buy it" to moral imperative/democracy building. Only at the WMD stage was it ever for "security" and that has since been completely debunked.

The majority of this country has made up their minds that Iraq is a disaster and unworth it. I cannot imagine people who would simultaneously believe that the war is a disaster and believe --as you do-- that it was fundamentally necessary to prevent the next 9/11. I'll side with that majority any day.

"do you mean to imply that tax cuts should go to people who don't pay taxes? how would this work?"

What a false dilemna. People can complain about tax cuts for the wealthy without demanding tax cuts for the poor (who, incidentally, don't pay taxes). The unnamed alternative is that tax cuts are typically to be avoided at all. I think it is generally ill-advised to cut taxes *at all* when you run 1 trillion dollars in deficit spending in 3 years. Or, worse case scenario, you predict your own fiscal irresponsibility to be about 500 billion dollars a year.

But if inflating the government while simultaneously eliminating the means of funding Big-Government isn't "conservative" enough for you, perhaps I can appeal to your sense of patriotism: We are at war, sir. And during war you tighten your belt. If rich Americans are asked to pay more taxes to fund the war effort, I fully expect them to appreciate that burden and accept it happily. At the very least we can tell them to shut up when they ask for tax-cuts. Afterall, that's the only patriotic thing to do.

Posted by: Will | May 31, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

Thanks for the compliment. I am a reporter but politics is a hobby not a beat.

It seems that real journalism is a lost art. Research. Reporting. The whole story, not the one that supports a storyline.

I guess that's why the phrase "liberal media bias" makes me giggle.

Posted by: Corinne | May 31, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Regardless of the ultimate impact of the incident on Reid, it illustrates the perils of being the number one target for Republican researchers who are constantly peddling information on Reid to political reporters both in Washington and around the country"

Such as you, Chris? Thanks for swallowing it up. I hope they gave you a martini to wash it down.

Dear me. No wonder people are left wondering whether DC's hacks are simply the most gullible, lazy people on earth, or bought-and-paid recyclers of GOP smear memos.

Fancy naming one or two of these 'researchers'? After all, someone has to watch the watchers.

Posted by: Nick S | May 31, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk -- YOU posited that we were in Iraq for humanitarian reasons in your prior post, so I'm not sure exactly why you're getting upset that I called you on it. Additionally, I have absolutely NO IDEA what your point is in noting that Bush's statement was before 9-11. How exactly did 9-11 change the idea that the US should not "police the world?" Policing the world is clearly distinct from protecting the US and US interests. The problem with Iraq is that it accomplishes neither of those two goals, which is why both you and Bush are now using wilsonian utopia talking points predicated on the idea that the US can solve all the worlds' problems through the use of military force.

As far as Iraqi opinion on our intervention goes, there are death squads loosely affiliated with the government running around killing people, militia groups loyal to their religious denomination controlling large geographic areas, and the country as a whole is consumed by sectarian violence. You seriously want to argue that those folks are happy b/c you have a poll - taken within a 5 mile radius of the green zone - that says as much? If you believe that, then I've got a few other things to sell you.

Finally, I didn't bring up taxes or ask you about your service (or lack there of) in the military. That was someone else, so you might want to address your responses to the proper individual.

Posted by: Colin | May 31, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Corinne,

Thank you for the facts. Are you a political reporter? Because you're a lot better than most of those employed by the major news outlets.

I'm sure you would never write any hysterical drivel about Hillary Clinton's lemon-yellow pantsuit like David Broder, or off-color conjecture on the state of her sex life, like the Times recently plastered on the front page.

I really cringe when I realize how desperate and diry Republicans are going to get in this year's campaign. Mr. Cilizza, I'm calling on you to correct this story as a first step away from 'truthiness.' The facts will set you free.

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Is there something wrong with Dennis Cucinich? Is that the name calling you referred to? but you sound just like him. why wouldn't you be proud to be compared to him?
coming from Ohio-guy and demanding some points be responded to is like answering that loon in Iran. "there was no holocaust". well you don't warrant a response with your nonsense. In case your blind rage missed it, I did respond earlier, but no more. you are clearly from the Screamin' Dean school of politics. but you offer nothing of substance - ever. It is always the same old rants. Try to come up with something new.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

AP: Reid Acted Unethically By Not Breaking the Law
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000786.php

I know it's already here, just to help cillizza fix his broken blog I posted it again.

"Regardless of the ultimate impact of the incident on Reid, it illustrates the perils of being the number one target for Republican researchers who are constantly peddling information on Reid to political reporters"

Yeah, right. Maybe if cillizza of "The Broken" and the rest of the "liberal media" spent less time copying and pasting repub talking points and more time reporting we'd have ourselves a country again.

Posted by: hadenough | May 31, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Ohio-guy, you work in Dennis Cucinich's office don't you. Or are you him? Certainly there aren't two such people in that wonderful state of Ohio?" - koz

Anyone else notice how king of hypocrisy dosen't even try to respond to any of the arguments I leveled at him? Typical actions of a simple-minded repub who is short on facts and high on rhetoric and hot air - resort to name calling like a five year-old when you lose. Very Bill O'Reilly of him.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 31, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Jackson - very interesting. If you are correct, then it was clever manipulation by Reid that resulted in Harriets nomination. And Bush's stupidity (you can take this as a given for this one). I can't say this is wrong or right but it is certainly something to think about. Perhaps you have attributed too much cunning to him. do you have any other examples I may consider. you certainly don't wind up as Senate leader by being stupid. but I don't see the 6 seats in the Senate switching over. the house is a definate posibility. And I would rather have Reid than Pelosi in charge of anything.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow--I didn't think anyone could juice up a bogus AP story but Cillizza's report topped both CNN and MSNBC.

Now for some facts, which seem to be strangely absent here (courtesy of TPM Muckraker):

"The crux of Solomon's story was that Reid acted wrongly by accepting free boxing tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission. In particular, Solomon focused on a title bout in September 2004 that Reid and McCain both attended. "Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., insisted on paying $1,400 for the tickets he shared with Reid for a 2004 championship fight," Solomon wrote."

Yeah. Except they weren't tickets. They were credentials with no face value given to V.I.P.s"

"[A]ccording to the boxing promoter who awarded those credentials to Reid, it is illegal for the commission to accept payment for them. Despite that, McCain insisted on paying, and so the commission simply gave his check (written for a seemingly arbitrary amount) to a charity since it couldn't accept it."

From today's Las Vegas Review, a paper that is not Reid-friendly:

"Boxing promoter Bob Arum said Reid and McCain also sat in ticketed seating at about three matches each but paid for their tickets "invariably." Arum said McCain and Reid's seats at the Hopkins-de la Hoya fight, on the other hand, were credentials from the commission, not tickets from Arum. But McCain, who brought his wife to the fight, sent Arum a check for the price of two ringside seats.

"Arum said he didn't know what to do with the money.

" "Those credentials cannot be sold," he said. "There's no price on them. (They are given to) governors, attorney generals, boxing commissioners of other states. ... It's illegal to accept money for a credential."

"Arum said he couldn't accept McCain's money but McCain wouldn't take it back, so Arum donated it to Catholic Charities."

There's no story there. Why don't you do some real research and reporting?

Posted by: Corinne | May 31, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid has been the most effective minority leader that I can think of in the last 50 years. Look at how brilliantly he set Bush up with that SCOTUS nomination. Reid has been relentlessly aggressive and cunning, always thinking 3 steps ahead of everyone else.

Normally all that a minority leader can really do is play defense and try to stop the opposition's agenda when the minority disagrees with it. But Reid manages to take the weather gage from time to time and execute some truly brilliant attacks.

Whether the Democrats take back the Senate, Harry Reid will remain party leader in the Senate for at least a few more years. The biggest threat to his position would be the Democrats taking the Senate and then deciding that Harry Reid is too conservative for their taste once it's a matter of getting new legislation through rather than blocking items that all Democrats agree is a bad idea.

At the end of the day, if I were a Republican I would not try to weaken Reid's status as a party leader. If the Dems take back power, Republicans will be much happier with what they get from Harry Reid than with what they might expect from Hillary Clinton or Chuck Schumer as a majority leader.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | May 31, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly why I caution about using the scandal theme as a central plank for Democrats in the midterms.

There will likely be a backlash against incumbants, hitting both sides (R's harder because they are in power).

If you are a trial lawyer, you never ask a question in court when you don't know the answer or why airlines don't say we never crash because as soon as you hang your hat on something you can't control, you lose your credibility on everything.

Posted by: RMill | May 31, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

So you admit that you have only half a brain. I am sorry for your misfortune.
I will type very slowly from now on for your benefit.
1. how do you know that I am not contributing to the war?
2. do you mean to imply that tax cuts should go to people who don't pay taxes? how would this work?
Please look up the word hypocrisy, you obviously have no clue what it means and you use it every day. It makes you look like a simpleton and I don't know that you are.
Darfur is not a strategic place, it has no oil and is not on track to obtain weapons. It is sad but lower on the list. we will get there eventually. are you advocating we go there right away?
your point about the 2000 speech is very telling. We had an incident in this country in 2001. NYC and WDC was attacked by foreign nationals. that changed thihngs around a little. Rather than lob another cruise misile at a tent full of camels, the President decided to take pre-emptive action. the result of this has been that no further attacks have occured here. PLease don't speak for others when you have no basis for your views. there is no reason to suspect that Iraqis are worse off now. the local polls are quite contrary to that notion.
finally, we are not promoting human rights primarily, that is incidental, we are fighting our enemies so that we can live in peace. why has it taken you this long and you still don't get it? Maybe we don't enforce peace very well, but we are getting better. we didn't do carrier war very well either before Midway. that is the nature of war. Get better before the other guy does. Mistakes are made and we learn. read some history and you will see that this action falls in a long line of US military intervention and there have always been fools like you all to try to lose it for us. We fell for your stupidity once, but we will not be fooled again. I am glad you are offering your opinion to all so that we can debate and see which makes most sense. But I am afraid that JAMA is right and you have displayed why you can't get elected.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Survey USA May Approval
Reid(D)- NV
51% fav/44% unfav

Ensign(R)- NV
50% fav/37% unfav

Posted by: RMill | May 31, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Ohio-guy, you work in Dennis Cucinich's office don't you. Or are you him? Certainly there aren't two such people in that wonderful state of Ohio?

that line about voting against your own interests is too funny. all Dems know what is best for you, that is why you should vote for them. they will take good care of you and make sure the big bad world doesn't harm you in any way. they are that smart.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Ohio Guy - So true, so true. To quote John Stewart, now even the facts have turned against George Bush.

King of Zouk -- Just to address your argument that we should stay in Iraq for "humanitarian" reasons. I actually thought GWB made a lot of sense in 2000 when he said that we can't use the US military to police the world. We can win ANY war we choose to fight, but our military forces aren't designed to occupy a country without a government. As Iraq has shown us, that's just not something we do very well. You can take that as an abdication of moral responsibilities if you want to, but I think most Americans (and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who - amazingly - are worse off now than under a crazy dictator)would agree with a more humble (another Bush phrase) and realistic foreign policy approach right about now.

Also, what do you think that vote to authorize force would have looked like if the administration said we're going to spend boat loads of money and let thousands of US troops die in Iraq to promote human rights. I'm guessing GWB wouldn't have gotten a majority if they hadn't lied about WMD. Not to mention the hypocrisy of going into Iraq to protect human rights while the US does nothing in Darfur.

Posted by: Colin | May 31, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"I think a great country like ours can afford a little discomfort to finally bring some relief to a region that is long overdue for a good cleaning. this is our history and our calling." - koz

It is not our calling to polic the world Zouk. You might think so , and if you do why are'nt you jumping out of your seat to go join the army and fight in this gloriuos war? B/c you are a chickenhawk that is why - content to sit at home and type yourself ragged while other people die for your failed war. Put your money where your mouth is and join up.

"FYI, the do-nothing congress has passed tax relief, education spending,...."

LOL....tax relief for the richest 1%, and massively underfunded No Child Left Behind, more lies from RNC talking points...

"BTW, Delay doesn't have a pile of money hidden under a bed, neither does Ney. ....... since when did fundrasising become illegal?"

Well zouk if you call accepting money and gifts and trips from Jack Abramoff in return for legislative favors "fundraising", but everyone else here with half a brain calls it bribery.

"Judge - Ney stepped down despite no indictments, only a whisper campaign."

A whisper campaign? Zouk you topped yourself in the hypocrisy department with this statement. The facts are that Abramoff and at leat two of Ney's former aides have pleaded guilty and have fingered Ney on corruption and bribery charges which simply have not been brought against him yet. His former employees telling federal prosecutors that he is a criminal is not a "whisper" campaign.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 31, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

JAMA, I am afraid you are correct on that measure. But there is always cause for hope, maybe I am just looking under the wrong rocks.
The fact that Dems do not have the same set of rules in Congress can't be refuted. An indictment to an R means you lose your chair. not so D. the R s are term limited in their chairs - not so d. I never said anyone should step down, I made an observation that the same rules don't apply. I actually bemoaned the rush to judgment on both sides. I don't put much stock in plea bargains meant to find bigger fish. "show me the money" Like 90K wrapped up in a freezer. that is compelling. Like making the NG take you to your house after a flood to retrieve evidence.

the whole fundraising thing has gotten totally out of hand. the presumption from the press is that I donated to you so now I own you and you will vote my way. More likely is that you voted my way and I will now donate to you to keep you around. do you want to outlaw all fundraising and limit the access to congress. all americans have the right to petition their government and advance their issues. It is called Democracy and works very nicely, at least better then the other choices. Who sells out for a sandwich and a beer. get real. the point made by Susan was that constituents resent when their particular rep is living well when they aren't. The VP is not my rep and he made his money out of congress. daschle was getting rich in congress and playing two different personalities. the salary is about 175 or so. this is not anywhere near what most of these people could make in the real world. why do they do it then. either they are hopeless do-gooders or they are out to acquire power. Or a mix of the two. We appreciate do-gooders (unless they are Christians) and abhor power-mongers. how can you seperate them?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Ok, let's see...Nevada is a lot less conservative than South Dakota. Bush won south Dakota with over 60% and won Nevada by a similar margin as his national number. Nevada is a swing state, so Reid will be able to use his position as minority leader to swing undecided voters to his side. Daschle ran 9% ahead of Kerry nationally. Reid only needed to run 2% ahead. You can bet if Reid was up this year he'd be handing out pork and reminding people how much he'd helped the state. That'd be enough to bump that 48% to 51%. The comparison just isn't there. Daschle was in a solid Republican state while Reid is in a swing state. Reid would just need to swing a couple percent to win, while Daschle would have had to swing 11%.

Posted by: Q | May 31, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me why this is a story!?!?!?!?! Does Cillizza owe some overpaid consultant (Jenny Backus springs to mind) a huge favor and figured he's pay off by writing an inside baseball story about someone 99.44% of Americans can't even name.

Talk about an egregious example of the mainstream political/media establishment perpetuating itself.

Surely there are better topics to report on.

Posted by: Thin Man | May 31, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Susan, since you are a middle-class person who makes her living with her hands why aren't you angry with President Bush? After all, it was his family's money and influence that kept him from duty in Vietnam, while the little middle class people who work hard with their hands, were made to serve. Or maybe you're drawn to Bush because his only shining achievement of his presidency is the passing of a huge tax cut which doesn't benefit little middle class people who work with their hands. It is amazing to me that there exist a large number of people, like youself, who will vote against their own interest and defend a president that works against the same.

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | May 31, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Cloin -

Repubs like king of hypocrisy believe Iraq is a shing example of Jeffersonian democracy - all those bombs going off and murdering of innocent civilians you refer to are silly, liberal cut-and-run stories. To idiot repubs, killings in the street 3 1/2 years after the start of the war means we are winning.

Republicans hate facts so much b/c the facts have a liberal bias to them. Your arguments based on reason and sanity fall on deaf ears when talking to these inbred mouth-breathers.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 31, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"how come the Dems don't have the same rule that they must step down after an indictment?"

Maybe it is because Alan Mollohan and William Jefferson haven't been indicted yet. For someone who complains about "getting rid of the jury system," it is awfully inconvenient to say that dems should have to step down when indicted when NONE HAVE.

That being said, I do think that Jefferson should resign because it just looks bad and I think the question of an indictment there is one of when, not if.

As far as Susan's remarks on judges, the Dems blocked 10 out of 214 judges in Bush's first term. Is 96% not good enough for you, or is the Senate merely a rubber stamp for the White House?

"One key factor is that Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Carper of Delaware, Landrieu of Louisana, and Robert Byrd of W Virg are on the ballot for 2006, neither of them can afford to anger the voters in their states on their agenda to continue to block federal judges."

Do you honestly think John Raese can beat Robert C. Byrd? He couldn't beat Jay Rockefeller (who is slightly less popular than Byrd) in 1984 for an open Senate seat while riding Ronald Reagan's coat tails. Now, Bush has negative coat tails (39% approval in WV as of Feb.) and Raese is reduced to these creepy ads where he uses Ronald Reagan's 1984 endorsement. If you have to use the voice of a dead guy from 22 years ago to win votes, you are doomed. I know that in politics there is "no horse that can't be tamed and no rider who can't be thrown," but Robert C. Byrd is as close to an unthrowable rder as you can get.

Also, Carper is from a state that Kerry and Gore both won by comfortable margins, so why should he be worried about backlash?

Finally, do some research. Mary Landrieu is not on the ballot this year. She is up for re-election in 2008.

Posted by: Steve | May 31, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Zouk! Don't encourage the Drindls and Loudouns of this world to engage with any actual facts. As long as the left continues to be dominated by its ad-hominem-attacking, hate-spewing wingnuts (who show Zero evidence of abating), the sensible majority continues to win elections and to govern. Drindl's publicly stated belief that Susan is too stupid to know what's in her own best interest is the perfect expression of the arrogance and cluelessness that defines the left these days. Michael Moore and Howard Dean and their minions like Drindl and Loudoun: the gifts that keep on giving.

Posted by: Just Another Moron, Apparently | May 31, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

KOZ: 'Course I think Jefferson should resign. Duh.

Ney: based on today's news ("Volz testified that Safavian and Ney guided the lobbyists as they looked for ways to gain access to government-owned land in Maryland, which Abramoff wanted for a religious school, in the weeks before the lobbyists took the two officials on a luxury golf trip to Scotland") it's hardly a "whisper campaign." Somebody should stick a fork in Ney 'cause he's done.

Not at all sure about the WV guy. That seems more like "whisper campaign" to me at the moment.

Let's check your 'zealotry' index: do you think Ney should resign? C'mon, if you care for your party how could you not at this point?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 31, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Geez, either your stupid or a fool if you voted republican. How about maybe their world view is different than yours and people of good nature can simply to agree to disagree without calling each other names. I noticed John McCain paid for his tickets, why couldn't Harry pay for his tickets like everybody else. Doesn't seem to be to much to ask of a public official if they are getting a paycheck for their civic duties.

Posted by: bhoomes | May 31, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, you can't have it both ways. Of course Reid did nothing technically wrong, no controlling legal authority, remember that chant, but technically neither did Ney. they both took tickets to sporting events, they didn't sell their vote. this is a world apart from Duke and Jeffferson (still innocent but smells real bad). but you never bothered with that distinction when it was an R instead of a D. And now you blame it on the press.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Judge - Ney stepped down despite no indictments, only a whisper campaign. Delay gave up his post and eventually seat after a partisan witch-hunt. your boy Jefferson will not step down even after finding 90,000 in his freezer. And monihan finally got out of the ethics committee after filling his pockets from a network of sleeze. how come the Dems don't have the same rule that they must step down after an indictment? Maybe the rules are different for a reason. If you think that corruption is the purview of one party or the other, you are clearly a zealot. do you do this because you have no issues to talk about? Yes the Repubs are down right now, but you know who resides beneath them?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Loudon... but part of the reason Susan and Zouk are the way they are [other than perhaps congenital credulity] is because the 'liberal media' is so happy to trash Democrats. Since Jimmy Carter I can't even name one who hasn't been the victim of hysterical, over-the-top attacks from the beltway press.

Look what they did to Howard Dean --one little thing like a whoop an exhausted politician utters at a late-night rally -- and he's toast. They create The Scream -- a narrative of derangement -- based on nothing but constantly replaying that one meaningless moment. How many times have YOU seen it? Hundreds?

And John Kerry with the Swift Boaters. Every major media outlet [incluing the Times and Post] took it and ran with it, not bothering to mention that it was all lies. Now we have this baseless attack on Reid being passed along here. If you want to cover this stuff Chris, do it honorably, by giving the whole story, the fact that Reid did nothing wrong.

Otherwise, aren't you just creating the impression that there's some controversy, when there isn't? Except the fact that Republicans are throwing everything against the wall, hoping something sticks?

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I am glad you all have made obsolete the jury system in this country. no need to wait for reports or judges, make the firing squad ready.
no I am not ready to concede defeat in Iraq, despite all the pressure from the anti-american media and lefties. there will be setbacks and murder, we are fighting against people who think randomly killing shoppers is a good thing. Is that what you think? I think a great country like ours can afford a little discomfort to finally bring some relief to a region that is long overdue for a good cleaning. this is our history and our calling. when did you libs go soft on world human rights, or is that only chic when a Dem president does it? It seems the only effort you are willing to undertake is to possibly sprian your pinky typing up drivel on these blogs.
Drindl, you need to read something that offers facts for a change, instead of the opinion blogs you obviously survive on. FYI, the do-nothing congress has passed tax relief, education spending,....
why do you always think that the Federal government must do something. can't you accomplish anything on your own?
BTW, Delay doesn't have a pile of money hidden under a bed, neither does Ney. but those Dems seem to have bribary and self-gratification down. since when did fundrasising become illegal?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Darn that William Jefferson (Clinton???) and WV boy racking up piles of money. and to think, HE was on the ethics committee."

KOZ: until January 15 Ney was Chairman of the House Administration Committee. As chair of that committee, he oversaw operations in the Capitol complex and was sometimes known as the "Mayor of Capitol Hill." Seems like he could have done a lot more damage than Jefferson being a mere 'member' of the Ethics Committee.

"Makes me think back to the most ethical administration in history - oh yeah, they let that one go."

OK, I give up: what was the most ethical administration in history? It certainly isn't the current one or do you disagree? This is an excellent "how much kool aid are YOU drinking?" test.

"Reid and Pelosi will both be gone from leadership in Dec. "

I'll take that bet.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 31, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey King of Zouk, wanted to ask whether you're still as "excited" about all the "progress" in Iraq given the recent wave of killings and the new information regarding abuses in Haditha. Now, I know this is probably just the "liberal media" once again ignoring all of the good times that are occurring in Iraq, but today seemed like a good time to get you to weigh in.

On your corruption points - and I use the term "points" loosely - I agree that any Democrat is that is indicted should be grilled just like all the MANY MANY republicans who will shortly endure that fate. However, I would highlight the fact that outside of Jefferson (who is guilty and should be forced to resign)no Democrat is likely to be indicted for any of their actions. This is in stark contrast to Delay, Ney, Burns, Cunningham, and the rest of "Jack's friends" that we should be hearing about soon. Is that just a case of "liberal DA's" once again favoring Democrats, or could it be that the party in power for the last decade + may actually be corrupt and in need of a kick in the pants? My guess is that it's the latter and that voters will oblige in November.

Posted by: Colin | May 31, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: the fact that there are two people like Susan and King on here goes along way to explaining why people like Bush are in power.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 31, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

B20, d'ya think maybe the reason Chris didn't bother to include the part about Redi voting against the interests that gave him the boxing tickets is because Chris is part of the Disinformation Network?

Maybe he purposely left it out because otherwise it isn't a story? There was no quid pro quo, it was perfectly legal and ethical. You know, like there's no 'there' there?

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

King -- i know everything 'not'? Excuse me, are you old enough to be on a big, grown-up forum like this?

I don't call anyone who disagrees with me 'stupid'. I call stupid anyone who conntributes to their own demise. Like lemmings, you understand? Maybe not stupid, maybe that was too strong a word. How about gullible and willing to be duped?

Reid and Pelosi have not done one thing? Fool, republicans are in power. And they are the biggest do-nothing Congress in history.

But as Judge Crater points out, there is no shortage of fools like you to swallow whatever lies and trumped-up smears the media puts out there.

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, I wonder if Chris posted this before it came out that Reid actually voted *against* the interests that gave him the boxing tickets. Or whether that simply didn't matter since it was deadline time and he needed a subject for a column.

Posted by: B2O | May 31, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Harry is the head slimeball of the gimme dat party. caught with his hand in the cookie jar again. so much for the culture of corruption line. and all that focus group money wasted. Darn that William Jefferson (Clinton???) and WV boy racking up piles of money. and to think, HE was on the ethics committee. Makes me think back to the most ethical administration in history - oh yeah, they let that one go.

Drindl - anyone who disagrees with you must be stupid, you know everything (NOT). Reid and Pelosi will both be gone from leadership in Dec. regardless of the election outcome. they have not done one thing.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 31, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Instead of saying "for Republican researchers who are constantly peddling information on Reid to political reporters..." it would be more accurate to say "for Republican researchers who are constantly peddling MISinformation on Reid to political reporters..." As 'Susan' above richly illustrates there are many paranoid, unquestioning GOP minds eager to sieze on whatever helps them maintain an irrational hatred of 'others.'

While it would be appropriate to carp about what reporters in general do when presented with misinformation, Faux News ("WMD Found in Iraq!") does such a thorough job of amplifying and echoing lies that this is background noise in comparison.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 31, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It is in both Reid and Ensign's best interest to continue their non-aggression pact. This allows the best chance for both of them to keep getting re-elected. This helped Ensign as Reid did not openly and heavily recruit Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who probably could have knocked off Ensign, especially in a down year for the GOP.

I don't think Reid is the best leader the Dems have, but he does a more effective job than people give him credit for.

Ideally the Democrats need a leader from a secure Democratic state, like Chris Dodd from CT or Charles Schumer of NY.

As for Susan's complaining about Federal judges: It's Politics! The GOP is constantly pissing and moaning about the Democrats stalling judicial nominees. Where were these Republicans when Clinton was the President, and he often couldn't even get hearings held in committee for his nominees. Then there was not holding a committee vote on nominees, another blatant stall tactic. Both sides are going to do whatever they can to keep judges that don't share their ideology off the bench, so enough whining. If Bush would quit nominating so often a nominee that is too far to the right, there wouldn't be these problems. There are plenty of qualified conservatives, who won't cause all these issues.

Posted by: H.L. | May 31, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, that should have been 'you're' being raped.

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I can see the problem in states like South Dakota, if most people are like 'Susan'. Any middle-class, or working class person who celebrated Bush's theft of the election -- a man who is actively working to destroy the middle class in order to enrich the already wealthy -- is just plain stupid. There's no polite way to put it.

Oh, Tom Daschle has a $3 million house? Dick Cheney made $90 million in blood-soaked war profiteering, just last year. Maybe you simple people will wake up and realize your being raped eventually, but I doubt it.

Posted by: Drindl | May 31, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I live in S Dakota, a strong Republican state. President Bush won the state strongly in 2000, but the Democrats in the Senate blocked federal judges and played games which resulted in gridlock.

With Estranda and a long list of judges blocked over a 4 year period, Daschle was held accountable for not understanding that we the voters wanted Tom to work to get things done not brag about blocking the President.

The final straw was that Tom and his lobbyist wife Linda moved from a $1 million mansion into a $3 million mansion. Tom was also pondering a run for president in 2004, but he would have been forced to provide full disclosure of his tax records which would have shown how Tom and his wife used their positions for getting money for themselves, instead of getting work done for the normal people back home who work with their hands to earn enough money to have a middle class life.

Those of us who worked to defeat Tom celebrated on election night almost as much as the joy of seeing President Bush win a second term.

Brent Kavanaugh was tied up in the Senate gridlock for over 3 years, and Frist was smart enough to put him on the floor for a vote before the Memorial Day recess. He passed closture on Thursday night with 67 yes, bring it to the floor, compared to 30 Democrats trying to drag down this judge.
On Friday, Frist forced the Senators to vote on Kavanaugh, and he passed with 57 yes, and only 36 no. 5 Democrats were out of town, so Reid failed in trying to keep the filibuster. Frist and the Republican won a judge, a CIA Director, and a new Secretary of Interior.

One key factor is that Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Carper of Delaware, Landrieu of Louisana, and Robert Byrd of W Virg are on the ballot for 2006, neither of them can afford to anger the voters in their states on their agenda to continue to block federal judges.

Reid is weak on leadership. And if the Democrats fail to pick up seats in 2006, I have a bet he will not be minority leader for long.

Posted by: Susan | May 31, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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