Eeek! Broder’s Contagious!

May 1st, 2007at 11:40am Posted by Eli

NY Daily News’ Thomas DeFrank (who I usually like) has caught the disease:

Don’t believe all those whispers that George Bush is dead in the water politically. That’s a gross exaggeration – at least as long as Harry Reid is running the opposition.

As the Iraq war becomes ever more divisive and heartbreaking, the lame-duck President and Senate majority leader pursue a high-stakes game of “Amateur Hour” from opposite ends of Pennsylvania Ave. Even their friends know it.

In a town where genuine bipartisanship in the national interest seems to have died with Gerald Ford’s presidency three decades ago, the two main protagonists have managed to achieve the impossible – all of political Washington shaking their heads in collective distress.

“Bush and Reid are in an incredible race for first place in the dumb sweepstakes,” a disgusted senior Bush official told the Daily News. “They’re trying to see who can waste what little credibility either has left more quickly than the other.”

It’s hard to imagine that both leaders could lose their own party caucuses, but that’s happening. Congressional Republicans are furious with Bush for sticking with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and think he lost the Senate by firing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld after the November elections instead of before.

Capitol Hill Democrats complain Reid’s inept leadership has single-handedly kept a weakened President in the game.


In recent days, they have outdone one another by uttering two of the more tone-deaf howlers in Capitol memory.

On April 19, Reid said, “I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and [perhaps] the President knows this war is lost.”

Not to be outdone, Bush told reporters four days later that Gonzales’ hapless, amnesia-ravaged Senate testimony “increased my confidence in his ability to do the job.”


Unlike Bush, Reid will still be around in January 2009. But in what capacity?

A prediction: If Hillary Clinton isn’t the next President, she or Chuck Schumer will be the next majority leader, assuming Reid’s stewardship doesn’t hand the Senate back to the Republicans.

Wow. Talk about upping the ante. Broder only compared Reid to Gonzo; DeFrank went all-in and compared him to the Big Kahuna, the Incompetent-In-Chief himself.

I still don’t get how stating something as obvious and, quite frankly, rather uncontroversial, as “the war is lost” compares to saying that Gonzales’ performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee was somehow confidence-inspiring.

The only out I can think of is that Reid prefaced “the war is lost” with “the secretary of state, secretary of defense and [perhaps] the President know” – I think Reid was way off-base there. Gates might know or at least suspect, but I’m pretty sure Condi and Dubya don’t.

Entry Filed under: Media,Wankers

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