The report features Republicans and Democrats. I believe Senator Judd Greg is the name of one of the Republicans (and I originally typed "Greg Judd" but did a Google and found it was the other way). I do not know who the other was -- maybe Senator Mitch McConnell? The Democrats featured were Senators Reid and Richard Durbin.
So the Republicans line of argument is that in the lame duck session -- the period between now and when the bulk of those elected in the November mid-term are sworn in in January (some already have been sworn in, such as Senator Mark Kirk from Illinois) -- the focus needs to be on the economy and that most other items can wait. Someone said they hoped the nuclear treaty could be addressed but even it would have to wait for the basic economics.
Now what the Republicans call "economics," I call "gifts to the rich."
This is not about my agreeing or disagreeing with their proposals. This is about how they presented it. They stayed with the economics and jobs argument.
Doing so, they won the war on that NPR segment.
Harry Reid sounded like he was in a nasty mood -- which may play on MSNBC but not really on NPR, another way MSNBC has hurt the Democratic Party. He also made no sense at all. Yes, I knew what he was saying. He was attempting to relaunch a talking point. It was THE talking point of 2009 and 2010 and was going to supposedly keep Democrats in control of both houses of Congress. Democrats lost the House so maybe Senator Reid should wake up to the fact that the talking point is useless?
Mr. Reid argued that what the GOP was saying -- and he did not bother to quote them so NPR listeners were left with the remarks they heard in the segment -- was the same old argument from the Party of No.
Senator Harry Reid never sounded more like an out of touch politician.
Senator Durbin was far more effective (though he spoke less) because his remarks acknowledged the bad economy and the lousy job market. Mr. Reid was just ranting and raving about the Party of No and that party's dirty tricks. He sounded crazy, he sounded out of touch.
Now if I use my Harry Reid To English translation book, I can tell you what Mr. Reid meant; however, he is really pushing it if he thinks every NPR listener can or wants to sit there and try to interpret him. He had time on NPR to make an argument and he failed.
I really think Mr. Reid needs to step down and give the Majority Leadership post to someone else. He has been ineffective in leadership -- even more so than Nancy Pelosi -- and his inability to speak straight and explain to someone what is going on -- or even what he thinks is going on -- is hurting the Democratic Party.
The average NPR listener heard Dick Durbin speak about the economy and jobs. They did not hear that from Mr. Durbin's Majority Leader. They did hear it from all the Republicans who spoke. The impression the average listener probably walked away with was that Republicans cared more about fixing the economy and jobs than did the Democratic Party. That really does not help the Democratic Party in 2012.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today: