- Whenever complaints are voiced about Congressional Democrats, invariably there arises in comments and elsewhere protests that complaints should only focus on Republicans, that most everything is their fault, and that Democrats are doing the very best they can but are simply helpless due to GOP tactics and the constraints of their own caucus. I rarely answer such protests because I know that Democrats will soon provide an answer with their actions far more compelling than any I could construct with words.
Today, they provide but the latest iteration of the answer as to why there is so much dissatisfaction and anger towards them, including from those who fully recognize the pragmatic constraints involved. This isn't a case where they are trying to oppose Bush's demands on telecom amnesty and warrantless surveillance powers but are sadly thwarted by a lack of votes. Rather, Harry Reid is doing everything he can to thwart those who are attempting to impede Bush's demands and thus doing everything he can to ensure that the White House is liberated from the prospect of accountability for past lawbreaking and vested with vast, new eavesdropping powers with as little oversight as possible -- just as Mitch McConnell would be doing if he were Majority Leader (though even McConnell might lack the audacity to simply run roughshod over Dodd's hold, as Reid is apparently doing -- while treating Tom Coburn's holds as sacred).
Put another way, the issue isn't that they're failing to impose limits on the President. It's not even that they're failing to do everything they can to do so. The issue is that they are devoting their efforts and energies -- again -- to ensuring that the White House wins, its radicalism enabled and bolstered, and the people who support them thwarted in what they believe.
The criticism isn't that Harry Reid is being insufficiently aggressive in opposing the White House. It's that he's doing what he can to support the White House, serving as their key ally.