Senator Mary Landrieu isn’t the only Democrat looking to stage a little Separation Theater to open daylight between herself and Party leadership. Politico reports she was one of several Senators to stage show votes against keeping Harry Reid as the Minority Leader:
Harry Reid was elected by Senate Democrats as minority leader on Thursday, but faced several “no” votes from red staters who took deep Democratic losses last week as a stamp of public disapproval in the Senate’s leadership.
Defectors included Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who faces a Republican challenger in a runoff race to keep her seat in December. McCaskill was the first Democratic senator to publicly announce her opposition to Reid, though Heitkamp and Manchin had refused to say how they would vote going into the elections.
The dissenting Democrats did not propose another Democratic leader for the caucus, but instead asked for a week delay to talk about fallout from the party’s disastrous mid-term elections. That effort failed, but allowed moderate Democrats that opposed Reid as leader to flex their muscles ahead of the GOP’s Senate takeover.
They didn’t even bother putting up a sham opponent against Reid to make it look convincing? Aw, come on, guys, you’ve got to try harder to trick your constituents into thinking you’re a “new” kind of “moderate” Democrat. The 2014 election should have made it abundantly clear that voters didn’t buy into the posturing from Democrats who claimed they would become Barack Obama’s worst nightmare when they reached Washington. What makes these “defectors” think a tiny little squeak of protest against keeping Reid as their Senate poobah is going to fool anyone?
“Harry Reid’s a good man and I have respect for Harry. I just voted for different leadership,” Manchin told a separate swell of reporters. “In West Virginia I heard it loud and clear: There were no ifs, ands or buts about it. They did not like the direction we were going.”
After she voted against Reid, McCaskill said the Democratic leader “understood” her position because she frequently tells him “things he may not want to hear.” And she told a crowd of reporters that she thought the loss of as many as nine Senate seats this cycle served as a strong message that change was needed at the top.
McCaskill wouldn’t say if she was considering a run for governor, which many speculated was her motivation.
“The only thing I’m talking about in Missouri is Ferguson. We have a very very critical moment in our state. And I don’t think it’s time to talk about politics of 2016 right now.”
Yes, if there’s one thing the good people of Missouri want right now, it’s their Senator pandering to the Ferguson mob. Why waste any time thinking about the big issues when you can focus on next week’s impending riots? That’s the kind of bold vision and civic responsibility that allowed the Democrats to avoid a shellacking in 2014! Oh, no, wait, they didn’t avoid it.
I’m not sure when McCaskill finds time to tell Harry Reid things he may not want to hear, since he spends all of his time lodged on the Senate floor bellyaching about the evil Koch Brothers. (He’s back to doing that again, by the way.) I guess we’ll have to settle for American voters telling Reid something he didn’t want to hear.
I suspect we’ll get a few more of these Separation Theater puppet shows in the waning days of the congressional session, but it’s going to get even harder to take any of it with a straight face as Obama lurches hard to the Left, to the point where he’s pretty much burning down the institution of representative democracy. The only way to “distance” yourself from that is to switch parties, kids.