By popular demand, a post about the David Broder/Harry Reid smackdown that was detailed in Politico last night. The short summary: David Broder has had his Depends in a twist for years about Reid and he recently wrote a column (dissected by Ezra here) telling Reid and other Congressional Democrats to get off his lawn. Reid then (accurately) described Broder as “a man who has been retired for many years and writes a column once in a while.”
Broder then took some more potshots at Daschle, comparing him unfavorably to a bunch of other Senate leaders from years ago (George Mitchell, Mike Mansfield). All of this prompted an impassioned defense of Broder from Moonie columnist Tony Blankley.
Broder, in Blankley’s opinion, has advocated for a “sense of decorum in town,” has a deep interest in process — how decisions are made in the halls of Congress — and has never been one for knee-jerk judgments, whether liberal or conservative. “My sense is that he finds lurching ideological expressions to be unappealing on either side,” Blankley said.
I actually agree with Broder that Reid is not a terrific Senate Majority leader. But it’s silly of Broder not to admit that American politics is not what it used to be, that things changed irrevocably in 1994 and that the Senate is not the genial old boys’ club it used to be. Harry Reid is not going to convince Jim DeMint to support health care reform over a mint julep.
In the end, this is what is so pathetic about Broder, Cokie, etc. It’s not just that what they’re repeating is warmed over conventional wisdom, it’s that it’s all been under the heat lamps for 25 years.