can’t remember why people ever listened to him
I’ll leave it to others to discuss “The Dean’s” fulminations about uppity Senators who say things that wake him from the extended nap that is the end of his career, but I found this passage interesting:
Nor is this the first time Senate Democrats, who chose Reid as their leader over Chris Dodd of Connecticut, have had to ponder the political fallout from one of Reid’s tussles with the language.
Hailed by his staff as “a strong leader who speaks his mind in direct fashion,” Reid is assuredly not a man who misses many opportunities to put his foot in his mouth. In 2005, he attacked Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, as “one of the biggest political hacks we have here in Washington.”
The implication being that Democrats clutched their pearls, stifled gasps, and clucked disapprovingly when a discouraging word was uttered about the gnomish political weathervane .
I looked hard, but try as I might, I couldn’t find any quotes from Democrats in this article by Dana Milbank and Nell Henderson that were even remotely critical of Harry Reid for slamming Greenspan as a hack. In fact, it looked to me as if the party was rallying around Reid. And yet, here’s the lede:
Questioning the wisdom of Alan Greenspan in political Washington is akin to challenging the integrity of the pope in Rome, so figures in both parties agreed yesterday that the top Senate Democrat’s description of the Federal Reserve Board chairman as a “political hack” was a blunder.
Naturally, reading this I was very concerned that there were Dems trying to pull the rug out from under Reid (or stab him in the back), so I read the rest with great interest and care to find out who the weasels were.
And guess what? Not a single quote from a Democrat criticizing Reid. It’s just not there.Here’s what the quoted Dems have to say:
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.):
who worked with the Fed chairman as a Clinton administration official and in Congress, said Greenspan has been “unbelievably effective” at the Fed but he does not forgive Greenspan for flashing “a green light” to tax cuts that contributed to large deficits. “There’s a moat around the Fed that says he doesn’t get involved in political discussions,” Emanuel said. “He took the moat down.”
Paul Sarbanes (D) Maryland:
said that in 2001 Greenspan had “taken the lid off the punch bowl” by endorsing Bush’s tax cuts. “And now we’ve managed to transpose our economic outlook from this projection of over $5 trillion in surplus to almost $4 trillion in deficits.”
Barney Frank (D) Massachusetts:
implicitly scolded Greenspan for exceeding his role, saying “the question of private accounts is an ideological one.”
Chris Lehane (D-Scumbag-at-Large):
“It is about time Democrats stopped treating him like he was an untouchable,”
Marshall Wittman (DLC, for Lord’s sake):
“The Fed chairman is the closest thing in Washington to a deity. At least with Democrats, he no longer has that deity status. He’s now viewed as a partisan figure.”
Even when they’re referring to unnamed Dems later in the article, they say:
Democrats were further infuriated that, even after the budget went into deficit, Greenspan repeatedly supported making the temporary tax cuts permanent — one of the Bush administration’s top economic policy goals.
If you can find any evidence in this article for Democrats saying Reid’s comments about Greenspan were a “blunder,” you get the Stone Court Where’s Waldo Award for Sharp Eyes… Or maybe the Madeye Moody Award for Ability to See through Walls… Or better yet, the Elwood P. Dowd Award for Seeing the Invisible.
Nowadays we’ll just give someone the Look What I Pulled Out Of David Broder’s Ass Award.