Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Doesn't anyone here know how to play this game?

I forget who said it but I saw someone last week refer to Harry Reid last week as a "Stradivarius" because he gets played by everyone.

The Burris fiasco has been another self-created maelstrom for Reid. He spent weeks stoking public outrage at the appointment when it was clear to all that Burris' appointment was perfectly legal and the Senate didn't (and still doesn't) have a legal leg to stand on. I blasted Dianne Feinstein yesterday for her handling of the Panetta appointment but she's quite right in asserting that Burris should be sat. Rod Blagojevich is the governor of Illinois and he has the right to appoint Burris. Until and unless Rob Blagojevich resigns or is otherwise removed from office he is the governor and he retains all of the rights and privileges associated with that office.

As John Cole helpfully points out though Reid has singlehandedly painted himself into a corner,

Harry Reid has now, according to this poll, through his obstinance and idiocy, helped create popular support for Burris to not be seated. Since Burris will be seated anyway, these people will be pissed, Reid will look like a clown for being rolled over and put in his place by Blagojevich, and Republicans, with an assist from the Democrats who ran around calling Burris tainted for several weeks, will now claim Democrats are just as corrupt as Republicans.

It really is impressive how Reid and company got themselves into this mess. Their ability to inflict maximum pain on themselves for no gain is really unparalleled. You couldn’t game out a worse scenario for the Democrats, short of Blagojevich appointing himself to the seat or Obama on tape trying to sell the seat with Blago for money to spend on hookers and blow. If you could be sued for political malpractice, I would be leading a class action suit against the Democratic leadership right now.

Quite right. The poll in question shows that the public believes by a 51% to 27% margin that Burris should not be seated. After weeks of stoking that reaction Reid will now go right ahead and seat Burris because he has no other option but why didn't Reid think 2 steps ahead weeks ago and realize this outcome was inevitable?

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