December 11, 2003
Daschle's Campaign Manager Wants to Reassure You That Tom Supports Bush 75% of the Time!
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
BuzzFlash has posted several editorials calling for Tom Daschle to step down as minority leader, most recently on November 24 [LINK]. We've stated our obligatory acknowledgments that Daschle is a nice guy, well-spoken, and knows how to wear a suit. But, he's also inept, inconsistent, and ineffective as minority leader, and more interested in holding his senate seat in South Dakota than in leading an opposition party.
We wish him well in holding his seat. The Democrats need it. But, it's time to recognize that many of the positions he needs to take to get re-elected in his home state are not ones that advance the national strategy of the Democratic Party. And that is an understatement.
If you had to sum it all up, Tom is either totally ineffective AS minority leader because he is inherently inept at the position and unable to strategically battle the Republicans -- or he is so conflicted by the red party politics of his state, his wife's role as a lobbyist, and his Democratic Leadership Council corporate ties that he is rendered a rollover patsy for the Bush Cartel.
You know what? In the end, the results are the same. There is basically only the dying embers of an opposition party in the Senate.
We have to admit that other Democrats have cut embarrassing deals, like John Breaux and Max Baucus, the Republican designated sellouts on the Medicare Bill. Even Ted Kennedy, as ferocious in his rhetoric against the Republicans as he is, sold out on the phony Bush "Education Bill" -- and made a strategic blunder early on in the Medicare Bill that allowed an opening for the Republicans to refashion it and ram it down the throats of the Democrats.
But, in the end, the minority leader is responsible for setting the tone, defining the key legislative goals, and outmaneuvering the Republicans. On all these points, Tom Daschle has failed.
If ever there were evidence of how Daschle wants to have it both ways, just read this letter to the editor in a South Dakota newspaper. It is from Daschle's 2004 campaign manager:
So, the campaign manager for Daschle takes public objection to a Republican senator claiming that Daschle doesn't support Bush enough -- and writes a letter to the editor bragging about how strongly Daschle DOES support the most radical, extremist man to occupy the White House in American history.
Can you believe this?
The irony is that the Republicans have continuously run a ruthless campaign to unseat Daschle, even though he is as weak and as accommodating a Democratic Senate Leader as they could find, unless Lieberman, Baucus, Breaux or Miller were to replace him (and Zell's retiring, so that's not possible).
Daschle is the prime example of how trying to please and work with the Bush administration only gets you the privilege of being run over by a steamroller.
We wish Tom Daschle well in his 2004 election bid. He is, indeed, a solid, conscientious senator for South Dakota, an Uber red state. He is far, far superior to any of the Norm Coleman-type clones the Republicans want to offer up. Maybe Daschle goes about as far as a Democrat can go in South Dakota and still get re-elected.
But that's just the problem with him being minority leader, isn't it?
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original