The Infamy of Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has been in the public eye far more than usual this year.

Sen. Reid holds the most powerful seat in the Senate and is strongly allied with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in the House of Representatives.

Reid’s state has fallen on hard times. The unemployment rate in Nevada is 15%, compared with 10% nationwide. Las Vegas and Reno are renowned capitals of pleasure but few can afford to spin the roulette wheel or play the slots. Casinos and theatres are staying afloat but things ain’t what they used to be. The boom towns are reeling, but they are better off than the suburbs, where a large percentage of the houses sit vacant.

Senator Reid has incurred his share of the blame for the economic mess, but that is the tip of his Iceberg of Unpopularity. For one, he was instrumental in passing the healthcare reform bill to which Americans were overwhelmingly opposed. Cascades of phone calls, emails, faxes, and letters besieged every Congress member’s office, but Nevadans knew early on that their protests were meaningless to the Senator, who turned a deaf ear to his constituents, and lobbied with all his might for the bill. He ignored the taunts that he was a lapdog and went about his business. Many suspected that he and his powerful ally, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, were engaged in tactics that would not bear close scrutiny to obtain the support they wanted. Tales of backroom deals, and special interests, and payoffs ran rampant.

Reid’s BFF, Nancy Pelosi

When the healthcare bill passed, Reid, Pelosi, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama wore wide grins and congratulated one another, seemingly undisturbed by the ominous silence on the public’s end. After all, Barack Obama had promised the Democrats who voted for the bill that it would be a dim memory by November mid-term elections. And if not, hey, there was a back-up plan: Obama himself would graciously appear on the endangered incumbent’s behalf and sprinkle a little of his trademark magic over the situation – then voila! Re-elected by a landslide!

Landslide, landfill, ecology… that reminds me of something… oh yeah, Harry Reid’s other problem: the nuclear test site. Nevadans aren’t crazy about it. It’s not just the proven health hazards… there are unknown perils. Scientists still don’t know all the risks the site presents. So it may be understandable that people aren’t overly eager to set up shop anywhere near the place. In fact, they just want it out of their state.

 

Economy, healthcare, nuclear waste – nobody could deny Reid had obstacles to overcome in order to be reelected, but he had faith in the apathy of Americans. This faith was shattered by a piercing noise growing louder by the minute, until all we could hear was a shrill whistle. The Senator can be excused for not seeing that the Tea was about to boil. Nobody did. At that time, I thought (and wrote) that Americans had lost what made us special – that rebellious, independent streak. I’m glad I was wrong! The more left-leaning media outlets and activist groups abused the Tea Party as a second Ku Klux Klan thinly disguised as Republicans, and piled on the pejoratives. But the charges just won’t stick. For one reason, Tea Partiers are nearly 10% Democrat, and 35% Independent. It is also a narrow stereotype for a group who has in common just two things: fiscal responsibility and love of liberty.

It must’ve dawned on Harry this summer that the Tea Party was going to spell real trouble. For the first time, the five-term Senator was truly in danger of losing his seat and the criticism grew louder. The test site, once a minor annoyance, gets trotted out in every interview. Harry’s close relationship with the banks and special interest groups is inconveniently analyzed. Then Candidate Sharron Angle inexplicably rose in the polls, and suddenly he’s in a white-knuckled race for his own seat.

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One thought on “The Infamy of Harry Reid

  1. I wish that the Democrats would clean house. I think that Pelosi was one of the worst possible choices for speaker of the house, especially right after Obama was elected, because she was so pushy, confrontational, and divisive. I also am disappointed with Obama for not putting pressure on Pelosi. I think that if he had, or if Pelosi had stepped down or been voted out and been replaced by someone who was more interested in working together, I think we’d be in a very different situation right now.

    I also agree that Harry Reid has not adquately represented the people of Nevada. I have never been a fan of Reid, and I could also come up with a long list of things that I think he could have done better as a senator, including some things I see as egregious mistakes and things highly damaging to America. Honestly, when I’ve looked at him, he looks to be among one of the more corrupt members of congress. In this post you don’t even mention his earmark for the bridge, from which he served to benefit personally. Then there are his connections to Coyote Springs.

    One thing that upsets me about the Democrats is that they see someone like this as “on their side”, yet he has consistently made decisions which have negatively impacted two key issues: the question of the environment, and of war and peace. If there is one issue where I tend to side more solidly with liberals (in terms of the goal, not necessarily the means to achieve it) it is on the environment and on maintaining peace.

    But what does the tea party offer? I continue to be unimpressed

    I’m someone who has a number of fairly strong conservative tendencies, and to me, a big part of these tendencies are a skeptical mind and a need to have things backed up by facts. Not by canned “fake conservative” news sources like Fox News, but by things that would meet Wikipedia’s Criteria for Reliable Sources.

    I’m very skeptical of the tea party movement. Right now I’m still convinced that there is no representation for conservatives in the U.S. The Republican party is mostly a big corrupt machine, and the Tea Party Movement seems to be to be a fringe far-right group. People like me, who want a platform that is about results and issues rather than party or movement loyalty, and that believes in minimal government, simple laws, local control, and economic freedom, but who don’t want the social conservative and anti-intellectual streaks of the right-wing of the U.S., simply don’t have anywhere to go.

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