Monday :: Dec 6, 2004

Give 'Em Hell, Harry (Pretty Please?)


by rayman

I know that I, and a lot of other bloggers, were skeptical when Harry Reid got the nod for minority leader over Dick Durbin. But if his performance on yesterday's Meet the Press is any indication, we may have an honest-to-God opposition party after ten years of waiting. Check out his response to Social Security, ahem, reform:

Tim, I can remember as a little boy my widowed grandmother with eight children. She lived alone, but she felt independent because she got every month her old age pension check. That's what this is all about. The most successful social program in the history of the world is being hijacked by Wall Street. Yes, Social Security is a good program. And if the president has some ideas about trying to improve it, I'll talk to him, and we as Democrats will, but we are not going to let Wall Street hijack Social Security. It won't happen. They are trying to destroy Social Security.

[...]

For heaven's sakes, they're crying wolf a little too regularly here. There is not an emergency on Social Security. We can do this. The president should not try to jam this private accounts in an effort to destroy Social Security.

In the early--when Social Security came before the Congress, who opposed it? The Republicans. And they have a long memory. They've been trying to destroy Social Security for a long time and now they think they have an opening to do it.

And here's his deft response on tax, ahem, reform:
What I am concerned about that's happening with the talk that's coming from 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue is that they're talking about having a consumption tax and an income tax. That's the worst of all worlds. That's what they have in Europe where you have an income tax and you add on that the value-added tax. It's a terrible system. So what I say is if we can figure out a way to make our tax less burdensome and if we could go to a consumer based tax, I think it would be wonderful. But the transition rules of that are very difficult and I have looked into that. It's extremely difficult.

Of course, we all knew that Timmy would remind us about Reid's anti-abortion stance. But I think the Senator handled it well:
Tim, I have--my views on abortion are very clear. I've never tried to hide them. I think it's something that people understand about me. But I also understand that this is a very complicated issue, very difficult issue. And, you know, in our caucus, our Democratic caucus, we have wide-ranging views. My sister, as far--I don't have a sister, but as close as I have ever had to a sister is Barbara Boxer. Her views and my views differ. But, you know, we don't have a litmus test in the Senate with Senate Democrats. We don't do the so-called Specter test--"You have to agree with us or we won't let you be a chairman of the committee or subcommittee." We don't do that.

Finally, how about some well-placed jibes against Clarence Thomas?
MR. RUSSERT: Why couldn't you accept Clarence Thomas?
SEN. REID: I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written. I don't--I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.

Amen, Senator. Of course, it remains to be seen how he'll perform on the Senate floor. But this is an encouraging start nonetheless.

rayman :: 6:17 AM :: Comments (37) :: Digg It!