Saturday :: Dec 11, 2004

Replace Reid As Minority Leader

by pessimist

I did not support the coronation of Nevada Senator Harry Reid as Senate Minority Leader, because I had no knowledge of him. I'm leery of those who rise to prominence without anything public to justify the popularity. It looks like I was right - and I'm not alone - in feeling that Reid was a huge mistake for the Democrats:

GOP Hypocrite of the Week: Harry Reid

Normally, we cut Democratic leaders some slack, because the Democratic Party still has some embers of populism, sanity, secularism and Constitutional rights burning that we think can be blown back into a roaring fire. Okay, well, we hope that can happen.

But people like Senate-Minority Leader Elect Harry Reid don't make it very easy for us.

Recently, the Nevada Democratic Senator said he'd support Nino "The Fixer" Scalia if he were nominated to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, adding:

"I cannot dispute the fact, as I have said, that this is one smart guy," Reid said of Scalia. "And I disagree with many of the results that he arrives at, but his reasons for arriving at those results are very hard to dispute."

There's more:

Hey, Harry, we are talking about Nino Scalia, the guy who organized the coup that stole the election from Al Gore in 2000? We are talking about Nino Scalia who went on a hunting trip with Cheney and then voted against requiring the corporately corrupted VP to disclose who was on his secret energy task force. We are talking about Nino Scalia who has been barnstorming the country recently arguing that there is no reason for a separation between church and state. We are talking about the Nino Scalia who told a Jewish audience that they would be safer under a "Christian Nation" -- as in the United States officially becoming a Christian nation.

Oh, and we won't get into the kinky side of "Opus Dei" Nino, the one who recently told an audience that orgies might be good for relieving stress in society.

Given these facts about Scalia, BuzzFlash has to ask, Is Harry Reid just a GOP mole? Or just kind of DEMwitted? He disagrees with Scalia decisions, but likes how he got there? And that, apparently, qualifies him to be Chief Justice?

With Democrats like Reid, who needs Republicans!

See, the Republicans nominate Red State senate leaders like Trent Lott and Bill Frist to be their leaders. And what do the Democrats do? They nominate Red State senate leaders like Tom Daschle and Harry Reid, which is a sure-fire recipe for electoral loss and the elimination of an opposition party. The Republicans play to their base and the Democratic leaders in the Senate play to the same Republican base.

Now, how much sense does that make?

Not much, especially when one considers this:

Reading Harry Reid: New Democratic Leader in Senate Unlikely to Oppose Bush Administration’s Foreign Policy Agenda

The overwhelming selection of Nevada Senator Harry Reid as minority leader of Congress’ upper house shows that the Democrats are still willing to give their backing for the Bush administration’s reckless militarism and contravention of international legal norms.

Despite evidence that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, WMD programs, or offensive delivery systems, Reid voted in October 2002 to authorize a U.S. invasion of Iraq because of what he claimed was “the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.” The Reid-backed resolution falsely accused Iraq of “continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability … [and] actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, thereby continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States.”

When Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, the ranking Democrat on the International Relations committee, tried to alter the wording of the resolution so as not to give President Bush the blank check he was seeking and to put some limitations on his war-making authority, Reid--as assistant minority leader of the Senate--helped circumvent Biden’s efforts by signing on to the White House’s version.

As the Democratic “whip,” Reid then persuaded a majority of Democratic Senators to vote down a resolution offered by Democratic Senator Carl Levin that would authorize force only if the UN Security Council voted to give the U.S. that authority and to instead support the White House resolution giving Bush the right to invade even without such legal authorization. (By contrast, a sizable majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against the Republican resolution.)

In March 2003, after Iraq allowed United Nations inspectors to return and it was becoming apparent that there were no WMDs to be found, President Bush decided to invade Iraq anyway. Reid rushed to the president’s support, claiming that--despite its clear violation of the United Nations Charter--the invasion was “lawful” and that he “commends and supports the efforts and leadership of the President.”

Following the invasion, President Bush asked Congress for $87 billion to pay for the first phases of the occupation. Despite record budget deficits, major cutbacks in valuable social programs, and polls showing that 59% of the public opposed the funding request, Reid supported the resolution, stating, “ I voted for President Bush's $87 billion request because we have to support our troops ... period.” To this day, Reid continues to defend the U.S. occupation of Iraq and taxpayer funding for it.

Reid apparently believes that the best way to “support our troops” is not to demand that the Bush administration allow them to return home to safety but force them to fight in an unnecessary, unwinnable, counter-insurgency war on the other side of the planet.

There's more, but you get the idea.

The Democrats have already thrown in the towel in the Senate - and the opening bell hasn't yet rung.

This is why I retain some desire to see a real third-party effort rise in this country. It's the only way that there will ever be any real opposition to Bu$hCo.

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pessimist :: 7:20 AM :: Comments (27) :: Digg It!