Thus, it was no surprise that five days later, while American troops were in harm’s way in Iraq, he characterized the war there as “lost.” ”I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and–you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows – [know] this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday,” he said. A day later on the Senate floor? “No one wants us to succeed in Iraq more than Democrats.”
Reid rationalized his erratic behavior in a 2006 interview with the New York Times. “I’m going to throw bombs sometimes–I’m going to be conciliatory other times,” he said, November 10, 2006.
Yet Reed isn’t quite as forthcoming about his own questionable behavior. He hasn’t had much to say about a 2003 article in the Los Angeles Times noting that a bill he presented to his Senate colleagues as an environmental measure contained provisions that “benefit a real estate development headed by a senior partner in the Nevada law firm that employs all four of Reid’s sons…” Nor have Americans heard much about a 2006 Newsmax article revealing that Reid “collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn’t personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.” That story also notes the often Senator “hung up the phone when questioned about the deal during an AP interview last week.”
And just last Friday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published a story about Reid strong-arming NV Energy, Nevada’s primary electricity provider, to buy more “green energy” from a Chinese solar company. This was occurring despite the fact that NV Energy had exceeded its state-mandated green energy quota, and the fact that green energy generates higher electric bills for customers. “There’s another factor, however, one more personal to Reid: His son, Rory Reid, is one of the attorneys for the ENN Mojave Energy project,” the paper reveals. “A Reid spokeswoman said the senator did not suggest Reid’s firm–Lionel, Sawyer & Collins–to ENN, nor has the elder Reid spoken to this son about the deal.”
Has Harry Reid enriched himself and his family illegally at taxpayer expense? Journalistic standards do not allow one to reach such a conclusion absent conclusive proof. Yet if one imposes Reed’s own standard regarding on whom the burden of proof is placed in such a situation, it compels him to respond to such an accusation, valid or not. If the media kept such accusations alive, it might even distract the public from the fact that the Democratically-controlled Senate, led by the Senator from Nevada, has refused to exercise one of its primary constitutional mandates: it hasn’t passed a budget in more than three years.
Thoughtful Americans are well aware of what Harry Reid is trying to do. If Reid is attacking Romney and Romney is responding such as he has, challenging Reed to “put up or shut up,” and insisting that he has paid “a lot of taxes,” then the focus is drawn away from both Barack Obama and the economy. Romney has a right to be angry, but he is not running against Harry Reid, or any of the other Democrat or media hacks trying to steer the focus away from the current president and his dismal record.
As for Barack Obama, yesterday White House press secretary Jay Carney claimed that Reid “speaks for himself” and did so without any guidance from Team Obama. Carney then reiterated Reid’s talking points. “You know, [releasing tax returns is] not always every candidate’s favorite part of the process, but it’s a tradition that’s important,” he said. “It’s valuable to the American people as they decide who should be president.” Not as nearly valuable as deciding who should be president based on living through the worst economic recovery in the nation’s history. Moreover, despite Carney’s denial of Team Obama’s involvement, does anyone seriously believe Jay Carney “speaks for himself”?
Harry Reid has crossed a line, and it is telling that not a single Democrat, especially the president, has seen fit to criticize him. Nothing speaks to the self-repudiation of Barack Obama’s “politics of inclusion,” “hope and change,” or “we’re in this together” more tellingly than that. Harry has substantially lowered the bar of public discourse. And most Democrats are more than willing to stoop down and join him.
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