Harry Reid’s Mendacity

As I’ve previouisly blogged, Harry Reid set up the “don’t ask, don’t tell” pre-election vote to fail. By refusing to allow a full debate, he ensure united GOP opposition, even though GOP senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Richard Lugar (Ind.) have indicated they would otherwise have voted for repeal, thus denying the GOP its filibuster. GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), John Ensign (Nev.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), among others, are also mentioned as obtainable votes against filibuster and for repeal.

As Kimberly A Strassel writes in the Wall Street Journal (full column only available to wsj subscribers):

If Democrats leave town with few or no final victories to tout—if they fail even to protect Americans from tax hikes—they can thank their Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. It was Mr. Reid’s flawed pre-election strategy that landed his party with this undercooked fowl, and his post-election floundering has even his own members worried.

You wouldn’t know this from listening to Mr. Reid, who has laid out a lame-duck agenda that bears no connection to time, reality or election results. According to the Nevadan, Senate Democrats are going to confirm judges, rewrite immigration law, extend unemployment insurance, fix the issue of gays in the military, reorganize the FDA, forestall tax hikes, re-fund the government, and ratify a nuclear arms treaty—all in two, maybe three, weeks. This is the same institution that needs a month to rename a post office.

This legislative pileup is what happens when a majority leader chooses to hijack the Senate—to use it not on behalf of the country, but on behalf of a midterm campaign. The first part of Mr. Reid’s strategy was to introduce legislation specifically designed to rev up a liberal base for the midterm vote. To pep up gay rights activists, the majority leader promised legislation to change the military’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy. To inspire Latino midterm voters, he also embraced the Dream Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for some immigrants.

Part two of Mr. Reid’s strategy: Make sure nothing, including these highlighted bills, then passed. Much of today’s unfinished business is legislation that could have earned GOP support. But the majority leader deliberately included poison pills that would cause Republicans to balk. The entire goal was to tag Republicans with obstructionism, turning off average voters and further inspiring the base.

The strategy didn’t work, and by putting politics above all else, we’re likely to pay the price for a long time indeed.

11 Comments for “Harry Reid’s Mendacity”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    I’ve heard several explanations for this lame duck agenda. They all kinda make sense, except that the alternative (hey, we got screwed anyway, let’s get some work done) makes a lot more sense.

    I don’t care. I think they should just do nothing.

  2. posted by BobN on

    Really? The WSJ editorial pages for “analysis”?

  3. posted by Bucky on

    I agree BobN. Ridiculous to use the WSJ editors for advice. Their advice to Dems is always the same — be more like Republicans.

    My favorite line from the article was “the entire goal was to tag Republicans with obstructionism, turning off average voters and further inspiring the base.”

    There is no need to “tag Republican with obstructionism.” That was in FACT their stated goal. They repeatedly said from day one of after Obama’s election that their plan was to any Obama administration success to make him a one-term president. And then they consistently voted as a bloc on any Dem proposal, even those that they supported. Tax cuts for small business? Hell NO!

    And as for Reid’s actions being geared to inspiring the base??? His tenure has been all about moving to the center. The base is completely disgusted with him.

    What effing drivel.

    • posted by Michigan-Matt on

      Bucky, I agree; your comments are effing drivel.

      The GOP, you allege, started out on Day 1 of the O’s Admin trying to make him a 1 term wonder? Like Carter was?

      Gee, I recall that the Great O told the GOP to come up with some “cuts” to match his brilliant, forward-thinking and innovative call for $100m in Cabinet cuts with the line of “We won, we get to decide.”

      When asked to improve the proposed fed budget, the GOP House leadership came up with a laundry list of ideas and the Great O said “Elections have consequences” and dismissed their ideas out of hand. He did it again in the failed Health Care Summit –maybe Barry should have had Roosevelt’s lucky cigarette holder on him for that one? Afterall, it got Stalin to divide up Europe… ObamaCare was no worse an outcome.

      When Tex Gov Perry wanted to provide the Great O with proof that immigration was a threat to Texas citizens’ safety, the Great O wouldn’t even take the letter from Perry’s hand.

      When AZ Gov Brewer took the Great O to the woodshed, the Great O promised the sun, moon and stars (lying again) and has reneged on his promise to help AZ thwart drug and illegal immigration threats.

      The GOP has been working with the Great O up until the point, 2 years later, that they finally decided enough was enough of O’s lying, deceit and empty beer summits of bipartisanship photo-ops.

      That’s when Mitch McConnell said it was time to make the Great O a one term failure.

      With Obama’s help, it just might come true. Allah be praised.

  4. posted by Jorge on

    And as for Reid’s actions being geared to inspiring the base??? His tenure has been all about moving to the center. The base is completely disgusted with him.

    Pretty much the weakness in the above analysis. For it to make sense, one has to credit Reid with ineptness.

    Not that difficult from where I’m standing. How has his tenure been about moving to the center?

    • posted by Michigan-Matt on

      How has Obama’s record been about “moving to the center”? Well, in the land of the farLeft loons here, Obama moved to the center when he refused to arrest Cheney and Bush and frog-march them to the Hague for crimes against humanity.

      Obama moved to the center when he didn’t immediately withdraw all troops from Iraq and the Middle East.

      Obama moved to the center when he didn’t stand tall and force a Public Option onto HC.

      Obama moved to the center when he didn’t call for impeachment trials of the sitting SCOTUS justices for their crime in reversing the Peoples Mandate for Gore and Global Warming in 2000 –you know, the “stolen” election.

      And Obama moved to the center when he failed to release the Gitmo detainees, bring em to NY, give a college education, housing, food stamps and maybe a reparations bonus with an apology for unjust incarceration.

      To the farLeft loons, Obama has always been a moderate moving to the center. To the rest of America, he’s a solid socialist. That’s why his Party got thumped on E-Day 2010.

      But to the farLeft loons, E-Day 2010 losses were about purging the Left of moderates… kind of sounds like the 1980s soc cons and the GOP RINOs, no?

  5. posted by avee on

    This idea that Reid, and Obama, are really “centrists” and not left-progressives seeking ever-expanding goverment control over, well, everything, comes straight out of the Daily Kos/Moveon.org/MSNBC propoganda mill. It’s ludicrous.

  6. posted by Jorge on

    It’s probably a conclusion based on Nancy Pelosi’s strong leadership on the one hand and angry dissatisfaction at failures in the Senate. Pelosi has a reputation of being very liberal, and the House Democratic conference has been more liberal than the Senate’s.

    BobN, as I recall, usually concludes that uniform Republican obstructionism in the Senate is responsible for most Senate failures and moderating influences among Senate Democrats.

    They’re only two of many alternating explanations that are optimistic about the chances of future success if only the left were more militant or effective. Remember Obama’s statements that the reason his policies are unpopular because he didn’t communicate well enough or something? Or because people are scared or not paying attention? In other words, the propaganda machine, if there is one, isn’t doing too well.

    • posted by Jorge on

      Let me clarify. I mean that it can’t make up its mind what to say, doesn’t seem to understand what’s really happening or how to explain it.

  7. posted by Carl on

    I can’t imagine DADT passing even if Harry Reid were more interested in the effort. There are too many gutless Democrats in the Senate and too many Republicans who will find an excuse to vote with the anti-gay agenda, especially if they feel they will be punished by their party if they don’t. McCain has been there every step of the way helping guide opposition to any aspect of DADT repeal — now that a survey has come out saying 70% of those in the military would be fine with it, we will hear a reason why that isn’t valid either.

    There are so many reasons why neither party will repeal DADT. And they are lucky, because their partisans will find reasons to excuse them and blame someone else. Gay activists, Reid, McCain, will all get some form of blame or another, as a shell game to hide the lack of interest anyone actually has in allowing gays to serve openly in the military. In the end it will likely turn into another version of, “Just wait, ____ poll says it will happen eventually,” and, “If gays are nice enough and remember not to be so…everything…it will happen at some point, really, we swear.”

  8. posted by Carl on

    Now both Sens. McCain and Lindsey Graham are giving the talking points that the military has no need for a DADT repeal and that the soldiers are doing fine.


    When this repeal fails, it’s going to be based on a lot of Republicans in the Senate who genuinely support this ban, not just some sort of issue with Harry Reid. Considering that these two senators have both been lauded by the media over the years as being moderate, sensible, et al, my guess is that they will manage to convince a lot of other senators, not to mention some of the public, that DADT is great, and the Democrats will happily let the issue die.

    And of course Democrats generally have no time for us.


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