Larry Elder / January 6, 2022

Harry Reid, Death of a ‘Statesman’? Cue the Laughter

Calling Reid a “statesman” is not the same as calling O.J. Simpson a “grief counselor.” But it’s close.

Former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just died.

New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s website said: “Harry Reid was a statesman.” Rep. Joe Morelle, D-N.Y., tweeted: “America has lost a true statesman with the passing of Harry Reid.” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., tweeted: “Saddened to learn of the passing of Harry Reid — a statesman, a gentleman and a Democratic institution.”

“Statesman”? Where to start?

After voting for the Iraq War, Reid turned against it and attacked President George W. Bush as a “loser” and a “liar.” He later apologized for the “loser” part but kept “liar” intact. Never mind that Colin Powell, Bush’s secretary of state, later admitted that the intel was wrong but insisted no one lied about it. The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward concurred — bad intel, nobody lied. Reid’s defamation gave energy to the disgraceful bogus narrative that became a partisan chant: “Bush lied. People died.” In 2004, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that three out of four Democrats said Bush either lied or exaggerated what his administration knew about Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. This slur remains an article of faith among Democrats.

When informed of Reid’s impending death, former President Barack Obama wrote, “I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support.” And Obama, in a tough 2012 campaign against Republican nominee Sen. Mitt Romney, might well have been defeated but for the baseless, scurrilous lie, during the campaign, that Reid uttered on the floor of the Senate: “So the word is out that (Romney) has not paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t.”

Years later Reid admitted he made the charge with no evidence, but told CNN he had no regrets, adding, “Romney didn’t win, did he?” About this blatant lie, even CNN Politics editor Chris Cillizza wrote in 2015: “This all-means-justify-the-ends logic — assuming the end is your desired one — is absolutely toxic for politics and, more importantly, democracy.” Notably, while politicians on both sides of the aisle praised Reid after his death, including Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Romney said nothing.

Then there’s Reid’s stalwart support for and assistance in passing the constitutionally dubious Obamacare, a crowning achievement for those on the Left who call health care insurance “a right.” For those of us who believe in quaint notions of a limited government, restricted by Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, it was a gigantic leap forward in expanding the welfare state and federal governmental overreach.

Days before Obamacare passed, with Obama promising that it would “bend the cost curve” and that no one would lose his or her health care insurance, the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Newmark excoriated it in a piece headlined, “The Worst Deal of All Time.” After Obamacare passed, FactCheck.org, citing research by the liberal Urban Institute, estimated the number of those losing their health care insurance at 2.6 million, a number other analysts consider far too low. Reid said: “There’s plenty of horror stories being told. All are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.”

Democratic President Harry Truman said, “Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I’ll show you a crook.” About one of Reid’s many ethically dubious, self-enriching Nevada real estate schemes, the liberal Los Angeles Times wrote in 2007: “It is a potential violation of congressional ethics standards for a member to accept anything of value — including a real estate discount — from a person with interest before Congress.” About Reid’s lobbyist sons, whose firms raked in $2 million from “special interests” in need of their dad’s help, the Las Vegas Review Journal in 2010 wrote: “So pervasive are the ties among Reid, members of his family and Nevada’s leading industries and institutions that it’s difficult to find a significant field in which such a relationship does not exist.”

No, calling Reid, a “statesman” is not the same as calling O.J. Simpson, a double murderer who attended the funeral of his butchered-to-death wife, a “grief counselor.” But it’s close.

COPYRIGHT 2022 LAURENCE A. ELDER

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.