Tag Archives: Harry Reid

Democrats need to heed the words of ex-Sen. Reid

Harry Reid no longer leads the U.S. Senate Democratic caucus. However, he remains a voice of wisdom earned through all his years of waging partisan battles against those on the other side of the aisle.

His latest nugget comes in the form of warning to Democrats who are facing off against Donald J. Trump: Do not take the Republican president lightly, says Reid, who adds that while Trump might not be an intellectual heavyweight, he is still a “smart man.”

Yes, Trump is in trouble politically. He is facing a near certain impeachment by the House of Representatives over allegations of abuse of power and his seeking foreign government help in bringing down Joe Biden, a potential 2020 campaign opponent.

Reid, though, believes Trump will be a difficult foe to beat in 2020 because he plays rough and tough and is willing to say anything about anyone as long as it plays well to his political base. He fires ’em up.

As Reid told David Axelrod on CNN: “I used to think that Donald Trump was not too smart. I certainly don’t believe that anymore. No matter what the subject, any argument he involves himself in, it’s on his terms.

So it should go as the 2020 presidential campaign ramps up. Democrats will have their hands full trying to defeat this individual.

I concur with Sen. Reid. Trump isn’t an intellectual titan, despite his empty and idiotic boasts about being a “stable genius.” He is cunning, cagey … and ruthless in the extreme. 

Donald Trump also needs to be kicked out of the Oval Office.

Time to admit real reason Hillary lost


Harry Reid isn’t long for the U.S. Senate. He’s retiring in a few weeks from his role as Democratic leader, but he’s going out with a bang.

I believe it’s time that Reid and his fellow Democrats realize what some of us out here — yours truly included — are beginning to understand.

Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the presidential election because Donald J. Trump outhustled her in the waning days of a bitter campaign. FBI Director James Comey’s 11th-hour letter to Congress declaring he was looking into more e-mails might have had some effect on the outcome. However, I do not believe he fired the kill shot at her campaign. Reid blames Comey almost entirely for Clinton’s loss.


Trump took the fight to Clinton in those so-called “swing states” and grabbed them from Clinton’s column. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan should have voted for Clinton. Voters there went the other way because she didn’t pay enough attention to them at the end of the campaign.

It’s called “retail politics,” which describes how candidates show up to shake hands, kiss babies, eat rotten “food” at fairgrounds. In other words, voters like to believe the candidate feels for them.

She didn’t do that.

As for Trump, well, he had those yuuuuge rallies that got all kinds of air time and newspaper print space.

Does any of this mean the better person won the presidency this past month? It only means the better candidate did.

I will not accept that Trump is suited temperamentally — or any other way, for that matter — for the office he is about to assume. However, I am willing to accept that he and his campaign team outsmarted their opponents down the stretch.

Trump, therefore, delivered the final shock to many of us in a campaign full of shocking moments.

Sen. Cotton clams up on Trump


Tom Cotton is a combative freshman Republican U.S. senator from Arkansas who’s proven to be unafraid to speak his mind on just about anything … or anyone.

But when he was asked to make the case for Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States, Sen. Cotton turned strangely quiet.

It’s up to Trump, he said, to make his own case.


What gives? This is the young man — an Iraq War veteran — who recently called Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid all kinds of names while condemning his leadership in the upper legislative chamber.

This looks to me like another case of Republican officials finding it hard to articulate why they support the presumptive presidential nominee of their own party.

Cotton’s  demurring on that today exemplifies the concern that Trump should be feeling as his nomination draws near.

The way I see it, candidates need vocal and articulate surrogates to speak for them. Whether they’re running for president or county commissioner, candidates depend on the good will of others to push them forward.

Trump keeps trashing not only the Democrats who, naturally, are going oppose him but also Republicans who are reluctant to chime in with words of encouragement.

What did Trump say recently? Line up behind me or just “be quiet.”

Cotton has endorsed Trump. He’s being “quiet,” though, on explaining his reasons for the endorsement.

With a ‘friend’ like this …


I am acutely aware that politicians toss the word “friend” far too loosely.

It’s abundantly true on Capitol Hill or perhaps in state capitols across the land, where politicians debate each other on the legislative floors, referring occasionally to their “friends on the other side of the aisle.”

Have you heard Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid refer to each other as “my friend”? C’mon, dudes. Give me a break!

Well, the “friend” reference comes up now with Sen. John McCain backtracking on a statement about his former Senate “friend,” Barack H. Obama. He said that the president was “directly responsible” for the slaughter this past weekend in Orlando, Fla. He took that initial statement back — sort of — by saying it is the president’s decision to pull combat troops out of Iraq that gave rise to the Islamic State, to which the gunman reportedly pledged allegiance before opening fire in the nightclub.

I truly had thought in my heart of hearts that McCain and Obama actually were friends before they ended up running against each other for the presidency in 2008.

Do you remember the incident at a McCain town hall forum that year when an audience member questioned whether Sen. Obama was actually an “American,” and whether he was constitutionally qualified to run for president? McCain cut her off, defending his “friend” as a “fine American” and a “patriot”?

These “friendships” — if that’s what they are — seem so tenuous and fragile in the heat of political battle, which makes me wonder why these pols use the term so loosely in the first place.

You want transparency? Most of us can see right through such declarations of friendship.


Tell us what you really think, Sen. Cotton


I will tell you up front I’m not fond of the tone of Sen. Tom Cotton’s critique of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s leadership.

But the freshman Arkansas Republican does make a tremendous point about the hypocrisy that abounds in the U.S. Senate in general and of the hypocrisy he said that Reid has demonstrated.

Cotton made a speech this week in which he condemned Reid’s “cancerous leadership” and wondered out loud how Reid could suggest that a defense bill was being shoved down the throats of senators after he had helped push through the Affordable Care Act — also in the middle of the night.

Check out the video of Cotton’s floor speech. It’s a stem winder.


According to Cotton, Reid has said senators haven’t had time to read the bill. Cotton also noted that many senators didn’t read the ACA, either, before approving it on a “party-line vote.”

“I’m forced to listen to the bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the minority leader,” Cotton said. “Normally, like every other American, I ignore them. I can’t ignore them today. . . . When was the last time the minority leader read a bill? It was probably an electricity bill.”

I have to agree with Cotton’s assessment of Reid’s effort to resist the defense bill.

Reid, who’s retiring from the Senate at the end of the year, at times has not distinguished himself while leading the Senate’s Democratic caucus. Although the junior senator from Arkansas’s tone was overly harsh — in my humble view — he does hit the bulls-eye in calling out the hypocrisy he finds in the minority leader’s leadership.

Sen. Cotton surely won’t aim his fire with nearly the precision he needs at those within his own caucus. I’m also quite certain his opponents on the other side of the Senate chamber will provide adequate response.


A major battle now looms

chapman.0830 - 08/29/05 - A Supreme Court headed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has questions for Chapman University Law School professor John Eastman as he and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer argue the 1905 ''Lochner v. State of New York'' case during a re-enactment Monday afternoon at Chapman University. (Credit: Mark Avery/Orange County Register/ZUMA Press)

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death today has stunned the nation.

As President Obama said this evening, the 30-year member of the nation’s highest court was one of the “most consequential” legal minds of our time.

The president now faces arguably the “most consequential” appointment of his time in office.

To say that Justice Scalia’s passing upsets the ideological balance of the highest court would commit the supreme understatement.

And, oh yes, the partisan divide opened wide immediately upon news of Scalia’s death. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said the Senate should wait until after Barack Obama leaves office to vote on a replacement; meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, wants the Senate to act quickly.

Who could have seen that coming?

The president said he’ll make the appointment “in due time.” He wants a thorough, fair hearing and a “timely vote.” As the president — lame duck nor not — Barack Obama deserves the chance to nominate someone of his choosing.

Indeed, the appointment coming from a left-of-center president to fill a vacancy created by the death of a right-of-center Supreme Court justice sets up a huge battle that likely will dwarf any of the many fights Barack Obama has waged already with the U.S. Senate.

The court’s narrow balance has just been shaken to its very foundation.


Reid weighs in on Rubio’s (lack of) attendance

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland March 14, 2013. Two senators seen as possible candidates for the 2016 presidential election will address a conservative conference where Republicans will try to regroup on Thursday after their bruising election loss last year.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3EZQO

Is it really and truly the business of the Senate minority leader to comment on the attendance record of one of his colleagues?

Well, yes it is.

Harry Reid is a Nevada Democrat; Marco Rubio is a Florida Republican. Reid said this week that Rubio ought to quit his Senate seat if he’s going to keep running for president of the United States.

Why does it matter to Reid?

Well, it matters to Reid because it ought to matter to all Americans. Senator are federal employees. They get paid $174,000 annually from the federal Treasury, into which we all contribute with our tax money.

Rubio has indicated he doesn’t much like serving in the Senate. It’s too, um, tedious for the young man. He wants to become the Leader of the Free World, to make things happen in a hurry. He’s not seeking re-election to the Senate in 2016.

Reid’s call is on point, as Rubio keep racking up no-shows on Senate votes.

A newspaper in Rubio’s home state, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, has called on Rubio to quit. He’s ripping off the state’s taxpayers and his constituents, the Sun-Sentinel said. And this is a paper that endorsed Rubio when he ran for the office in 2010.

Let’s be clear: Rubio isn’t the first rookie senator to take a pass on doing his day job while looking for a better-paying public service gig. Sen. Barack Obama did the same thing in 2007-2008 when he ran for president. Should he have quit his Senate seat when he ran for the White House? Yeah, probably. But that’s all water over the dam now.

What’s on the table now is whether Marco Rubio should keep collecting that fat — taxpayer-subsidized — salary without doing much of the work that’s required of him.

Hit the road, Sen. Rubio. Campaign for president all you want, but do it on your own time … not ours.


Cruz launches missile toward majority leader

Let’s see, Ted Cruz has been a U.S. senator for a little more than two years.

He’s a rookie, still serving his first term; he’s not even halfway through his first term, in fact.

So what does the Texas Republican do? Rather than adhere to the Senate’s rather strict rules of decorum regarding besmirching fellow senators’ reputation — let alone that of the majority leader — he calls the Man of the Senate a liar. In public. In a floor speech.


Oh, boy. Now he’s done it.

Cruz is running for the Republican presidential nomination. But he took some time this week to accuse Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of going back on his word regarding legislating involving the Export-Import Bank, which Cruz wants to see abolished.

“We know now that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment, that he is willing to say things that he knows are false,” Cruz, said. “That has consequences for how this body operates.”

What’s the issue? McConnell inserted some amendments into a transportation funding bill that included reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. It angered Cruz, who said McConnell had vowed that wouldn’t happen. But it did. Cruz then accused the majority leader of running the place the same way that Democrat Harry Reid did when he was majority leader.

The Senate rules can be a bit tedious. But they’re pretty clear about a few things. One of them is how senators should talk about fellow senators in public.

Rule XIX says this: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

Is that clear enough? It is to me. Does the Cruz Missile know about that rule? Well, he surely does now.

This is the kind of thing that a lot of veteran senators have implied that they dislike about many of the new folks who take office in the “world’s greatest deliberative body.” They don’t respect the rules of the institution.

And yet, Cruz continues to flout them — to a rousing ovation of those who like the young man’s brashness.

He mentioned his understanding of “how this body operates.” Memo to Ted: It’s a pretty hidebound place. My guess is that there’ll be some hell to pay for the manner in which he called down the Senate’s main man.

Reid to go 'nuclear' on Lynch nomination?

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is a lame-duck Democrat in a body controlled by Republicans.

He’s not going back into private life without a fight. He’s picked a doozy to wage with his GOP colleagues.

Frankly, it’s a fight worth having.


Reid wants to force the Senate to vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the nation’s next attorney general. She’s been waiting seemingly since The Flood to get a vote by the full Senate, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell keeps digging in, resisting the vote for this reason and that reason — none of which has any bearing on Lynch’s qualifications for the job to which she’s been nominated by President Obama.

She is highly qualified. She has deserved a full vote since the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended her appointment.

McConnell, though, is holding her hostage to other legislation.

Reid’s role as minority leader is supposed to put him in a subordinate capacity. However, he said this week that if he gets 51 senators to sign on, he can call for a full Senate vote and circumvent the authority reserved customarily for the majority leader.

He’s going to enrage McConnell if he manages to schedule the vote. A majority of senators already has said they plan to confirm Lynch as AG. The trick, then, is to get a majority to agree simply to a vote.

Lynch would succeed Eric Holder at Justice. Republicans already detest Holder. Every day Lynch is delayed from taking her job is a day that Holder remains at his post. Why in the world, if you’re a Senate Republican, do you want to keep someone on the job that you cannot stand?

Senate protocol and decorum are supposed to inviolable. A lot of it has been tossed aside in recent years as the parties have fought tooth-and-nail with each other. Democrats changed the filibuster rules in the previous Congress. And just recently, a group of Republicans sent a letter to the Iranian mullahs telling them the nuclear deal worked out could be tossed aside when the next president takes office in January 2017.

Decorum? Protocol? It’s gone, mostly.

Harry Reid’s set to play some hardball. If it gets Loretta Lynch confirmed as the next attorney general, well, let him throw the first pitch.


Schumer headed for minority leader role

Harry Reid apparently has anointed Chuck Schumer as his successor as the leader of U.S. Senate Democrats.

Oh, that’s just great!

Reid, D-Nev., announced he won’t seek re-election next year. Schumer, D-N.Y., mounted a quick campaign to succeed Reid. It worked.


It’s not that Schumer is going to be bad for Senate Democrats, or even bad for the country. It’s just that Schumer some years ago inherited a dubious distinction from another senator who decided to retire. The distinction is being identified as part of the “most dangerous place in the world.”

It used to be said of Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, that the “most dangerous place in the world is between Gramm and a television camera.” Gramm left the Senate and handed that unofficial title over to Schumer.

Harry Reid has been called a lot of things; some of them are kind, others are not, depending on who’s saying them. “Camera friendly” isn’t really one of them. He speaks quietly and isn’t known to be a media hog. One cannot say that about Schumer, who’s as garrulous as they come.

Once he becomes leader of the Senate Democrats in 2017 — either as minority leader or majority leader, depending on whether Democrats retake control of the Senate in 2016 — he’s going to be everywhere. Probably at once.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough said on “Meet the Press” this morning that that he believes Schumer will be a far greater constructive force as Democratic leader than Reid. Scarborough is more of an expert on these matters than a lot of folks. I hope he’s right.

However, we’d better get ready to see a lot of Democratic leader Schumer on our TV screens in the years ahead.