Politics

Harry and Howard: Hack Brothers

Compiled by Chris Evans and Mitch Evans

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) is following closely the demagogic style of his defeated predecessor, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D.-S.D.), who pretended he wanted bipartisanship while acting mostly like a partisan political hack.

In January, on Inauguration Day, Reid pretended he wanted to raise the tone of debate in Washington, D.C., and help President Bush find bipartisan consensus on important issues.

“It is my sincerest hope that today will usher in a new beginning in Washington—that partisan rancor and squabbling will now give way to a spirit of bipartisanship,” Reid said in response to the President’s inaugural address.  “We did not get the much promised new tone in Washington over the last four years, but that does not mean it cannot change now. And I hope it does. This country needs some unification. We have been divided far too long.”

But take a look at Reid’s rhetoric both before and after the inauguration—as well as the similar rhetoric of Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean—and you will discover that the top legislative and political officers of the Democratic Party are anything but bipartisan.  This is not even an election year, yet Harry and Howard have managed to bring the level of policy and political debate to new, sophomoric lows.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid

On President Bush in 2002 during the Yucca Mountain debate…
“President Bush is a liar.  He betrayed Nevada and he betrayed the country.” —Las Vegas Sun, March 5, 2002.

On President Bush in 2005…
“I think this guy is a loser.  I think President Bush is doing a bad job.” —Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 7, 2005.

On shutting down the Senate in the wake of the filibuster debate…
“If they, for whatever reason, decide to do this, it’s not only wrong, they will rue the day they did it, because we will do whatever we can do to strike back.  I know procedures around here. And I know that there will still be Senate business conducted.  But I will, for lack of a better word, screw things up.” —The Washington Post, Dec. 13, 2004.

“President Bush will get nothing done that he wants.” —Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 7, 2005.

On Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan…
“I’m not a big Greenspan fan—Alan Greenspan fan.  I voted against him the last two times.  I think he’s one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington.” —CNN’s “Inside Politics,” March 3, 2005.

On Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas…
“I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.  I think that his opinions are poorly written.  I just don’t think that he has done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.” —NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Dec. 5, 2004.

On U.S. appeals court nominee Janice Rogers Brown, who is black…
“She is a woman who wants to take us back to the Civil War days.” —Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 7, 2005.

On the confidential FBI file of a U.S. appeals court nominee…
“Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway. …  All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there.” —Speech on Senate floor, May 12, 2005.

 

DNC Chairman Howard Dean

On hating Republicans…
“I hate Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire the discipline in their organization.” —The Washington Post, Jan. 30, 2005.

“They all behave the same. They all look the same. It’s pretty much a white Christian party.” —Speech in San Francisco, June 7, 2005.

On the contest between Democrats and Republicans…
“This is a struggle of good and evil, and we’re the good.” —Speech in Kansas City, Feb. 5, 2005.

On Republicans and their livelihoods…
“You think that people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever, and get home and then have a—still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote?  Well, Republicans, I guess can do that, because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives.” —Remarks at Take Back America conference, June 2, 2005.

On House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner’s REAL ID Act, preventing states from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens…
“[T]hey [Republicans] are attacking immigrants:  Two Republican congressmen, Jim Sensenbrenner and Tom Tancredo, have incredible anti-immigrant legislation.” —NBC’s “Today Show,” June 8, 2005.

On House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has never been charged with committing any crime…
“I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence down there.” —Massachusetts Democratic Convention, May 14, 2005.

On why ‘moderate Republicans can’t stand’ conservatives…
“Moderate Republicans can’t stand these people, conservatives, because they’re intolerant.  They don’t think tolerance is a virtue. …  I’m not going to have these right-wingers throw away our right to be tolerant.” —CNN’s “Inside Politics,” Feb. 28, 2005.

In denial about the 2000, 2002 and 2004 election results…
“The majority is on our side.  We need to figure out how to talk differently about the issues.” —Speech in Toronto, March 19, 2005.


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