Harry Reid: The Man Who Would Be Majority Leader

Were Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) to become majority leader after the November election, he would fall naturally into a line of bitterly partisan and decidedly left-wing Democratic leaders running back through Tom Daschle (S.D.), George Mitchell (Maine) to Robert Byrd (W.Va.).

Like Daschle before him, Reid is a Western Democrat who came to his leadership post pretending to represent the “moderate” wing of the Democratic Party. Some Democrats hoped he would help improve their party’s image in Red States, where their support has been eroding since the 1960s.

In December 2004, after he became minority leader, Reid appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where host Tim Russert confronted him with something he said in 1994, when the Democrats lost both houses of Congress: “We all have to swallow a little bit of our pride and go toward the middle.”

“Is that still your advice to the Democrats?” asked Russert.

“I think there’s no question about it,” said Reid. “I feel no differently than I did 10 years ago.”

Like Daschle, however, Reid has been a doctrinaire liberal as Democratic leader, embracing views indistinguishable from those of Massachusetts liberals Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry.

He has led the filibuster of constitutionalist judges, opposed all tax cuts with class-war rhetoric, pushed the environmentalist agenda on issues such as oil-drilling in Alaska and global warming, worked to maintain the legality of abortion and opposed the federal marriage amendment.

If he becomes majority leader and controls the Senate agenda, he will block confirmation of every conservative nominated for a federal appellate court and all conservative legislation. The Bush tax cuts will expire, and the Supreme Court will retain a 5-4 liberal majority.

Harry Reid in His Own Words

“We killed the Patriot Act.”

—Political rally,
December 16, 2005

Harry Reid: “Well, I have been through one impeachment proceeding already during my tenure in the Senate. It wasn’t real pleasant. And I think it has to be a last resort. And I’m not at that last resort yet.”

Wolf Blitzer: “But you’re not ruling that out? Is that what you’re saying?”

Reid: “I’m not ruling anything out.”

—CNN’s “Situation Room,”
March 22, 2006

“Now, many policies cover Viagra, but not prescription contraceptives, and that’s wrong. This agenda will change that.”

—Speech on Democrats’ “American Values
Agenda,” July 31, 2006

“We cannot tell those who have come to America escaping torture and abuse, that Judge Gonzalez is ‘one of us’ and then turn a blind eye to the torture policies that he helped shape.”

—Press release,
Feb. 2, 2005

“Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the President’s approaching this in the right fashion.”

Sept. 18, 2002

“The Bush Administration manipulated and cherry-picked intelligence to hype the threat.”

—Press release,
Nov. 15, 2005

“I think this guy [President Bush] is a loser.”

—Speaking at Del Sol High School,
Las Vegas, Nev., May 6, 2005

“But maybe most of all, the Bush plan isn’t really Social Security reform. It’s more like Social Security roulette.”

—Democratic Response to 2005 State of the Union
Address, Feb. 2, 2005

“We care about stem-cell research, which the President vetoed. That could be a No. 1 issue.”

—Senate floor,
Aug. 1, 2006

“[Republicans] are more than willing to debate pet issues of the far right, such as the definition of marriage, afraid, I guess, of angering their White House or political base by investigating and taking action on global warming.”

—Senate floor,
July 10, 2006

“They chose millionaires and billionaires over the middle class. For five years, the Republican majority has handed out billions of dollars in tax breaks and perks to the wealthy elite at the expense of everyone else.”

—Senate floor,
May 11, 2006

“Let’s not sugarcoat the truth. The nomination of Harriet Miers was derailed by the overwhelming opposition of the extreme right wing. They campaigned against her, they ran paid advertising against her, and they finally succeeded in having the President cave in to these radical right wing activists. They succeeded in defeating her nomination even before this fine woman was afforded an opportunity to make her case to the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

—Senate floor,
Nov. 16, 2005

A Far-Left Democrat

Here are some highlights from the far-left voting record of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.).

2001 Bush Income Tax Cuts AGAINST H.R.1836 Vote #170 05/26/2001
Extending Bush Income
Tax Cuts
AGAINST S.2020 Vote #347 11/18/2005
Abolishing the Death Tax AGAINST H.R.5970 Vote #229 08/03/2006
The Patriot Act AGAINST H.R. 3199 Vote #358 12/16/2005
Criminal Penalties for
the Unlawful Acquisition,
Transfer or Use of WMD
AGAINST S.495 Vote #45 04/17/1997
National Missile Defense AGAINST S.1635 Vote #157 06/04/1996
370-mile Fence on the
Southwest Border
AGAINST H.R. 5441 Vote #200 07/13/2006
Social Security Benefits
for Illegal Aliens
FOR S.2611 Vote #130 05/18/2006
English as the National
AGAINST S.2611 Vote #131 05/18/2006
Abortions on Military
FOR S.2549 Vote #134 06/20/2000
Funding Abortions Overseas FOR S.2514 Vote #160 06/21/2002
Overturning Roe v. Wade AGAINST S.1692 Vote #337 10/21/1999
Funding of Research that
Kills Human Embryos
FOR H.R. 810 Vote #206 07/18/2006
Brady Gun Control Bill FOR H.R. 1025 Vote #394 11/20/1993
Personal Retirement Accounts AGAINST S.CON.
RES. 86
Vote #56 04/01/1998
Balanced Budget Amendment AGAINST H.J.RES. 1 Vote #98 03/02/1995
Confirmation of Justice
Samuel Alito
AGAINST PN 1059 Vote #2 01/31/2006
Confirmation of Chief Justice
John Roberts
AGAINST PN 801 Vote #245 09/25/2005
Filibuster of Appellate-Court
Nominee Miguel Estrada
FOR PN6-108 Vote #40 03/06/2003
Filibuster of Appellate-Court
Nominee Janice Rogers Brown
FOR PN 194 Vote #130 05/25/2005
Oil Exploration in ANWR AGAINST S.CON.
Vote #59 03/19/2003
7.5 Cents Per Gallon Gas Tax FOR S.CON.
Vote #40 03/18/1993
Federal Marriage Amendment AGAINST S.J.
Vote #155 07/14/2004
McCain-Feingold Campaign
Finance Reform
FOR H.R. 2356 Vote #54 03/20/2002
Filibustering John Bolton
for UN Ambassador
FOR PN 326 Vote #142 06/20/2005