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.”
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.”
March 22, 2006
“Now, many policies cover Viagra, but not prescription contraceptives, and that’s wrong. This agenda will change that.”
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.”
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.”
Nov. 15, 2005
“I think this guy [President Bush] is a loser.”
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.”
Address, Feb. 2, 2005
“We care about stem-cell research, which the President vetoed. That could be a No. 1 issue.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
|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
|National Missile Defense||AGAINST||S.1635||Vote #157||06/04/1996|
| 370-mile Fence on the
|AGAINST||H.R. 5441||Vote #200||07/13/2006|
| Social Security Benefits
for Illegal Aliens
| English as the National
| Abortions on Military
|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.
|Balanced Budget Amendment||AGAINST||H.J.RES. 1||Vote #98||03/02/1995|
| Confirmation of Justice
|AGAINST||PN 1059||Vote #2||01/31/2006|
| Confirmation of Chief Justice
|AGAINST||PN 801||Vote #245||09/25/2005|
| Filibuster of Appellate-Court
Nominee Miguel Estrada
| Filibuster of Appellate-Court
Nominee Janice Rogers Brown
|FOR||PN 194||Vote #130||05/25/2005|
|Oil Exploration in ANWR||AGAINST|| S.CON.
|7.5 Cents Per Gallon Gas Tax||FOR|| S.CON.
|Federal Marriage Amendment||AGAINST|| S.J.
| McCain-Feingold Campaign
|FOR||H.R. 2356||Vote #54||03/20/2002|
| Filibustering John Bolton
for UN Ambassador
|FOR||PN 326||Vote #142||06/20/2005|