The Nation's William Greider says we "desperately need Harry Reid's old-fashioned politics"
Give 'Em Hell, Harry
The Senate majority leader is being portrayed as an awkward duck who doesn't look the part and can't talk it either. Harry Reid, it's true, is given to saying the most inappropriate stuff, opinions that disturb Washington pundits and the third-string political consultants who appear of TV talker shows. They tut-tut and scold. The kinder ones think he must have misspoken. Others insist Democrats should give him the hook and replace Reid with a more responsible leader.
What did the man say? "This war is lost." "The President is in a state of denial." A few years back, Reid shockingly called Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan "one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington."
What do these and other outrageous remarks have in common? They are all true. A political leader who speaks the truth in unambiguous ways is naturally suspect in the capital city. But he ought to become a hero in the hinterland where citizens dwell. People who care need to rally around Harry Reid now and express their feelings because the political establishment is coming after him. White House slime agents are leading the campaign
Reid is being caricatured in ways designed to destroy his legitimacy and influence. If it really tries, the press can accomplish this. Remember how leading newspapers depicted Albert Gore as an egotistical goof back in the 2000 campaign?
Honk if you like Harry Reid. Bloggers, unite and bite back in his behalf. Washington Post columnist David Broder (a friend and former colleague of mine) is the chief tut-tutterer among media influentials. Broder took a truly ugly swipe at Reid in today's Post by comparing him to Alberto Gonzales, the "dead man walking" attorney general.
3. I think Hillary did defend Harry Reid and Biden deflected saying "this is not win or lose."
Williams only asked two candidates about Senator Reid's comment--Clinton and Biden.
MR. WILLIAMS: And let's now begin the questioning. Senator Clinton, your party's leader in the United States Senate, Harry Reid, recently said, "The war in Iraq is lost." A letter to today's USA Today calls his comments "treasonous," and says, "If General Patton were alive today, Patton would wipe his boots with Senator Reid." Do you agree with the position of your leader in the Senate?
SEN. CLINTON: Well, Brian, at the outset let me say that the American people have spoken, the Congress has voted, as of today, to end this war. And now we can only hope that the president will listen. I'm very proud of the Congress, under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid, for putting together a piece of legislation which says we will fund our troops and protect them, we will limit the number of days that they can be deployed, and we will start to bring them home. And I think that is exactly what the American people want. This is not America's war to win or lose. We have given the Iraqi people the chance to have freedom, to have their own country. It is up to them to decide whether or not they're going to take that chance. And it is past time for them to demonstrate that they are willing to make the sacrifice, the compromise that is necessary to put together a unified government and provide security and stability without our young men and women in the middle of their sectarian war.
MR. WILLIAMS: Senator, time. Thank you very much.
Senator Biden, same question to you, which is, do you agree with Senator Reid that the war is lost?
SEN. BIDEN: Look, Brian, this is not a game show. You know, this is not a football game. This is not win or lose. The fact of the matter is that the president has a fundamentally flawed policy. It's based upon the notion to be able to set up a strong central government in Baghdad that will be democratic. And the real question is, are we going to be able to leave Iraq, get our troops out and leave behind something other than chaos? In order to do that, the president should start off by not vetoing the language which -- which we just -- he says he's going to veto -- we just passed today, saying begin to draw down American troops right now, and move toward a political solution. Look, there's only one way. You got to change the fundamental premise of this engagement, and that is, you got to decentralize Iraq, you got to give the regions control over their own destiny, give them control over their own police forces, their own identity, and have a limited central government and share their oil wealth.The president better get on the game plan here, or he is just going to drag this out to the point where we're -- it's not recognizable.
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