The Corner

Harry Reid Didn’t Do It Alone

In response to Watch Cspan2

I do not wish to unburden Harry Reid of his many sins, but, to follow up on Charlie’s post and on our scathing (and entirely apposite) editorial, two additional indictments are in order.

First, as Charlie notes, Reid happily eschewed the strictures of process whenever it proved expedient, doing much in the process to diminish the illustrious body of which he was part. But, of course, he did not do so singlehandedly. He was able to wreak endless havoc because he had the backing of his party. It would be nice to think that most Democrats held their noses while voting for Reid, but it simply was not so. He served six years as his party’s whip, and will retire having served 12 years as his party’s leader in the Senate. The disreputable methods, the scorched-earth tactics — all was done with the approval of Senate Democrats. Perhaps Reid started that train of abuses and usurpations moving, but eventually his caucus hopped aboard. If he was avant-garde at the beginning, he is now simply the avatar of most of his party’s elected leadership.

The second indictment is more sweeping. As the editors note, for years Harry Reid has played double-dutch with every legal line he comes to — and the result has been political effectiveness and personal enrichment. Recognizing that Reid is not the first to live comfortably off corruption, and recognizing also that he will not be the last, is it not still an indictment of Washington that so filthy a character can live such a long, happy, and successful political life?

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