Friday, November 4, 2005

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), United States Senate Minority Leader

I loved Tom Daschle. That is no surprise to anyone who knows me or was in high school with me when learning about the twenty-fifth amendment I contemplated what kind of catastrophe would have to occur to thrust Senator Daschle into the oval office. Yes, I loved him that much. I say loved in the past tense for two reasons: 1) Where are you Mr. Daschle and why aren't you fighting for your place in the Senate? and 2) Harry Reid has finally proven himself...to me at least.

For the record, this is the first time since Daschle was unseated that I have called Harry Reid by his title. This is the first time his title has ever appeared in anything I've written as respectfully as it does in the title of this post. So the story goes, I'm sitting in my apartment, half studying, half watching CSPAN. For a Tuesday that is pretty productive for me. Well, out of nowhere this unassuming, clean cut senator from Nevada, who for many reasons has never been my favorite, stopped looking to me like this spineless grandfather type and took on the persona of a man I've always wanted him to be. Harry Reid isn't this unassuming grandpa, he's the Minority Leader of the United States Senate. It's about damn time he acted like it!

As I sat there listening to the quite calm and collected voice of Harry Reid I began to notice a certain amount of animosity and agitation growing in his demeanor. An amount of energy in him that I never have seen before and a determination that I didn't see leading to Senate Rule 21. Senate Rule 21-- allowance of a closed session of congress. I'm not sure anyone really understands the magnitude of this. It means not even CSPAN is allowed.

In this unbelievably unusual circumstance, the Democrats, mostly out of protest for not being given the intelligence that led us into the war in Iraq, shut down congress. And I'm just sitting there wondering if this was a joke or if Mr. Reid had really spawned a backbone and was finally standing up for something, essentially putting his foot down.

"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really about: how the Administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions." (From Reid's Tuesday floor speech)

And just like that this quiet unassuming man, who never in my eyes could fill the shoes of his predecessor, put it all on the line. His message is, and the first message Sen. Reid has sent that I have supported 100%, Mr. President, leaders of the Republican Party (except for you Mr. DeLay, you seem to be a little busy), and intelligence gatherers everywhere, it's time to lay all the cards down. It's time to come clean with the American public. We want to know why we're in a war in Iraq, a war that we were brought into blindly and with false intelligence.

Yes, it's Friday, three days since I heard Senator Reid invoke the Rule 21 of the United States Senate, but even on Friday it's still worth a moment. Unfortunately until after election day next week the only other moment-worthy items may be some endorsements for the Pocatello City Council races and The West Wing. But...for the first time since Senator Thune took that coveted seat in South Dakota and Senator Harry Reid stepped up to the plate, something from the Minority Leader has been moment-worthy. On a week like this, that's pretty good.

1 comment:

Nick Speth said...

Though it's become the vogue in the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to dislike Senator Reid, I've always been a fan. First, I think that he's somewhat honest, as honest as a senator can be. I think he's a man of principle, and though I often disagree with some of his decisions, I respect him. Second, he's a Utah State alumnus. How can I hate a fellow Aggie?

Okay well I hate a lot of fellow Aggies, but the default is to like them unless I find reason not to.