Skip to comments.'Dirty Harry' Reid: The art of the smear
Posted on 05/15/2005 6:13:10 AM PDT by hiho hiho
It's been a big week or so for the leader of the Democratic Party in what's been called "the world's greatest deliberative body." Big and ugly.
A week ago last Friday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was participating in a civics discussion at a Nevada school and offered his considered opinion on the president of the United States: "I think this guy is a loser."
Even Reid seemed to realize he had gone too far. The man who's most recent contribution to civil discourse in our great republic was to call Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan "one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington" put out some quick damage-control calls. One was to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the other to Bush adviser Karl Rove.
But before Reid could enroll in a 12-step program for political bottom-dwellers, much less make amends for his undignified remarks to the students, he descended deeper into the sewer. Speaking before the Senate Thursday, the Democratic leader had this to say about Henry Saad, a Michigan Appeals Court judge whom Bush nominated to the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals way back in November 2001: "Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway. All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there."
What was Saad's "problem"? Reid wouldn't say, but that didn't stop him from going before a national audience to announce there was a "problem" in Saad's file.
This must be Reid's idea of the "nuclear option." You know, make an unspecified public charge that the nominee and the nominee's Senate supporters are helpless to defend against. That will teach Saad and the other Bush appeals-court nominees who want a Senate vote on their nominations.
Reid has perfected the art of the smear. Saad has no idea what the Democratic leader is referring to because he doesn't have access to his FBI file, and other senators can't respond because they are forbidden from disclosing the contents of these confidential FBI files. You see, according to Senate rules, "Any Senator, officer, or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees, and offices of the Senate, shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt."
Maybe Reid didn't violate this rule by characterizing the contents of Saad's file, but his peak-a-boo smear is in some ways more insidious. He make a vague charge, and the defenders of the accused cannot defend him by using information in the files.
That's rank injustice enough, but the wickedness of Reid's stunt becomes clearer when you consider what's in these FBI files. The files include the results of interviews with people who know the nominee in some way. They can be family members, business associates, neighbors and best friends, Or disgruntled former employees, love interests and anyone with a ax to grind. It's all there, the good, the bad and the ugly, the true and the untrue. Sometimes the stuff in these files is just raw sewage -- which must make Reid feel at home.
Since Saad was the subject of Reid's smear, it's only fair to look at his public qualifications for a seat on the appeals court. He's been on the Michigan Court of Appeals since 1994, winning re-election twice with bipartisan support and the endorsement of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, UAW, AFL-CIO and the Michigan Education Association. The judge has also taught at Wayne State University Law School and University of Detroit/Mercy School of Law. The American Bar Association rated Saad "qualified" for the 6th Circuit, and the Senate Judiciary Committee passed out his nomination last year.
Maybe some new charge has come in since. Maybe there's even something to it. But Reid's I-can't-tell-you-the-details character assassination is no way to treat a common criminal, never mind a judicial nominee.
After almost four years, Reid should be giving Saad a simple up-or-down vote on his nomination. Instead, he's giving him a taste of Joe McCarthy-plus.
David Reinhard, associate editor, can be reached at 503-221-8152 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ya wanna see a loser , Harry ?? Look in the mirrow
He's the loser alright, and he better learn to keep his mouth in check lest it have serious consequences.
Reid doesn't have to be artful in his smears, the MSM gives him a pass on everything.
When I hear his name, I think of two things:
The Don Corleone of Nevada.
He loves to say he is from Searchlight, Nevada.
While growing up in Arizona, Searchlight, Nevada had the reputation of the town with bordellos. Harry seems to have the same scruples.
Reid is a problem of Republican making. In 1998 he stole the election by less than one-tenth of a percentage point form then Rep. Ensign. The republicans rolled over and didn't file any challenges, let Reid steal the election and here we are.
As long as they lose the reamining half by opening their mouths.
Another Democrat erosion of a fundamental part of our judicial system.
oops...as long as they don't lose the remaining half by opening their mouths...btw, where did I put mine this morning? :)
This is from Dictionary.com:
So if what this jackass did isn't McCarthyism I don't know what is. And you can bet your bottom dollar if anyone with an "R" after their name pulled the same stunt there'd be an uproar in Congress demanding an apology and the resignation of said republican and this story would be page one in every liberal rag in the USA.
"the golden rule, to do unto others as you would do unto yourself"
Dashoff couldn't even get the golden rule right.
If you didn't knew he was playing as an actor, you might think he liked being obstructed.
Sorry, I meant "know".
My understanding is that the FBI files on judicial nominees are only open for review by the members of the Judiciary Committee and the nominees' home state senators. So the question is, did Reid lie about what was in the files without even seeing them, or did he somehow illegally access them?
No kidding. Oregon is chock full o' libs (esp. Portland and Eugene areas) and for The Oregonian to publish something this critical of a leading Dem is bad news indeed for them.
He should resign from the senate or they should kick him out.
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