The Mystery of Harry Reid

How could such a thoroughly unappealing man have gotten so far in politics?

by James Taranto
The Wall Street Journal
December 8, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is at it again. FoxNews.com reports on his latest utterance in the debate over ObamaCare:

Reid argued that Republicans are using the same stalling tactics employed in the pre-Civil War era.

“Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right,” Reid said Monday. “When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.’ ”

He continued: “When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn’t quite right.

“When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.”

…Some have speculated that Reid is simply “losing it”–but from the years in which we’ve been observing Reid, we’d say he never had it in the first place. Yesterday’s statement on the Senate floor was vintage Reid. He has a propensity for saying things that are splenetic, inappropriate and ignorant, such as his embarrassing series of claims a few years ago that Clarence Thomas was unintelligent.

This, however, raises a question that has long puzzled us about Reid: How did such an unappealing man who says so many foolish things get so far in politics? He has been elected to Congress six times, and the Senate’s Democrats chose him as their leader. Maybe he has exceptional backroom skills, or comes across better in person than on television. And of course the polls show he is in trouble with the voters back in Nevada. Still, his success to this point seems something of a miracle–an inspiration to dour, foolish men everywhere…

The complete article is at The Wall Street Journal.

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