Unethical Quote of the Week: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

“The idea that allowing two loving, committed people to marry would have a negative impact on anyone else, or on our nation as a whole, has always struck me as absurd.”

—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, after calling Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act “a great, historic day for equality in America.” Reid voted for the law when it was overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. Senate, back when treating gays like second-class citizens was popular.

Harry Reid, embracing absurdity when it is politically expedient...

Harry Reid, embracing absurdity when it is politically expedient…

It’s hard to say which of the legislative lions prowling the cloak rooms of Capital Hill are more loathsome—Republican Mich McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid. It’s easy to decide which is more shamelessly cynical and hypocritical, however. That would be Harry Reid.

If he “always” thought that DOMA was “absurd,” why did he vote for it? Are we to take from this that he not only is willing to vote for absurd measures (he has voted for many), but also votes for measures when he believes they are absurd? Or does he just say whatever he thinks will sound good to the low-information, knee-jerk progressives who have a memory of about two weeks (if that) regarding any issue, and possess the naïve belief, also absurd, that only Republicans lie to them?

Reid’s statement is the epitome of an unethical quote, because there is literally no way to interpret it that doesn’t indict the Senator’s character. If he is telling the truth, then he was willing to impede the civil rights of a core Democratic constituency by helping to pass a law he knew at the time was “absurd.” If he was actually in favor of the bill he voted for, then now he is lying, and also demonstrating that he thinks Americans are box of hammer stupid.

Which is it? Who cares? This is a certifiably awful man, without integrity…the dregs of national politics. And this is the man whom Senate Democrats have allowed, indeed chosen, to lead the party and set the legislative agenda for the nation since 2008.

Again, none of the explanations for this dereliction of duty to the public and the nation are tolerable. Does the party really want to be led by such a shameless hypocrite? Do the party ranks have no one better? Do they subscribe to Harry’s values, which can be summed up as “Say and do anything you can get away with that will help you stay in power”? Are they just dumb? Do they all think we are dumb? Why aren’t they embarrassed?

Spark and pointer: Politico

Graphic:  Lonely Conservative

43 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

  1. Liberals always turn to the courts to enact nationwide what they can never get through democracy.

    For Reid and other progressives, the ends justify the means. Need Obama to win? Turn the IRS on the Tea Party. Want same-sex marriage to keep big-money donors and the liberal base happy? Get the courts to overturn it. Free exercise of religion and freedom of speech will soon prove to be very disposable things as well.

    Kennedy’s opinion is frightening in its tone,and Reid’s response indicates he’s OK with that tone.

    I asked in that “Comment of the Day” some time back, whether with gay marriage, thuggery, thought control, and coercion were bugs, or features. The answer, I believe, is now clear: They’re features.

    • This doesn’t seem related to the topic at hand, just a random attack at liberals.

      Free exercise of religion and freedom of speech will soon prove to be very disposable things as well.

      If these are also going to be disposable, what are you claiming is already disposed of?

      I asked in that “Comment of the Day” some time back, whether with gay marriage, thuggery, thought control, and coercion were bugs, or features. The answer, I believe, is now clear: They’re features.

      Where was the thuggery, thought control, or coercion here? There was either lying about a previous position, evidence that Reid did not vote his prior beliefs, or, unintentional (but blatantly stupid) retrofitting of previous thoughts to match current thoughts

  2. You said it all, Jack, he thinks the voters are “box of hammer stupid.” He’s also gotten away with a dozen or more substantive lies and resorted to cheap attacks on others from the Senate floor, ironically, on a fellow Mormon (yes, Harry is also a member of the LDS church). And now, anyone who calls him out on it will just be shouted down or termed unsupportive. The Republican Party did a supremely stupid thing when it ran a Tea Partier who hadn’t a prayer in the world of winning against him.

      • +1 Insightful

        He’s not appreciably worse than any other legislator I can think of. That’s not defending him, it’s a terrible indictment of the others.

        I can even think of a few worse still – and that’s a very very low bar indeed. Please keep on calling them out. You’re doing a favour to both parties, and the American people, by pointing out that things don’t have to be like this, and this “new normal” is indeed novel.

          • That’s not saying much. That said, Barney Frank, who not only didn’t suffer fools gladly but didn’t suffer ANYONE gladly, Ted Kennedy, whose career should have ended with the manslaughter at Chappaquiddick, Anthony Weiner, who texted disgusting pictures like a 14-year-old, Gerry Studds, who pursued an underage boy, John Murtha, who unsuccessfully tried to smear American fighting men and undermine their effectiveness to steer attention away from his own misdeeds, John Edwards, who ran around on a dying wife, and Jim Wright, forced out as Speaker for underhanded financial dealings on the Democratic side, and Newt Gingrich, who also did some underhanded dealings, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who went to PRISON for his misdeeds, Mark Foley, who also pursued Congressional pages, and John Ensign and any number of others who couldn’t keep themselves zipped up on the Republican side would be a good place to start at those who were worse. None of that, however, justifies Harry Reid’s sleazy career and the appreciably downward turn it’s taken of late.

  3. You say hypocrite, I say liar. I was against DOMA when it was passed, but I wasn’t a politician so I guess it was easy for me to take an unpopular position at the time. It’s really hard for me to swallow that so many of our elected leaders (on both sides of the aisle) have had their ideals gradually evolve on this fundamental issue over the past decade. Absurd. It’s not as if these were young guys who still hadn’t figured out their core social and political beliefs, they were already well into adulthood and were just following popular opinion before voting or running to the nearest camera crew. So, the real question is: “Are they lying now or were they lying then?” Either way, they are still liars.

    • I am with you here Beth, if not on “your side;” your points are excellent.

      Back when DOMA first went through Congress, at first I was astounded that Clinton signed it. Then, I remembered the impression he had already given me, since 1992: He lies almost every time he opens his mouth. (I stopped paying attention to him after early 1998, so I don’t know how much, if at all, he has evolved.) His signature was not out of support; it was for maneuver. I didn’t just suspect it from the get-go; I knew it.

      I honestly never liked the law, despite my position on marriage. I have always thought the very name of the law stupid. “Defense?” Really? Cowardly. “Definition” would have been honest. On that basis alone, if I had been in Congress at the time, I would have voted against. I figured the law would be challenged and ruled unconstitutional. I thought its demise would happen sooner – much sooner. I still wonder if that’s what Clinton was thinking, anticipating. But I stopped caring what he thinks, ‘way back.

      So: All the lies were for a good cause. The liars lied their way to getting their way. Consequentialism rules.

      Given that, what lies, for what other good causes yet to be won, are OK today? Who is telling those lies? Who is subliminally winking upon telling (and hearing) those lies, content to wait out history’s inexorability, to celebrate tomorrow the changes which the liars support, but say they oppose today?

      “I am unabashedly, passionately and wholeheartedly invested in and dedicated to the sovereignty of the United States of America, and to the sovereignty and Union of the States thereof.”
      _ _ _
      I was reading just yesterday about how slavery has made a comeback in some places. Like where the “conflict minerals” are. Dodd-Frank pays it some mind – by imposing on U.S. businesses additional unfunded mandates, which (don’t lie, now!) are essentials of the modern equivalent of servitude. Happy almost Independence Day!

      • I love it when people can have a rational bipartisan discussion — even if we don’t see eye to eye. But see, we aren’t politicians. I’m convinced that honest men/women are turned into crooks and liars by going through the election process.

  4. I’ll do you one better, Jack…

    A statement by President Clinton and his wife Pythius, said the following after the DOMA ruling…

    By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court recognized that discrimination towards any group holds us all back in our efforts to form a more perfect union. We are also encouraged that marriage equality may soon return to California. We applaud the hard work of the advocates who have fought so relentlessly for this day, and congratulate Edie Windsor on her historic victory.

    Yet further proof that, for Democrats, history begins anew each day.

    • I already scored Bill for a previous statement on DOMA.
      He and Hillary are in the Ethics Villain Hall of Fame—I could write about either all day and night, for months on end.

      • You can and should, and your book on Hilary should be released in 2016, to scupper her hopes at the White House.

  5. “Free exercise of religion and freedom of speech will soon prove to be very disposable things as well.”
    Already happening.
    Do you really think Paula Deen should lose her life’s work for saying something racist?
    30 yrs ago?
    In the South?
    Is this America or is this Iran?
    If we are not free to make such a remark and then rethink and EVOLVE, then we are not free.
    But hey, it sure does feel good beating up on an old, rich, white Southerner, doesn’t it?

      • I don’t believe you actually missed anything. But perhaps you ignore, or deny, the monolithic nature and practical effect of the government and major media today. Each represents and complements the other, and impacts persons’ lives in ways that are satisfying to both – too well, in my opinion. Who needs to literally prosecute Paula Deen, when the same effect can be achieved through media? From that perspective, FinlayO is spot on.

        • Unless you can show the government is controlling the media on this score, your objection is invalid.

          Social responses to bad comments is a good thing and always has been. The the media is large doesn’t change this fact. Coverage from the media of other people’s criticism (even criticism from the media) is not at all a freedom violation. The media has just as much right to their speech as does the person who made the original comment.

          Similarly, the media’s freedom is not impinged upon by Fin’s comment.

    • If we are not free to make such a remark and then rethink and EVOLVE, then we are not free.

      Secondary note. Paula Deen defends her speech.

        • Instead of apologizing for what she’s said, we get this: “If there is anyone out there who has never said something they don’t mean, pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me…please, I want to meet you. I is what I is, and I can’t change that.”

          Translation: “You don’t have any right to judge me. I’m not apologizing for who I am.”

  6. why the big upset over paula? that was said years ago,think this country is making more about race. than way before.is it because we have a black pres.? its really getting out of control.all I can say is PLEASE GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY

    • I think certain individuals are making bigger deals about race now, because race really isn’t a big deal anymore to the mainstream American. Those individuals who used to profit greatly from race baiting and capitalize on racism realize they are losing grip on reality.

      Instead of changing their views, they just beat their views louder.

      “My version of reality isn’t compatible with reality, so I’m gonna shout louder”

              • I didn’t reword your assertion or assert something nonsensical.

                I can see how you thought that though. I am guilty of ambiguity. I was intending to give an alternative to your entire comment.

                Instead of a few people saying “We’re losing our ability to complain about racial differences! AHHHHHHHH!” It’s lots of people saying “Yea, that was racist, and we shouldn’t excuse it.” It isn’t race baiters going crazy, it’s common folk finally stepping up to the plate.

  7. Just an observation, but I think it’s interesting that it’s “Republican” Mich McConnell who is loathsome, vs. Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. I figure you’re just trying to identify him as being separate from the other two, who are clearly Democrats. But I also know it’s a common tactic used by biased reportes to spread blame to all Republicans vs. these individuals. I’m glad I know that you’re not biased 🙂

    • I don’t get your meaning. There are four Congressional leaders. The missing one on the loathsome list is Boehner, who is just none-too bright and has an impossible job. What’s the tactic I supposedly adopted? I suppose the Republican label on McConnell was superfluous. So what?

      • I don’t think you intended it to be so Jack, but it is observed in the MSM, when a group of democrats or a single one engages in loathsome behavior or unpopular action, the media reports “legislators of such-and-such district did terrible thing X” . Whereas if just one republican does something bad, you’d have thought the entire Republican Party was a group of felons recently paroled and out on crime sprees as republicans are clearly identified as republicans when they do something bad.

        Again, I know you didn’t make that implication, but I think that’s what Aaron is getting at.

          • I actually specifically said that I wasn’t making that implication about you being biased in that manner. Just noticing that your phrasing was similar to the invisible ‘Dem’ trend. I know you strive to be balanced, and you do a pretty darn good job at it.

          • How about referring to Pelosi as “House Democratic Leader” whereas a Republican in the same position would be termed “House Minority Leader?”

    • Can you give me some examples of this invisible dem trend? Reporters who make sure a republican affiliation is called out in a negative story, but not a democratic one?

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