Sunday, October 29, 2006


Flacking for Harry Reid

Is there a more reliable mouthpiece for Congressional Democrats than Washington Post writer Charles Babington. In today’s Post, he writes that Elections May Bring New Accord In Senate:

“Some congressional scholars say it could mean greater bipartisan accord because McConnell and Reid are consummate deal-makers whose top priority is legislative achievement, whereas Frist's presidential ambitions have shadowed his comments and deeds as majority leader.”

Huh? Does anyone of serious mind that has been at all paying attention the last several years even remotely equate Harry Reid with “bipartisan accord”? This is not a criticism, per se. Partisanship is not a dirty word for me and I don’t get all teary-eyed over the prospect of more bipartisanship – if everything was done in a bipartisan way, we wouldn’t need two parties. But Mr. Babington is attempting to throw these two together as little more than mirror images of each other. And in doing so, he is being disingenuous, if not dishonest.

Exhibit A:

“But both men are also dogged by questions about financial dealings that could provide ammunition for opponents in the next Congress, which is virtually sure to be narrowly divided.”

Seriously, only a political hack of the first order could possibly mention the questions about their respective “financial dealings” in the same breath.

“Recent hard-hitting news articles have focused on questionable land transactions by Reid and aggressive fundraising by McConnell.”

He “reports”:

“Most recently, the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader published a series of articles portraying the senator as an insatiable solicitor of political money from interest groups -- including tobacco companies, car makers and pharmaceutical firms -- with whom he is cozy.”

“With whom he is cozy”?? No bias there, huh? The gist of the Mr. Babington’s reporting here (which is basically just spinning someone else’s so-called reporting) is that Senator McConnell has been a long-time ardent critic of limits on campaign financing because he believes it violates our freedoms of speech. He raises money to the limits available and is quite good at it. He is not under any kind of suspicion for illegalities or personal enrichment. Left unmentioned about that Herald-Leader series of articles is this little tidbit:

“The owner of the Lexington Herald-Leader will reimburse a journalism center for a $37,500 grant it used to pursue stories about Sen. Mitch McConnell's fundraising after the senator's aides accused the center of having a liberal bias.” Ky. Newspaper to Return Foundation Grant

Contrast that supposed near-scandal with this piece of hard-hitting reporting:

“Reid, 66, has occasionally been forced to explain his involvement in transactions that mixed politics with profits.”

Occasionally? Over the last three years we’ve read about how Reid-sponsored legislation that ended up favoring certain Nevada entities that coincidentally turned out to have employed some of Senator Reid’s sons and sons-in-laws. Most recently we read that despite Senator Reid’s sincere best efforts not to hide his ownership in a certain land deal that netted him over a million dollars – well, he had to amend his Senate ethics reports to officially unhide it.

But not to worry because Mr. Babington relays Senator Reid’s calming assurance:

“Reid said these issues are behind him, and he promised a new tone in Washington if Democrats take over the Senate.”

I agree totally. Reid is a partisan, though a compromised, weak-kneed and clumsy one.

I predict a nasty round of payback in the House, blood on the ice, blood in the pool, if the Dems take it. If they take both houses, I expect actual blood on the House and Senate carpet, i.e. a Capitol Police event.
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