The Right Politics

Every time I think I may have figured U.S. Senator Harry Reid out, he says something else completely outrageous that convinces me that I haven’t even come close in figuring him out yet. Of all of the outlandish comments he’s made in the past, the one he made Monday on the U.S. Senate floor regarding his party’s support of the DISCLOSURE Act may be the oddest “blur-tation” he’s blurted out yet.

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The Senate was contemplating the DISCLOSURE Act as Nevada’s Democratic Senator Reid defended the campaign-finance measure which, incidentally, was defeated. The vote wasn’t even close: 44-51. The bill sought to allegedly increase transparency of corporate, union, and special-interest money in national political campaigns. Many have found the Democratic Party’s backing of the Act odd since Obama has out-raised any other politician in history since he hit the national scene a few years ago. One might think that the Democrats, of all political parties, would keep the door shut on this topic.

As Harry Reid had the floor on Monday, he actually said: “Perhaps Republicans want to shield a handful of billionaires willing to contribute nine figures to sway a close presidential election. If this flood of outside money continues, the day after the election 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they just bought the country.”

If the comment about angry old white men sounded oddly prejudice, especially coming from 72-year-“old” Caucasian male who is known to be easily angered when things don’t go his way, consider Reid’s comment about “outside money”. What is Reid’s latest display of extreme prejudice suggesting? Does he mean that contributions made to his political party are “inside” dollars and contributions made to the Republicans “outside” dollars? Apparently so.

This is insultingly inaccurate. Donations made to candidates from both parties are made by fellow-Americans. If Reid has knowledge that the donations are coming from outside the country, he needs to speak up.

Once again, Harry Reid was going with the headline-grabbing comment – as he often does – by calling Republican donors “angry old white men”. Like he wanted, he got the headline, but he unfortunately he has not been criticized for the prejudiced remark. Imagine the reaction if Rep. John Boehner in the House of Representatives were to say something such as: support or donations to Obama made by 17 angry black men. The media would be all over a politician who would make such a comment. Why does Reid – and even more so, the Democratic Party – get a pass for displaying such prejudice? Reid should have been called-out for his racist comment and for saying that American dollars going to Republicans are “outside” – whatever that means.

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At the risk of – and intent of – sounding as prejudice as Sen. Harry Reid, my impression of him is that he is an angry old white man who sits in front of his radio at night, drinking warm milk with a warm blanket or two wrapped around his legs, listening to liberal talk radio, and taking notes from the outrageous things some of those talking-heads say – as his meds kick in. Then, he likely gives his staff writers his notes to twist the best most outrageous comments into originals for him to use when the cameras are on.

Harry Reid, single-handedly, has set the reputation of angry old “American” white men back – well, maybe 72 years or more. When –and if – his meds wear off, he will hopefully realize that he’s an absolute joke – no more than the angry old white men’s poster boy.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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