February 15, 2009

ALL THE DOWNSIDE AND NO UP:

Shall we give Harry the boot?: Or give him a free pass? (SHERMAN FREDERICK, 2/15/09, Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Between drinks and dinner, the conversation turned to politics, and around these parts that means it turned immediately to the big political question of the new year: Should Nevadans give Harry Reid the boot in 2010, or not?

Just about everyone has a strong opinion on this. According to the latest polling, 47 percent of voting Nevadans have an unfavorable opinion of Harry. It's probably higher now that Harry's taken the lead in crafting the trillion-dollar spending bill that Democrats desperately want people to refer to as the "economic recovery and stabilization bill," which I will not.

Anyway, as we contemplated the "to boot or not to boot" question, the corollary question arose: "Why should Nevada throw away that kind of power?" Harry Reid is, after all, the Senate majority leader. He's a big shot inside the Beltway and arguably the most influential politician ever to hail from the Silver State.

But Harry's length of service and accumulated power isn't the question.

The question, if I may be so impertinent, boils down to this: "So what?"

Think about it this way: On Aug. 16, 2005, Harry Reid suffered a mild stroke. He recovered, thank God. But what if, as a result of that stroke, Harry had been forced to leave office? How would Nevada be different today?

Forgive me if this sounds morbid, but it gets to the heart of the dilemma facing Nevadans in 21 months. For all the power and prestige that Harry has earned, how has that translated into a better Nevada today?

My dinner companions and I paused for a long while and finally, we agreed, "That is the question."


It's easy for the Republicans to pick off Democratic leaders who are chosen by their peers because they got elected in Republican states.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2009 7:55 PM
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