Standing With Harry Reid

They’re at it again. When I supported Speaker Pelosi when she was attacked by the right-wing, I said, “They thrive on destroying our leaders – we can’t let them.” I take no pride in my prognostication.

Now they’re going after my friend and Majority Leader Harry Reid.

And once again, it’s up to us to defend him.

There’s a very strange dynamic at play right now. When I talk to a people on my book tour, and when I take part in online discussions or calls with bloggers, I see an America that is sick and tired of politicians in Washington who refuse to change course in Iraq; an America that doesn’t believe the words that comes out of Dick Cheney’s mouth about everything from escalation in Iraq to global climate change; an America that wants our troops taken care of and knows that George Bush’s policy has not just been a failure, but an unmitigated disaster of arrogance and isolation from day one.

And then I read in the paper about another America, one where we’re supposed to believe it’s the Democrats that are in disarray. Where we ”fail to back” the Majority Leader. Where the GOP is united and ready to use the Iraq debate to paint the Democrats in a bad light.

You all know what’s happening – and once again, you need to let the media gatekeepers know it. Harry Reid is a tough guy and a good fighter, but he can’t change the media narrative all by himself. We all need to speak up and protect our leaders when they speak their mind. Minutes after he let loose with a steady stream of pejoratives about Harry Reid, I hit back at Dick Cheney. And I will continue to do so. It’s important … because if we don’t stand up for our leaders no one will. This isn’t about policy intricacies or a Democrat’s syntax, it’s about character – the character of a good man, Harry Reid, and the character of our Party which needs to stand up when one of our own is attacked.

And the worst part is, the whole attack is based on a completely out-of-context quote. This is what Harry Reid really said, “And as long as we follow the President’s path in Iraq, the war is lost. But there is still a chance to change course – and we must change course.” Any questions? The President’s own generals say there is no military solution to the civil war in Iraq, that it requires the political solution the Iraqis have resisted. By the Vice President’s standard, are they “uninformed and misleading”?

I ask you to join me in hitting back. The time is now to take the fight to the other side. The GOP machinery is tottering and creaking. Dick Cheney has the approval ratings of the Yankees in Fenway Park, and he has zero credibility. I set up a page on my site defending Harry Reid, and calling attention to Dick Cheney’s long run of, yes, misleading and uninformed comments on Iraq. And, most of all, calling out the failure of this administration to make us safe.

Because that’s what they’re really trying to hide. It’s no coincidence that they step up these attacks on the very day that the bill setting a deadline to change course in Iraq, get tough on squabbling Iraqi politicians, and get our troops out of the middle of a civil war moved to the floor of Congress.

We can’t let them get away with it. We need to take the fight to them, and we can start by letting the media know that when it comes to Harry Reid speaking from his heart or Dick Cheney speaking from both sides of his mouth, we’ll take Harry Reid’s heart any day. Write letters to your local paper, call in to radio shows, write emails to the national media centers. These things make an enormous difference. I’ll continue to speak out at every opportunity, and I ask you to join me.

Speak out, stay active … the GOP is teetering on the brink over this. And it’s time to start giving them a push. That’s how we win a fight to set America back on the right course

Cross posted at the Huffington Post.

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10 Responses to Standing With Harry Reid

  1. Give ’em Hell, Senator.

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    The vote was had in the Senate, and the bill passed. You know that Bush would have much preferred a filibuster and either pushed for it and lost, or didn’t bother because he was clearly told that he would lose. Irrespective of the vote, then, there are no more than 39 Senators that will solidly support this adminsitration.

    Any ideas on how we can find out who the dissenters are, and their grounds for no longer toeing their party line?

    There is a magic number, and we’re getting closer to it, where impeachment does become a feasible alternative.

  3. Darrell

    The vote count should be available by now. As soon as I finish some stuff I will look for it and post it!

  4. mbk says:

    Here’s where you can find the voting records on all senate bills:
    http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/a_three_sections_with_teasers/votes.htm

    Lists votes alphabetically, and also by “yea” or “nay”
    Very handy site.

    Here’s a vote today on a bill that seems to be relevant to the issues in question, but, judging from the vote #’s (51-46-3), this may not be the exact bill you’re talking about. This is HR 1591, “US troop readiness, veterans’ care, Katrina recovery, and Iraq accountability appropriations act, 2007 . . emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes:
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00147

  5. MBK

    Thanks for the links. I hadn’t had a chance to look yet.

  6. pen says:

    It’s always good to hear from Senator Kerry.
    Senator, I’d vote for you in a heart beat for President and if I lived in Mass, I’d vote to send you back to the senate.

    But I can’t support Harry Reid. I understand you can get pass the betrayal and the underhanded way he has treated you for the last few years but I can’t.

    I ordered your book that you co-wrote with Mrs. Kerry and it should be at my door tomorrow.

    I saw you both on Cspan’s Book TV and after the debates tonight amongst the so called candidates its clear you are sorely missed on the trail to the whitehouse.

    I’ll always have your back but not Harry Reid’s. Its time he felt the sting that you have had to deal with for the last few years. Maybe he will be a bit more appreciative of you and those who support you in the future.

    Peace.

  7. Jonathan says:

    I’m not sure who’s being dishonest here, but that looks like the wrong quote. Here’s the quote that I saw that was getting people upset:

    “I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and — you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows — this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday,”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/20/reid.iraq.ap/index.html

    That’s significantly different from the quote you posted. He might have said both, but I can see people getting way more upset at this one than the other one.

    (p.s. – I’m really really anti-war, but I just want to make sure the argument is legitimate.)

  8. Jonathan

    Senator Kerry linked to Reid’s statement of 4/19. CNN wrote about Reid’s statement of 4/19 on 4/20. The press is notorious for paraphrasing what Dems say. I see nothing dishonest about Senator Kerry quoting and linking to Reid’s actual prepared statement.

    Regardless, also the Kerry’s point is that he stands with Reid and has his back. Good for Kerry. I stand with Harry Reid too.

  9. Thank you Senator Kerry! We have your back, and the back of those you deem worthy of the same. Give them hell and never back down.

  10. Nick says:

    You tell ’em Senator. Frankly, it isn’t just the right-wing noise machine that’s out to get Reid (just look at the David Broder column). Amazing isn’t it Senator, how what passes for “conventional wisdom” in Washington involves little covnentional thinking-and absolutely NO wisdom at all.