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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/19/09

Dems Hanging by a weak Reid

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Quiz Question: Who's the bigger waste of skin --former Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich or the guy he appointed to fill Barack Obama's senate seat, Roland Burris?

Actually it's a trick question, because the right answer is:  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid.

All the too-long-running Blago & Burris show needs now is to have “Bring in The Clowns,” playing on a  loop in the background. And there are clowns aplenty. Clowns to the left of us. Clowns to the right. And all of us stuck in middle.

Blago and Burris are what criminal psychologists call, “high functioning sociopaths.”

The latest clown to jump into the ring with these two high-functioning sociopaths is Harry Reid, a guy who likes to see himself as a tough former boxer who can both take and land a punch. Well, he must have fought in the powder-puff division.

Since his elevation to Senate Leader Harry Reid has shown himself to be a one-man Chinese fire drill. From day one of the Blago/Burris affair Reid has run one way, the other, then back again, all without  effect.

First Reid put on his stern church-lady face, stomped his little foot before the TV cameras and stated that, no way, no how would he seat Burris as a member of the US Senate.

A few days later he welcomed Burris with open arms.

Then, when Burris' alibi fell apart this week as we learned he actually did agree to pay to play, calls for Burris' resignation grew to a deafening chorus, even in Burris' hometown paper.

Harry Reid jumped out of the car once again and started running in place:

"Now there's some question as to whether or not he told the truth," said Reid, said in what can only be described as an understatement.  "We're just going to wait and see what's going to happen,” Mr. Action Packed said, because, “It's not for me to say that he lied. I don't know if he lied or didn't. Right now, he's a member of the Senate."

A big hand of applause for street fighter Harry “Rocky” Reid – who floats like butterfly, stings like a... butterfly.

(Hey, is this the same Harry Reid who, during the Bush years, used to decry the Republican “culture of corruption?” Yes, yes, I believe it is.)

Harry Reid, you need to understand, is the product of old machine Democrat, “my turn” tradition. It's a process that all but guarantees a member will rise to the top if he/she simply does what they are told, doesn't get caught by the media doing something unseemly and, most important of all, is able to get reelected enough times to become a House or Senate fixture. Having any principles whatsoever is a handicap in this process as principled stands make enemies. (The GOP runs under the same system, by the way.)

A principled Democratic Senate Leader would immediately demand an expedited investigation of the Burris affair by the Senate Ethics Committee, which should lead to his immediate expulsion from the US Senate. But hasn't called for an investigation, which he certainly would have if Burris were a Republican.

But – and here's where the lack of principles comes in handy – Reid doesn't want Burris thrown out right now because that would almost certainly lead to a special election to replace him. And, with Illinois voters rightly fed up with their corrupt politicians, an election to replace Burris could produce, shall we say, “unpredictable results.” With the Democratic majority in the Senate hanging by a thread, Reid just can't bring himself to do the right thing – as usual.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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