A Knockout Punch by Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid consults with President Obama

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid consults with President Obama

We congratulate the team of Democrat Leaders negotiating the successful end to the government shutdown. We supported their efforts and have a special passion for Senator Reid’s masterful legislative skill as Majority Leader. Throughout the ordeal Reid refused to give in to any of the changing demands from Republicans. He also won support from several Republicans in the Senate and eventually prevailed with a bill that was ratified by the House.

Throughout the standoff Republicans continued talking about “negotiation” and “compromise” but their actions reminded voters that a significant portion of their party does not believe in either. Many Republicans took an extreme stance regarding government’s role, pushing the mantra “government is the problem” to new heights. Some, like Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, even celebrated the shutdown. Harry Reid recognized their gleeful posturing and understood the improbability of governing those who maintained ideological divides around the role of government.

Bro. Reid Sunday School

Brother Reid attending Sunday School

We here at MormonDems are proud to call Senator Harry Reid, “Brother”. Senator Reid is a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He attends church on a regular basis in a local Mormon congregation as an active participant in Sunday school classes. As a convert to the LDS Church, Harry Reid’s religious commitment is an exemplary personal choice. For many of our readers this is surprising, but Senator Reid does not leverage his religious practice into a media event.  Former Republican US Senator Bob Bennett (who was relieved by the Tea Party giving way to Mike Lee) recently spoke at BYU Idaho about politics and noted what a good member of the church his friend Brother Reid is.

In a church where members are held together by common beliefs and uniformed practices we are surprised by the extreme animosity directed at Senator Reid by fellow members.  Throughout the 2012 presidential election the authors on this site took care when disagreeing with Governor Romney, as not to be disagreeable.  Even though there were wide divides in our positions, we never would cower to the level of personal attacks because Romney didn’t share our political preferences.

the boxer

We all acknowledge that as an individual and politician, Senator Reid has flaws. Who doesn’t? Some imagine him to be weak because of his soft-spoken demeanor. Others find him to be abrupt or even ruthless when challenging political opponents or leading to a resolve. Many do not understand Senator Reid’s personal history, a great American story of a young man from a small corner of our country that was able to rise to his current influence. Regardless of understanding, Senator Reid has been a very effective political leader; one who promotes the same values the Framers aspired while writing the Constitution.

Senator Reid was a talented boxer in his youth setting him up well for his battles in politics. His pugilistic tendencies to fight for what he believes may be part of his internal nature.

We’re just glad he’s on our side. Go, Harry!

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I'm a proud Utah Democrat. My wife remains a Republican so she can cancel out my vote when necessary. But I've been influencing her towards my slightly left-of-center views over the years. We are the parents of six great kids, four married with great spouses. We have four wonderful grandchildren. As an attorney for the U.S. Dept. of the Interior going on 30 years, nothing I say here on this blog should be interpreted as reflecting the official position of the Department. Nor as an active Mormon, should anything I say be construed as the official position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm not even an official spokesperson for the Dems! -just exercising my First Amendment Rights for fun and entertainment - maybe occasional persuasion.

4 Responses to A Knockout Punch by Harry Reid

  1. Cindy says:

    My husband and I are both moderates. He is a Republican and I am a Democrat with a strong family tradition of Democrats on my mother’s side. As active Mormon Nevada converts, we have been both surprised and discouraged at times by the contentiousness of some of our friends especially in their comments toward Senator Reid. We admire his quiet fortitude and thank him for his advocacy for those whose voices are often not heard. I served as an administrator in a state vocational rehabilitation agency serving people with disabilities for close to 30 years. Our mission was to prepare and restore people with disabilities to employment. This program is a model for promoting self-reliance. Senator Reid was one of our staunchest allies for people with disabilities.and ensuring that they too have opportunities to be productive citizens. I believe in investing in people first and providing them opportunities to improve their lives.

  2. Grant says:

    Thanks, Cindy. The more we can share our positive stories, the more chance we have to help those on the other side of politics realize that there are different political views even among faithful Mormons. And your work is a great example of doing good in the world.

  3. David Tait says:

    I would have liked to read more examples of why you think he is a good political leader. I’m unfamiliar with his track record.

    • Grant says:

      Thanks, David. A big one is that he got the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository closed down. And that was only after it was nearly ready so Nevada sort of had its cake and ate it too. Interestingly he did it by cutting off funding without having to threaten destruction of the rest of government in the process. There needs to be a final solution to the nuclear waste problem – not indefinite storage in a mountain, IMO.

      He has sponsored several health measures that became law, one co-sponsored with Senator Hillary Clinton on women’s reproductive health with the intent of cutting the numbers of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

      He got air pollution laws passed while in the Nevada legislature and served as Nevada Gaming Commissioner as he was considered above corruption. In that role he famously went wired by the FBI to meet a crook who had attempted to bribe him. Maybe more on that if we do additional profiles on Reid.

      The bottom line is that he is a moderate, perhaps even conservative Democratic, known for his ability to build consensus. That’s how he was elevated into senate leadership.

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