As many of us at M* have been writing for years, Harry Reid is a good latter-day Saint who is an embarrassment as a politician.
With any luck, Bro. Reid will soon be just another senator from Nevada and not the majority leader, and his many gaffes will be confined to the Nevada press, rather than the national scene. And we can all hope that in 2016 he will retire and do something more productive (perhaps become a senior missionary?). Most pundits are predicting the Senate will soon be taken back by the Republicans.
But in case Bro. Reid is inclined to think he still has a reason to be involved in the dirty world of politics, I would like to remind him of his worst gaffes, and I would ask M* readers to chime in.
Bro. Reid’s single most horrifying gaffe, in my opinion, is his completely unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney did not pay any taxes for 10 years. This ridiculous claim, in the middle of the 2012 contest, was part of a coordinated and incredibly slimy campaign by the Democrats against any honorable man (and a very flawed candidate, as I wrote here). I predict that Bro. Reid will repent about this very low moment in his life, either in the coming years or in the afterlife.
But this is not all. Bro. Reid went on to say that Mitt Romney, a former bishop and stake president, had “sullied” Mormonism. This coming from the man who once said Barack Obama could be elected because he is “light skinned” with “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
Harry Reid came from a very small town in Nevada, grew up poor and entered the Senate with almost no money. Yet after years in the Senate he is now worth millions and lives in a luxury apartment in the Ritz Carlton in Washington. Government work can make you very, very rich, at least if you are Harry Reid. Compare Bro. Reid’s behavior to that of another politician, former president Harry Truman, who left after seven years as president nearly dirt poor.
Meanwhile, a reminder of some of Bro. Reid’s worst gaffes:
*He is obsessed with race (but gets a pass from the national press because he is a Democrat). In addition to his comments about the president, we have him saying that Hispanics should not vote for Republicans and insulting Asians in a variety of ways (he says he cannot keep his “Wongs straight”). Is there any ethnic group Bro. Reid has not insulted?
*Bro. Reid says that tourists in Washington are smelly (note that he said it even though he staff begged him not to).
*Harry Reid called people exercising their First Amendment rights “evil-mongers” and then said he was proud that he said it.
I could go on and on because there are so many gaffes out there, but this post is getting too long as it is.
I would like to note that M* has published this guest post that points out that Bro. Reid appears to be a good member of the Church while being a horrible politician.
And I would like to draw your attention to a very good post by Rameumptom during the 2012 campaign that called out Bro. Reid on his incredibly uncharitable comments.
To sum up: it would be a very good thing for Bro. Reid personally to get out of the political limelight because he just does not know how to control his tongue. And it certainly would be a good thing for Mormonism. Let’s hope Bro. Reid moves on to do better things with his life in the years ahead.