Exclusive: Harry Reid’s ‘Moment of Truth’ in Las Vegas Reflects the Un-American, Elitist Attitude Prevailing in Washington

by PAM MEISTER September 2, 2009
Last week, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) addressed a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Before his address, he conducted the usual meet-n-greet/photo op with the chamber’s board members. One of the last in line to receive the oh-so-high honor of shaking the Crown Prince’s Senate Majority Leader’s hand was Bob Brown, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s advertising director.
As Brown shook Reid’s (withered?) hand, Reid said to him, “I hope you go out of business.”
What a nice thing to hear from your elected representative. For all he knew, Brown could have been a Democrat and Reid supporter. But coming from the man who patriotically declared two years ago that the war in Iraq was lost, are we really surprised? My guess is that the newspaper hasn’t been too kind to Reid, and Reid’s skin is just a little bit thinner than a politician’s should be. Perhaps he holds them responsible for his terrible poll numbers in his home state. Yeah, right.
Of course, once word of his dreadful idea of witty repartee got out, a Reid spokesman inferred that the senator was joking: “Clearly he wasn’t serious.” Good thing he has his overpaid day job; he’d be clobbered on the comedy club circuit.
Guess Reid thought the tourism slogan “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” would kick in. Sorry senator; that only applies to tourists out to have a good time – not elected representatives who are supposed to have the interests of all of his constituents at heart – or at least pretend to their faces.
Sherman Frederick, publisher of the Review-Journal, said in an editorial that the paper has outlasted many things, including “any number of two-bit politicians who couldn't stand scrutiny, much less criticism.” He also considers Reid’s statement to be a threat:
But to fully capture the magnitude of Reid's remark (and to stop him from doing the same thing to others) it must be called what it was – a full-on threat perpetrated by a bully who has forgotten that he was elected to office to protect Nevadans, not sound like he's shaking them down.
No citizen should expect this kind of behavior from a U.S. senator. It is certainly not becoming of a man who is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate. And it absolutely is not what anyone would expect from a man who now asks Nevadans to send him back to the Senate for a fifth term.
If he thinks he can push the state's largest newspaper around by exacting some kind of economic punishment in retaliation for not seeing eye to eye with him on matters of politics, I can only imagine how he pressures businesses and individuals who don't have the wherewithal of the Review-Journal.
While I’m not sure I would agree that the comment was an overt threat, I do consider it to be in terrible taste – not to mention sadly indicative of the prevailing elitist attitude in Washington today. Gary Horne, writing for American Thinker, nails the attitude down pat in this scenario:
The buses are lined up at the terminal, brand new government vehicles with attractive logos on the side. Free rides are offered to exotic locations. Intelligent-looking PhDs sit in the drivers' seats. Well-made signs advertise the benefits of each (slightly fuzzy) destination. Members of Congress sit in the stands admiring their work, separated by barriers from the rest. 
Yet, something is wrong. While a few have anxiously boarded, most of the people are resisting. The crowd is becoming agitated and angry. The chief community organizer coordinator consults his advisors, "Why are these people resisting? Don't they understand I, I mean we, know what is best for them?" The advisors are puzzled, "We are the elite and know more than they. There cannot possibly be any objection to our superior wisdom, they must have been sent by someone. They must be fakes." The chief coordinator agrees, "They aren't smart enough to think for themselves, there must be some radio talk show host behind it. Never mind, force them on or lie to them. We won, tell them to keep quiet!" 
Few senators and congressmen, knowing of the ugly mood at home brought on by the health care “reform” debate, looked forward to meeting with constituents over the August break. One of them, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), even had a town hall attendee removed because he didn’t have a “ticket” permitting him to ask a question, and then mocked him as he was led out by police. This is the same Carol Shea-Porter who stalked then-Republican congressman Jeb Bradley at his town hall meetings and even protested at New Hampshire’s State House alongside people dressed like Nazis and accused the federal government of trying “to brand us like sheep.” What a difference four years in Washington makes.
And who can forget House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s charge, along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, that these town hall and tea party protests are un-American? Guess those Botox injections have tampered with Pelosi’s memory – just three years ago she was telling anti-war protesters that she was a “fan of disruptors” and that their “advocacy [was] very American and very important.” How’s that shoe on the other foot feeling, Nancy? A little tight? Is it hurting your corns?
America did not evolve over centuries of tribal and then feudal rule, only to move on to nanny socialist government like nations in Europe. America was born of an idea – that all men are created equal; that we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that limited government best serves a free and independent people who can make their own decisions about how to live their own lives; and that government representatives serve at the pleasure of the people who elect them. Despite what we saw this past weekend during the Ted Kennedy media memorial extravaganza and slobberfest, average Americans are not dazzled by, nor do they accept, the idea of royalty here in America. We may love to read about the goings-on of the royal family in Britain, but we don’t want one here. Nor do we want those who purport to be public servants lording it over us in the manner we’ve seen of late. Actually, this attitude has been around for a long time – but people are just now starting to get that burning, itching feeling akin to getting athlete’s foot from standing in a dirty, moldy shower. It’s time to get out the bleach and really clean house.
Washington “insiders” (politicians, their staffers and the media) can pooh-pooh the tea party and town hall attendees all they want, assigning them derogatory terms like “tea baggers” and the like, but this “know-it-all” attitude is wearing thin. While I’ve been critical in the past of what I believe is an unfortunate tendency for many fellow Americans to have a blasé attitude about political and world events, I’m proud to see that so many are waking up to the serious realities that face this nation today. I’m planning on going down to Washington to the 9/12 Tea Party and March on D.C. next week. It won’t be my first rally, but it will be my mother’s first. While she’s always been well-informed, she told me she is tired of sitting on the sidelines and is ready to participate. I hope to see many of you there too.
So while nincompoops like Reid make “jokes” to constituents about wanting their companies to “go out of business” and our president’s attitude about bipartisan cooperation in Washington boils down to “I won,” the American people are not just paying attention, but are making their voices heard – both on the street and, in just over a year, in the voting booth.
Washington insiders beware. Your time may well be up.
Pam Meister is the editor of FamilySecurityMatters.org.

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