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By Betsy Dorminey, for The Freedomist

It seems appropriate that the late Senator Harry Reid  (D-NV) should lie in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.  He lied there many times before.

Senator Reid lied about his Senate colleague and co-religionist Mitt Romney on the Senate floor in 2012.  I use the word “lied” advisedly, in the sense that he intentionally stated as true something he categorically knew to be false.  And he did it to neutralize a credible Republican presidential nominee.  Reid said “he heard” that Romney hadn’t paid any taxes in 10 years: Romney later released a return showing he’d paid $1.9 million in taxes in 2011.  Pants on fire, Senator Reid: and it isn’t just me:  Politifact outed the falsehood, but the damage was done, and Senate rules insulated Reid from any consequences.

And Reid was a mighty obstructionist.  In 2001 he was instrumental in blocking President George W. Bush’s nomination of Miguel Estrada,, a Honduran immigrant with degrees from Columbia and Harvard, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  (Tragically, Estrada’s wife was a casualty of that turmoil.)  After some seasoning on the Circuit Court Estrada would have been an outstanding first Latino Supreme Court appointee.  No dice, said the man from Vegas.  And in 2006 Reid helped scuttle a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill. President George W. Bush helped craft legislation to increase border security, increase the number of guest workers, and expand green cards, a general overhaul of what is universally regarded as a broken immigration system.  News flash:  it’s still broken, and the prospects for reform grow ever more remote.

Why did Reid labor (successfully) to bring down Estrada and immigration reform?  Same motivation in each case: the paramount desire to deny a Republican president “wins” that Reid wanted to reserve for a Democratic administration, the better to reap Blue electoral hay from Latino voters.

One hates to speak ill of the dead, and I’m not without some personal sympathy for the man: we’re both afflicted with bad eyesight.  And I’m sure he well served his constituents, particularly those in a position to underwrite political campaigns.  There’s a reason the crane is the State Bird of Nevada.  I’m sure he will be mourned by family and friends.  And I’m glad he funded research on space aliens, surely to the benefit of his fine constituents – who knows, maybe voters? — in Area 51.  But let’s not kid ourselves.  Harry Reid may have been a very skilled politician, but he was no statesman.  Still, may he rest in peace.