Nobody in American history is more deserving to lie in state inside the Rotunda of the United States Capitol than former Sen. Harry Reid.
He spent every day of his 35-year political career in Washington lying. Why shouldn’t he continue to do so now that he is dead?
Big things. Little things. Irrelevant political things. Profound matters of life and death. Reid lied about everything.
In 2003, Reid was among 29 Senate Democrats to vote for the war in Iraq. Just as soon as it became politically expedient, however, Reid abandoned the troops in battle — just in time for the next election.
Is there any lie more grave than to send men to die in a war you don’t really believe in? A special valley in hell awaits such people.
But Reid didn’t just lie to send American soldiers to die for no good reason. He also lied about his political opponents.
When Republican Mitt Romney ran for president, Reid waged a crusade to smear Mr. Romney with the lie that he had not paid any taxes over the previous 10 years. He told the lie to any reporter who would listen and claimed to have “extremely credible” evidence. He even told the lie directly to the American people from the Senate floor.
Years later, when Reid was retiring and after Mr. Romney had lost, a reporter asked him about the lie.
“Well, they can call it what they want,” Reid shrugged. “Romney didn’t win, did he?”
That right there is Harry Reid’s entire career and life summed up in one sentence.
Life is a glass jewelry case. If you don’t take a hammer to smash the glass and grab the jewelry, then you are just a sucker who dies a loser. And probably poor.
Such was not the fate of Reid. He did not die a poor sucker.
When he retired from public life, the master of corruption had amassed a fortune of as much as $10 million. Pretty remarkable for a lifelong politician whose salary capped out at about $193,000 a year.
And now he lies in state in the Capitol.
Reid’s personal wealth was not the only stunning reversal over the course of his career. When he went to Washington in 1983, he was pro-life, pro-gun and an adamant supporter of enforcing our borders. By the time he left Congress, he had abandoned all of those positions in favor of leading his party’s pro-abortion, anti-gun, open-borders agenda.
It is entirely fitting that the very week Reid lies for the last time in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, Senate Democrats are still fighting over the toxic legacy left by the “liar in state.” Democrats are now threatening to use Reid’s “nuclear option” to force through a federal takeover of elections across the country to cement their own political power.
A decade ago, Democrats spent years warning Republicans against using the “nuclear option” to scrap the filibuster against judicial nominations. When Harry Reid became majority leader, he promised not to go nuclear — just another lie.
Reid went nuclear, and the Senate has been reaping his toxic winds ever since.
As a result, Republicans now enjoy a 6-3 majority on the High Court, which has just heard arguments in the most far-reaching abortion case in decades. If Roe v. Wade is overturned or gutted, Democrats will have no one to blame but Reid himself.
But Reid’s days of lying in Washington are drawing to a merciful close. His body will be carried out of the Rotunda for good and taken home for burial.
One constant throughout Reid’s political career was his steadfast opposition to storing toxic nuclear waste inside Yucca Mountain. Since Yucca is still available, it would be a great place to bury him.
• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor at The Washington Times.