Harry Reid’s Legacy Of Shameless Partisanship

REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

The 2016 presidential race has sucked up all of the political oxygen for months now, but it’s appropriate to take some time to excoriate retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on his way out the door.

Sen. Reid’s legacy will reflect the serious, lasting damage he has done to our political institutions. There are numerous examples (see his “power play” decision to eliminate filibusters), but something small he said the other day underscored to me who he really is: “In the many years I have been here, we had the Baltimore Orioles,” he said on the Senate floor. “I love their owner, wonderful man, Peter Angelos, and I have been disappointed they haven’t done better, but they did pretty well this year.”

I’m a lifelong fan who lives and dies with the Orioles, but I’ve never heard anybody refer to billionaire trial lawyer Peter Angelos as a good owner, much less, a “wonderful man.”

Maybe I’m just feeling surly because they dropped another game to the Red Sox last night, but the truth is that the Orioles haven’t been to a World Series since 1983. In 2011, Angelos was named one of the 16 worst owners in sports, and there’s even an entire chapter in a book called Bad Sports, titled: “Peter Angelos and the Shredding of the Oriole Way.” (In fairness, the O’s fortunes have dramatically improved since Angelos hired veteran skipper Buck Showalter to manage the team, but Showalter is also the tenth manager under the Angelos ownership regime, which began in 1993.)

Anybody want to hazard a guess as to why Harry Reid had such good things to say about Peter Angelos?

I’ll wait…

This is from an April 15 Bloomberg article:

In 2012, Angelos gave $500,000 to Priorities USA and the maximum $2,500 to Obama for the primary and general election. He also supported Bill Clinton’s presidential re-election effort in 1996, giving $2,000 to the campaign and another $100,000 to the DNC.

In case you haven’t noticed, Harry Reid is a partisan political animal who will do or say anything to win, no matter the cost.

Unfortunately, his many prevarications transcend praising one bad MLB owner. Regarding his erroneous claim that Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for a decade, Reid later justified the lie, suggesting that the end justified the means. “Romney didn’t win, did he?” Reid told CNN’s Dana Bash. More recently, he said: “If I had to do it over again, I’d do it again.”

Just this week, he accused Donald Trump of inflating his net worth — an allegation that would carry more weight coming from any other messenger.

The irony, of course, is this: Just like Trump (about anything he has ever said or done), Reid remains unrepentant. And unlike Angelos’ team, he sometimes wins the big game.