SOUTH FLORIDA, March 28, 2014 — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is under a new cloud of controversy. He was caught taking nearly $31,000 from his campaign fund and giving it to his granddaughter, a jewelry designer.
He purchased pieces to give to campaign supporters as gifts. When reporter Jon Ralston uncovered the familial payout, Reid said in a statement:
“I believe my granddaughter is a very talented individual and I admire her work tremendously, but I’ve decided that it would be best to pay for her work out of my own pocket. My office is reviewing our records to ensure that we reimburse my campaign for the full amount.”
Grandchildren are not considered banned relatives for purposes of giving gifts, a technicality that will keep Reid just inside the barrier separating the unethical from the illegal.
The real issue is not whether Reid has used his power in unseemly ways; he has beaten back potential ethics investigations into his conduct before. Unless cold cash is found in his freezer next to a bag of narcotics and the bones of missing children, Reid is untouchable. He isn’t going anywhere. He is above the law.
Reid is a liberal Democrat. Three California Democrats are facing serious charges, but Reid plays in a different league. He is a national power broker and a major protector of President Obama. National Democrats do not go to jail.
Ted Kennedy drove off the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and got Mary Jo Kopechne killed. Bill Clinton allegedly sexually assaulted multiple women. Jesse Jackson has been accused of extorting money from corporations for decades. Hillary Clinton has an entire ream of misdeeds from Whitewater to Benghazi. Eric Holder has Fast and Furious. Barack Obama has multiple scandals.
John Edwards used campaign funds to pay off the mistress and mother of his love child.
Reid will survive because he will turn the tables and attack his critics until the earth is scorched
He will start by invoking the “global warming defense”: He will declare the matter settled simply because he says so.
He will then accuse anybody criticizing him of engaging in a partisan witch-hunt. This strategy has been employed most successfully by liberal Democrat Elijah Cummings against Republican Darrell Issa to stifle the Benghazi and IRS abuses investigations. Bill Clinton used a similar defense flawlessly when up against Judge Kenneth Star.
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With Republicans poised to win the senate in 2014, they are not going to risk a backlash. Impeaching Clinton in 1998 cost them seats. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing his own tough reelection race. He is not going to lead the charge, especially if Reid has the goods on McConnell or other Republicans.
Expect Senator Patty Murray of Washington to exploit the mudslide tragedy to defend Reid. With 24 people dead and over 100 people injured, Murray will claim that the GOP is playing politics while her constituents are dying.
That strategy will work because the GOP will cave; the GOP always caves.
Harry Reid, alongside Eric Holder, is the last line of defense in ensuring that Barack Obama survives. Reid has kept an Obamacare repeal from coming to the Senate floor. He changed the filibuster rules to ram through as many of Obama’s leftist judges as possible.
If Reid goes down, the unions lose one of their own. That will not happen. Even some conservative groups will avoid a fight.
The NRA gives Reid a respectable “B” rating, and Reid’s successor as majority leader would be the rabidly anti-gun Charles Schumer of New York.
Democrats rode the “culture of corruption” argument to power in 2006, but dissatisfaction with the Iraq War was a bigger factor. The Affordable Care Act is a big enough target for the GOP to channel the wrath of ordinary voters. Focusing on Harry Reid and arcane complicated financial rules will be seen as obsessing over Washington Beltway insider politics.
This would distract Republicans and allow Reid to play the victim. He will never be expelled from the Senate, and he will never resign.
The New York Times will most likely suppress this story soon enough, and MSNBC will continue obsessing over the Koch Brothers and New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie. Fox News and the New York Post will cover the Reid story, but liberals will do what they always do: They will accuse any conservative organization trying to get to the truth about anything improper a liberal does of being part of a right-wing smear machine. David Brock of Media Matters is preparing to risk his limbs jumping on grenades to protect Reid the way Reid does for Obama.
Reid’s granddaughter will become a martyr. Democrats will use her to continue the narrative that the GOP is waging a war on women. Bill Clinton’s lying under oath in a deposition was dismissed as being “just about sex.”
Reid’s helping his granddaughter will be dismissed as a loving, elderly grandparent helping a sweet young girl he has loved since birth.
The truth is irrelevant. The left has won these types of battles and will continue to do so. The liberal media will keep making excuses for liberals, and Republicans will be too gutless to pursue the truth for fear of being seen as mean by those same media liberals.
Once enough time passes, the story will be dismissed as old news. All Reid has to do is stonewall for a few weeks, perhaps only days.
Reid is not going anywhere.