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Reid Sends "Personal Regrets" to Republicans

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is circulating a letter of apology to 33 Republican senators for singling them out by name in a political research document entitled, "Republican Abuse of Power."

"I am writing to apologize for the tone of this document and the decision to single out individual Senators for criticism in it," writes Reid. "I myself have been the subject of similar personal attacks from Republicans outlets...[and] understand the unfair picture they can paint and the pain they cause." The research document was released yesterday by Reid's office; a PDF of the 27-page memo is online here.

Early last year, Reid reacted angrily to a research document distributed by the Republican National Committee that cast the Nevada senator as the chief obstructionist to President Bush's agenda on issues arranging from the confirmation of judicial nominees to the creation of the Homeland Security Department.

Democrats have moved quickly to capitalize politically on lobbyist Jack Abramoff's ties to some Republican lawmakers, an effort that culminated in a high-profile press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday where Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced an ethics and lobbying reform bill. The research document distributed by Reid, which listed Republican senators' ties to Abramoff, was released in conjunction with that effort.

"Whether we like it or not, the Abramoff scandal has put the subject of ethics before the American people," Reid writes. "Democrats will continue to press for reforms that address legitimate concerns about lobbying abuses and related matters."

"But," his message to the Republicans continues, "the document released by my office yesterday went too far, and I want to convey to you my personal regrets."

Reid spokesman Jim Manley offered this additional comment, "Sen. Reid more than anyone knows that politics is a contact sport, and he is never afraid to take off the gloves. However, he feels this one hit too hard, and doesn't reflect his respect for his colleagues nor his love of the Senate."

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 19, 2006; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Posted by: Indianz | January 24, 2006 7:44 AM | Report abuse


'how low can they go?', if you're refering this question to Mark's fictional story about "questionable" purple hearts then you're one the most gullible moonbat morons in this country. Just because you see an "(AP)" preceding a bunch of paragraphs doesn't mean it's true. This just proves how all of you moonbat liberals will beleieve anything you read or hear as long as it's something you agree with.

ignorance is bliss.

Posted by: KTC | January 20, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Did Harry give his Abramoff money back yet? And is Pelosi still trying to get Hunters Point transfered to her brothers development firm?

Posted by: Crazy Politico | January 19, 2006 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Jack Landers wrote:
"Sully and Drindl, you better take a second look at Harry Reid. Every single political victory or major blow struck by Democrats against Republicans in the last year has been thanks to him."

Well that's exactly my point. The only victories against the corrupt reps has been Fitzgerald's indictment of Scooter and Ronnie Earle's indictment of Delay. Everything else has been a stalemate or loss. Can the dems filibuster Alito? Only if the gang of 14 says so. You call that a victory? How about getting the ethics committee going? A stalemate there! How about getting out in front of this wiretapping and leading the Senate by embarassing every member who says it might have been legal. Reid is silent.

If Reid is playing the game 5 levels deep then that must be why no one sees nor hears from him. Time to come to the surface so he can be heard. I mean, attacking republicans these days would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but Reid is playing it too cool.

Reid may have a few notches on his belt but its pretty obvious he has been marginalized and become ineffective. He's a nice guy, no doubt, but in this republican controlled Senate, nice guys finish last. We need a guy/gal who has balls and won't be so nice. Where is Tip O'Neill when you need him? At least Hillary had the balls to call the House what it really is and stand by her statement. Al Gore had the balls to lay out the indictment of Bush's crimes. More balls, less working 5 levels deep. I mean, when a bank robber is new in town you work quietly (5 levels deep) to stop him but after the 10th robbery you go after him guns blazing! Know what I mean?.

Posted by: Sully | January 19, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL. I gave up on the idea of a Post ombudsman bucking the paper's power structure on about my 100th unanswered letter re the Bush Iraq lies they were printing as if implicitly supported by fact.

It started with Bush's disinfo campaign to convince America, via innuendo, that Saddam had orchestrated 9/11. They took a polite and cooperative two years to cover this surreal aspect of the runup to the invasion, which successfully duped 70% of America on a laughably basic factual notion. Their silence helped keep the public from getting a reality check, ensuring the success of the disinfo push. I'm sure several editors were paid off handsomely for their reticence there.

Then there was the year of constant demagoguing that "we are fighting the terrorists in Iraq". This occurred in the midst of several independent analyses and countless anecdotal observations by generals and freelancers that only 5 to 10% of the insurgency was comprised of foreign fighters fitting the al Qaida profile. This info was out there, but did the Post ever cite it to put the presidential propaganda mantras into a factual context? Of course not. It took the freaking government of Iraq itself to point out "hey, they oppose us but they're not all terrorists". What an amazing moment of ignominy in our media's history. I guess it would have been "editorializing" to follow up Bush's mindless "fighting the terrorists" line with a reference to these analyses that put the lie to it. Yeah, that's the ticket. We don't need to report the facts until the government actually fighting the insurgency points out that they're not terrorists. Good God.

The saying goes that "in war, truth is the first casualty". Apparently the Post's Job #1 is to help enforce this axiom to the hilt.

The same goes for ersatz "media critic" Coward Curtzy. He'll mouth off on the "Girl in Aruba" tabloid stories till the cows come home, and then occasionally shake his finger at the cartoonish politicians on both sides in order to establish his veneer of "objectivity". But when it comes to correcting the media's lapses in putting White House propaganda into a reality context, he's as complicit as the other MSM actors who are known to be on the Administration payroll. He serves no real purpose as far as I can discern. And I've tried.

The Post is a sad shell of what it supposedly was in the W&B days. About the only positive thing it offers now is the online chats - in which reporters occasionally slip and admit what they cannot write about - and these blog commentary forums. At least here we can get a little reality check from fellow frustrated readers. It's a relief to confirm that indeed, the emperor really was naked, as you had thought before the media's sartorial exposition made you start to doubt your sanity.

Posted by: Mark | January 19, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Reid is an idiot. He took money from the Indian tribes, and within days voted the way they wanted him to. We have not heard about Congressman Jefferson's $90,000 in the freezer and his hijacking of national guard troops during hurricane recovery to get his "records" from his house. The wacky media is so determined to put halos on democrats, yet it does not appear to be working. Ole Harry is still bought and sold. By the way, guess what Nancy Pelosi's chief of staff just quit her job to become: A lobbyist.

Posted by: Karen | January 19, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Harry is brilliant!

Exactly Nick S. "Republican Abuse of Power" is out there.

Did you get your copy?

Posted by: sushigood | January 19, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"I am furious with Harry Reid for aplogizing to them. For fucking what? For pointing out that they're criminals?"

Oh, it's smart politics. 'I regret the tone of the release pointing out the number of criminals on the other side.' Note that he didn't retract any of the substance.

Posted by: Nick S | January 19, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

If this were a GOPer the headline would have read: "Republican Sen. Retreats Under Fire from Blast Against Dems"

Kid gloves.

Posted by: WTF? | January 19, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the "Brezhnev Republicans" and their stenographer factory otherwise known as the media have made it impossible for any civil debate to take place. "Taking the gloves off," is the only way to get the message through. Since progressives have a concious however we're not as effective at the game of mud.

P.S. The Washington Post's obudsman should resign fortwith for her current policy of not responding to critcism. The purpose of an obudsman is to faciliate dialogue between a newspaper and its readers as well as encourage transparency and accountability from that newspaper. By allowing her to continue in her position the Washington Post is becoming more like Pravda every day. Appropriate because they're serving as stenographers for "Brezhnev Republicans."

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | January 19, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I've come to believe that Harry Reid is usually right. He's right, he's tough, he's fair and he's a gentleman.

Sully and Drindl, you better take a second look at Harry Reid. Every single political victory or major blow struck by Democrats against Republicans in the last year has been thanks to him. He set Bush up with Harriet Miers and made Bush into a laughing stock. He essentially smacked Bill Frist across the face with that bit with putting the Senate into lockdown mode. He created a Democratic Senate caucus war room to centralize and control the party's message and communications. Harry Reid is always playing a game that is 5 levels deeper than anyone around him realizes. He is the most politically brilliant and deft party leader that the Senate has seen since LBJ. Look at how effectively he has blocked ALL of Bush's second term legislative agenda despite having a minority. What more could you possibly ask of a minority leader? Watch him more closely and think more carefully about what he does and what the long term consequences are. This is not a guy whom anyone should ever underestimate. The Democratic party owes him a massive debt of gratitude.

Posted by: Jack Landers | January 19, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if there is a report on the activities of "reformer congressman" John Sweeney,, getting caught (and not liking it) calling for sweeping House leadership changes just before jetting off for a fund raising "Skiing with Sweeney" weekend featuring dinner with a big pharma lobbyist?

What do you say about a guy like that?

Posted by: Andrew C. White | January 19, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I keep saying, 'how low can they go?' and then they go lower. The Republicans in Congress now are, quite simply, the most venal and evil caricatures I have ever seen.

And I am furious with Harry Reid for aplogizing to them. For fucking what? For pointing out that they're criminals? It's not like it's a surprise to them. And if he's worried about their feelings -- they don't have feelings. They're not human.

Posted by: Drindl | January 19, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Reid is too nice a guy. He's constantly getting beaten up in the school yard then apologizing to the bullies in the classroom. Time for a new leader, someone who will hit back and stop the bullies and never have a reason to apologize ... but who?

(That goes for Polosi too).

Posted by: Sully | January 19, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a wuss.

Posted by: Glenn Gervasio | January 19, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

classic story LoL

Posted by: spur | January 19, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, they may be doing a "so what" on the corruption scandals, but at least the GOP is out front on one issue of critical national significance:
House to Investigate Medal Awardees

Washington (AP) The Republican-controlled congress, concerned that some American combat veterans may not have been wounded as critically as others, has voted to formally address the issue during the current session. Calling it a "compelling public problem", party leaders said they would make it top priority to re-evaluate all prior Purple Heart awardees. Reportedly, the program is set to begin with all veterans who have registered Democrat at any time in the past twenty years.

"We had to start somewhere", explained Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX). "Since the Democrats have questioned the president's Iraq policy, it is only logical to start by examining the circumstances surrounding their medal awards. It's nothing personal or political, it's just to establish once and for all who is allowed to comment on the prosecution of the war, and who is not."

Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) elaborated further. "We had been dealing with this issue piecemeal previously. First we questioned John Kerry's Purple Hearts after his comments about rolling back the president's upper-bracket tax cuts. Then I had to call John Murtha a coward when he kept talking about a finite timeline in Iraq. This legislation, we believe, will more systematically and fairly question the service of all of our veterans."

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), a Vietnam era POW who was tortured while in captivity and whose military service was questioned by the Bush campaign during the 2000 primaries, has been uncharacteristically silent on the probe. McCain is widely presumed to be seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Republican leaders said that members of the Bush Administration would be exempt from the investigation. Records show that few, if any, of them have served in combat.

Posted by: Mark | January 19, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Newsmax my ass.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid has been forced to apologize a lot for inappropriate comments/actions.

Maybe he should be concerned about his own connections to Abramoff, even though they are arguably as tenuous as the one's he claims against Republicans in his document.

From News Max article on January 3:

In a little-noticed story in November, The Associated Press revealed that Reid had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from an Abramoff client, the Coushatta Indian tribe, after interceding with Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton over a casino dispute with a rival tribe.

Reid "sent a letter to Norton on March 5, 2002," reported the AP. "The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second tribe represented by Abramoff sent an additional $5,000 to Reid's group. Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004."

Posted by: Not a Reid Fan | January 19, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Harry has a conscience, unlike the Republicans that demand the opposition play nice then use their surrogates to swiftboat their democratic opponents

"Lincoln said you can fool some of the people all the time and those are the ones I concentrate on."
George W. Bush 2000

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

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