I'm definitely not alone in suggesting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has to go -- especially now that the Democrats have somehow joined with the poisonous Republicans to block the president's executive order closing the detention facility at Guantanamo. Good job, Harry. I'm sure the Republicans will fall over themselves to reciprocate the gesture, you know, because they're all about cooperating with the Democratic agenda.
For too many years with Harry Reid at the helm, we've been watching as this ineffectual mope skulks his way around the Hill -- allowing one successful Republican filibuster after another, while simultaneously enabling ridiculous and disingenuous Republican talking points, if not repeating them outright.
Comparing Harry Reid to the cartoon character Droopy Dog would be both a compliment to Reid and very much an insult to Droopy who, while being a forlorn slow-talker, was actually quite savvy and speedy for a canine with a sluggish metabolism. Harry Reid, on the other hand, is only savvy and speedy when it comes to inexplicably capitulating to the historically marginalized and unpopular Republicans.
Indicative of the worst kind of Democrat, he's a wimp of highest order: a pushover substitute teacher type -- you remember the ones -- standing up there at the chalkboard with a crumpled, submissive posture, quietly begging for everyone to take their seats, while not realizing that cafeteria coleslaw is being clandestinely stuffed into his pants pockets.
Maybe I'm being unfair. How else, though, should we regard the majority leader when he steps up to a microphone and gurgles out the following nonsense about Guantanamo:
REID: I'm saying that the United States Senate, Democrats and Republicans, do not want terrorists to be released in the United States. That's very clear.
QUESTION: No one's talking about releasing them. We're talking about putting them in prison somewhere in the United States.
REID: Can't put them in prison unless you release them.
QUESTION: Sir, are you going to clarify that a little bit? ...
REID: I can't make it any more clear than the statement I have given to you. We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States.
You can't put them in prison unless you what?
So not only is he conceding the cowardly, fear mongering Republican "not in my backyard" obstructionist line about closing Guantanamo, but he's actually mangling it, too. I'm not sure if it says more about the silliness of the Republican rhetoric, or Reid's inability to properly articulate himself. Probably both.
Even more disgraceful than Reid's acquiescence on Guantanamo is, of course, the Republican position itself. It's another in a long syllabus of misleading, disingenuous Republican attacks against the president's policies designed to merely obstruct without any substantive basis in reality. It's an attack that ignores history and transparently exploits irrational fears about terrorism.
We've all heard the argument. Moving terrorists to mainland Supermax prisons and the like will endanger American lives. The Republicans, along with the Senate majority leader, are suggesting that rather than being incarcerated in state of the art maximum security facilities -- facilities financed via the multi-billion dollar U.S. prison-industrial-complex mandated by lawmakers -- terrorists will simply be turned loose on American soil for some crazy reason, and will subsequently hork a nuclear missile and proceed to crash it into your house. Somehow.
The reality is that Guantanamo detainees would be held in our most secure, impenetrable prison facilities where it's literally impossible to harm any outside citizen. Fact: no human being has ever escaped from a Supermax prison. Zero. Convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui has been held in a Supermax near Florence, Colorado since 2006. So far, Colorado has not been destroyed.
There are around 241 detainees being held at Guantanamo. Two hundred forty-one. The Republicans often like to compare the so-called war on terror to World War II, so let's talk about World War II. During that war, the American government set up an array of prisoner of war camps throughout the United States. I can't even imagine how our current batch of frightened Republicans, Reid Democrats and cable news pundits would've reacted to the fact that there were 425,000 -- nearly half a million -- Nazi and Axis prisoners held on American soil and within roughly 600 different prisons.
A single camp in Indiana held 10,000 Nazis. There were three camps in historic Gettysburg, one of which was located literally on the battlefield. And not just any part of the battlefield. It was constructed on the same ground where, on the third day of the battle, Pickett's Charge (also known as Longstreet's Assault) took place: a desperate, bloody and ultimately disastrous offensive involving 12,000 Confederate soldiers marching upon the Union lines at Cemetery Ridge. It was easily one of the most dramatic scenes in all of American history with a casualty rate of anywhere from 40 to 60 percent. And, 80 years later, there were 400 Nazis being held on that hallowed ground as part of the Allied war effort.
Two Nazis, in fact, escaped through a culvert running beneath Emmittsburg Road, but were quickly recaptured before they could, I don't know, set up a concentration camp inside the neighboring Home Sweet Home motel. (Incidentally, the Pickett's Charge field has at various times been festooned with a variety of inappropriate eyesores, including, at one time, a Stuckey's Restaurant. Fortunately, historic preservationists and the National Park Service have been slowly but surely reclaiming the battlefield for posterity.)
The Republicans, and now the Reid Democrats, want to bravely smoke out the evildoers but they continue to refuse to make even a minimal gesture of sacrifice in order to do so. Closing Guantanamo and moving the detainees to various Supermaxes is hardly a risk. And, let's be honest, it's barely a sacrifice for anyone. Especially compared with how we dealt with enemies of the past. Yet Guantanamo continues to blight our character and national reputation, and only helps to inflame the Islamic jihad against the west, making America and our allies less safe.
But once again, rather than doing what's right, Harry Reid has collapsed under pressure and is doing what's right wing. Time to go, Droopy.
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