Harry Reid Needs A History Lesson

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 9, 2009


While the Senate Majority Leader continues to suggest that Republicans who disagree with him and Democrats on the issue of health care reform are like slavery proponents, and Senators who tried to obstruct the civil rights bills of the 1960s, the fact of the matter is that if he wants to cast his eye at those who sought to halt progress on race relations, he should look within his own party:

Historians also faulted Mr. Reid’s curious reference to the Senate civil rights debates of the 1960s. After all, it was Southern Democrats who mounted an 83-day filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. The final vote to cut off debate saw 29 Senators in opposition, 80% of them Democrats. Among those voting to block the civil rights bill was West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who personally filibustered the bill for 14 hours. The next year he also opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mr. Byrd still sits in the Senate, and indeed preceded Mr. Reid as his party’s majority leader until he stepped down from that role in 1989.

Can we please have a new Senate Majority Leader? One who doesn’t insult our intelligence on a daily basis would be particularly nice.

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