Benjamin Linn: Reid’s record shows he’s the extremist |

Benjamin Linn: Reid’s record shows he’s the extremist

Benjamin Linn

Sen. Reid, you may well be the best campaigner in the history of American politics. Six years ago, you ran as the candidate who was “independent – like Nevada.” To call the second-highest Democrat in the Senate (highest, after Tom Daschle lost his seat) “independent” takes a certain amount of intellectual courage, to say the least.

However, your latest campaign eclipses even this so-called intellectual courage. Sharron Angle is “too extreme?” No, Senator, I assert it is you who are too extreme.

We are now years into an economic crisis created by lending and housing policies you supported. Your colleagues Mr. Frank and Mr. Dodd may have been the architects of the collapse, but you opposed the reforms that could have prevented it. And now that it is in full swing, what is your solution? Raise taxes. Engineer a takeover of the medical industry. Throw money at car companies without addressing the underlying issues that got them into trouble in the first place. Pay lip service to energy independence while your party blocks efforts to achieve it. Create unprecedented deficits through expanded federal programs – both of which will literally take an act of Congress to un-make.

Senator, fostering an environment in which the economy can grow – thus creating jobs and wealth – should have been at the top of your priority list, and you have certainly been in a position to control the discussion. And you know something about economic recovery, because you were in Washington when Jimmy Carter’s recession gave way to the economic growth enjoyed in the ’80s and ’90s. But instead, you have mortgaged the future of this country for the opportunity to take a stab at your liberal agenda.

Some people may buy into your attack ads. These are many of the same people who voted for you six years ago, thinking that such a high-ranking Democrat representing our state would pay dividends. We’ve certainly seen those dividends in Nevada: nationwide highs in unemployment and foreclosures, as well as a lack of any coherent plan to correct the current problems, to say nothing of preventing their recurrence.

Whatever credibility your experience as a legislator affords you, your record of focusing on the wrong problems, investing in poor solutions, and ignoring your constituents more than cancels it out. The experience you’ve racked up in your 27 years on Capitol Hill has not made you a better senator but a better politician. I’m sorry to say you won’t be getting my vote this November. You’re just too extreme.

• Benjamin Linn is a Carson City resident.