Vail Daily letter: Reid killed compromise |

Vail Daily letter: Reid killed compromise

Reply to commentary by Jack Van Ens, “Don’t strangle compromise,” Sept. 14:

This week, Mr. Van Ens attacks Ted Cruz, a conservative freshman senator from Texas. Van Ens implies that the freshman senator lacks willingness to compromise and likens him to John Adams, a legislative bully who was one of the founders of our republic. The clear implication is that Cruz has already demonstrated he is conservative, uncompromising, evil (by implication), and should be scorned as a zealot tea party Republican. As is generally the case, Van Ens comments are bereft of facts to support his position.

The real enemy of compromise is not the near powerless freshman senator from Texas, but Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, of Nevada. A Web search will demonstrate Reid has been in the Senate for nearly 26 years and as senate majority leader, Reid has full control of the legislative agenda of the Senate. Most importantly, the facts are that Reid has personally decided not to bring 356 bills passed by the House of Representative to a vote in the Senate.

Of the 356 bills passed by the House that Sen. Harry Reid has deep-sixed for political reasons:

• 178 of these bills were passed without any opposition votes — neither Republicans nor Democrats voted against the bills.

• 98 percent of the 356 bills were passed with some Democratic support.

Yes, you read that right. Republicans and the Democrats both voted and passed on a bipartisan basis over 340 bills and 178 without opposition. However, Sen. Reid will not even bring one of these bipartisan bills up for a vote! Now that is uncompromising!

But Van Ens says it is Ted Cruz, a freshman senator with little legislative power, who is uncompromising. Most importantly, Van Ens feels Sen. Cruz deserves to be singled out as a tea party villain that would be rejected by James Madison for lack of compromise. Why? Because Cruz is a principled conservative?

The facts support that Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader of the Senate, would be condemned by James Madison, John Adams, Henry Clay and Jonathan Rauch as uncompromising, partisan and a detriment to effective governance.

This commentary by Van Ens would be much more supportable and accurate if the reader simply replaced “Ted Cruz” with “Harry Reid,” the word “conservative” with “liberal” and “tea party” with “Democrat.”

Larry Rigdon


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