Partisan Gunslinger

An extraordinary new poll in the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has lower approval ratings in his home state than President Bush. Reid gets the approval of only 32 percent of Nevada voters and has a 51 percent disapproval rating. President Bush gets a 34 percent approval rating.

Theories abound as to why Sen. Reid is so profoundly unpopular.

Perhaps it was the senator’s refusal to negotiate with the White House on the children’s healthcare bill. The system as envisioned by the Founders requires negotiation when the branches of government deadlock, which they have with the SCHIP bill. But Reid says that his door is not open to the White House, whatever the kids may think.

Perhaps it was when the senator said that the war in Iraq was lost and that the surge was a waste of time, well before there was time to give the surge a chance. Premature surrender is a bad trait for a political leader.

Perhaps it was when the senator turned his back on the United Mine Workers when he said that he opposed the building of any coal-fired power plants. Picking green activists over hardworking union workers is a sign that the senator has gone native in Washington.

Perhaps it is just the natural progression of a Senate Democratic leader who has to take a hard turn to the left in order to satisfy the demands of MoveOn.org and liberals who dominate the Democratic Party. Nevada is not a hotbed of radical leftism. It is a state that has more than its fair share of conservative and moderate voters who reject the intense partisanship of the new Harry Reid.

When Reid was whip, he was seen as a moderate dealmaker, well respected on both sides of the aisle. Back then, he wasn’t a partisan gunslinger. He is now, and this new act isn’t working for him in his home state. Just look at the polls.