Critique of Harry reminiscent of classic movie quip

You could have watched the testimony or read the Las Vegas newspaper account, but you needed to pick up the Elko paper to get the full content of the most salient and well reasoned argument as to why McCarran International Airport should not be renamed for Harry Reid.

Senate Bill 174 doesn’t denigrate former Sen. Pat McCarran — as some testimony did, calling him an anti-Semite — but it provides a recitation of former Sen. Harry Reid’s accomplishments — as did several people testifying for the bill did as well.

Several testified as to Reid’s record of political divisiveness, but afterward Assembly Minority Leader Paul Anderson released a statement that was the lede for the correspondent covering the event for the Elko Daily Free Press.

“While we have gotten used to the political theater perpetuated by the majority party, this is a whole new level of farcicality,” Anderson was quoted as saying and then adding “former Senator Harry Reid’s legacy is one of bitterness, anger, petulance, divisive political maneuvering, and pure partisanship.

“Nevada has a long history of electing statesmen from both sides of the aisle to the Governor’s office, the U.S. Senate, and Congress. From Kenny Guinn to Richard Bryan, and from Barbara Vucanovich to Alan Bible. These were people of great accomplishments, dedication to country, family, and God. It seems only fitting that if McCarran Airport is to be renamed, it’s renamed after someone who best exemplifies Nevada values.”

That bit calling Reid bitter, angry, petulant, divisive and pure partisan reminds me of the lines from the movie “The Front Page,” when Jack Lemmon asks his editor if he should write of the sheriff: “I’m calling the Sheriff a hyena. What do you like with it? Vile, corrupt, unscrupulous, depraved?”

Walter Matthau fires back: “Yeah. And in that order.”

I always wanted to say that to a reporter on deadline, but never got the right question.

State Sen. Tick Segerblom explains his bill to rename McCarran International for Harry Reid. (Victor Joecks pix for R-J)

State senator wants to rename airport for Harry Reid

McCarran Interrational (R-J photo by Jeff Scheid)

Democratic state Sen. Tick Segerblom’s proposal to rename McCarran International Airport after Sen. Harry Reid smacks of a pot calling the kettle black mentality.

According to KTNV-TV, Channel 13, Segerblom plans to ask lawmakers in the next legislative session in 2017 to make the change, even though the naming of the airport is probably up to the Clark County Commission instead of lawmakers. The airport is named for longtime Democratic Nevada U.S. Sen. Pat McCarran, who was ardent anti-Communist after World War II in the same vein as the now much reviled Joe McCarthy.

“I think people it may take a few years to adjust, but we don’t want our town and our major airport named after somebody who’s history is just so repulsive,” the television station quotes Segerblom as saying.

In fact, Reid himself has been railing against having anything named after McCarran for years. In 2012 he called for the airport to be renamed.

“Pat McCarran was one of the most anti-Semitic … one of the most anti-black, one of the most prejudiced people ever to serve in the Senate,” Reid was quoted by the Las  Vegas newspaper as saying. “It’s not a decision I am going to make, but you asked me to give you my opinion. I don’t think his name should be on anything.”

County commissioners at the time balked at the idea of a name change — though they were contemplating changing the name to Las Vegas International — due to the millions of dollars it would cost to make the change in signs and literature and online, etc.

Reid has also called for removing the statue of McCarran from the U.S. Capitol.

Segerblom told the TV station, “As Democrats, we owe it to our state to acknowledge what he’s done for us. He’s preserved more land as far as federal protections, he’s brought the solar industry through, he has put us on the map, nationally and internationally, and so I think it’s important to recognize that.”

He took federal land out of economically productive use and jacked up all our power bills by demanding coal-fired power plants be replaced with expensive and expansive swaths of solar panels. I thought Bugsy Siegel and Moe Dalitz put Nevada on the map.

Bugsy Siegel International sort of has ring to it.

Harry Reid is a self-serving gaffe machine. He rants against free speech. He has made himself a multimillionaire while in public office. He has improperly interceded on behalf his family and friends. He already has an empty research park named for him. Peter Schweizer’s book, “Extortion,” contains a whole chapter on Reid.

Reid called for removal of McCarran statue.