Fire sale

Congressional leaders of political parties are expected to serve as fire hydrants for political dogs of all kinds. Nevada's U.S. Sen. Harry Reid serves that purpose in ways that reference things he never did (“Where's Harry?” RN&R, Aug. 21) as well as things he actually has done.

The website of the Republican National Committee (RNC), under the headline “Want Keystone? Fire Reid,” ran a long polemic blaming Reid for problems in getting the Keystone XL oil pipeline constructed. The XL is a supplement to the already existing Keystone pipeline between Canada and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

President Obama supports the XL, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has raised concerns about the adequacy of the environmental impact statement, and the New York Times published reports on legal authorities who questioned the impartiality of analysis of the project. Reid has disagreed with Obama and has voted against the project in some cases and the GOP faults him for not bringing legislation to circumvent legal processes to a vote.

“Firing” Reid is a meme the RNC has been trying to promote lately on various issues and while he has not addressed the XL in this context, his campaign committee has turned it into a couple of fund-raising letters under his name:

“The GOP wants to fire me. At least, that's what they're saying in their latest robocall attack. It's not surprising. I've exposed their backers—Charles and David Koch—for funneling money to buy our democracy. I keep badgering them to take action on real issues like raising the minimum wage and protecting women's access to contraception. Now they're calling up people and attacking me for trying to do something good for the middle class? I can live with that. But I can't fight against it without your help.”