(Also at Daily Kos)
Back in July, local pundit extraordinaire Jon Ralston caused a stir when he asked who was really on the ropes. Ralston questioned BuzzFeed agreeing with a newspaper clip from an old boxing match that reported Harry Reid had his opponent on the ropes (and then defeated him). Ralston really should have known better. After all, he typically does.
Harry Reid (D-Searchlight Strong) is one mothaf**kin' bad@ss. It's never a good idea to cross him. And don't ask why. Really, "That's a clown question, bro."
(But don't worry, I'll still explain below how and why Senator Reid fought until the very end to reopen the federal government without rewarding the G-O-TEA hostage takers.)
Senator Harry Reid may not always be the loudest voice in the room, but he knows how to make his point. He's been counted out before, but that's always turned out to be a huge mistake. Senator Reid can be patient. But when one goes too far in testing his patience, watch out.
We know this here in Nevada. He faced a rough upbringing in the hardscrabble, rural southern tip of Nevada. He faced death threats from the mafia. He faced challenges from the old school political establishment in this state. And yes, he faced an unprecedented effort by "Tea Party, Inc.", to destroy him in 2010. But each and every time for the past 35+ years, he beat them back.
And this year, he's been prepared to do the same again. While he went to great lengths to limit the damage of past budget deals, he and his staff acknowledged they needed to fight hard to stop the insani-TEA once and for all.
Remember, Harry Reid discovered a car bomb threat from the mob. If he could deal with that and live to tell, he could very well defeat some mere "schoolyard bully".
While the "schoolyard bully" had succeeded in whipping the 21st Century Know Nothings into a frenzy, he had no realistic plan to deliver on what he had promised. All he had was hot air. And while that hot air threatened Armageddon, it served no purpose but to delay the inevitable.
While the 21st Century Know Nothings were being whipped into a delusional frenzy, Harry Reid worked with Nancy Pelosi and President Obama to whip nearly all the Democrats (including all the Senate Democrats!) into one consistent position: Stop the Insani-TEA. And by doing so, they pushed back all the G-O-TEA's crass political tactics that were meant to muddy the waters and force concessions out of President Obama.
That was the key difference here. While Congressional Republican "leaders" were preening for the cameras and trying desperately to "win the next media cycle", Obama, Reid, & Pelosi were thinking ahead and planning their strategy to turn back the G-O-TEA at every twist and turn. And as a result, they were able to wear out the Republicans and force the cooler heads on the other side of the aisle to admit defeat.
Sure, Harry Reid doesn't look all that scary at first glance. But beneath the surface, he's a proven and experienced master legislator who has the skills to beat down any kind of sweet, hot air.
That made the difference this month. And this is why Nevada's Senior Senator is still a force to be reckoned with.