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Harry Reid and Diogenes

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We've had six long years of a president who lies. Twelve years of a Congress that thought its only job was to rubber stamp the interests of its party and its base, be they corporations or far-right extremists. That's why Harry Reid is such a welcome change. The man actually speaks his mind, yes - but what makes Reid exceptional is far more than that. Reid is willing to talk about the hard issues. Honestly, frankly, without any sugar coating, and with intelligence. That's a rarity in Washington, from either political party.

And that's why Harry Reid scares the hell out of the Republicans. How many politicians in a position of leadership - the leader of the Senate majority, mind you - would have the courage to admit what everyone knows, but everyone fears to admit: that the war in Iraq is over, Bush has lost. That the war is lost is just not something you say. Yes, it's honest. But far too often politicians fear that the American people don't want honesty, can't handle honesty. From Social Security to Iraq, politicians fear that if they tell the American people how bad the situation really is - i.e., the truth - the American people will respond to the bad news by killing the messenger because they can't handle the truth.

At one time that may have been true. The Bush administration did a bang-up job of silencing critics following September 11. But not now. The American people are tired of lies. They expect lies from politicians of both parties, to be sure, but they're tired of them, and tired of the consequences. That's why Harry Reid's truth is so significant. He didn't just tell the truth about Iraq, he told the truth when the conventional wisdom is that telling the truth is a political death sentence. You don't tell the American people how bad things are in Iraq unless you hate the troops and love Osama, George Bush and Dick Cheney keep telling us. But Harry Reid did it anyway. That's a rather big deal. And it says a lot about Senator Reid.

Senator Reid will take some heat for speaking truth in a town where truth is heresy. Whether you agree or disagree that George Bush has lost Iraq - I happen to agree - it's incredibly significant that we finally have a leader in Washington who isn't going to sugar coat the news, or outright lie to us. Our best hope for success in Iraq, even if success means quickly declaring victory and going home, is a leader who has the guts to tell us the truth.

Watch Senator Reid in action today here:

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