Flags in Texas will be lowered to half-staff on Saturday in memory of former Nevada U.S. Harry Reid (D), according to an announcement from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott.
Reid, who died on December 28 of last year, was an outspoken liberal who served in the U.S. Senate from 1987-2017. He served as Senate majority leader from 2007–2015. In that role, he helped former President Barack Obama usher in major legislation, including the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, he was a major proponent of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have given amnesty to illegal aliens who entered the country as minors.
Abbott’s announcement says the directive is pursuant to an order President Joe Biden issued last week, which called for flags to be lowered in honor of Reid’s “long career of public service,” adding that the deceased senator was “instrumental in passing landmark legislation that made a positive difference in the lives of countless Americans and made our Nation stronger and safer.”
Former State Sen. Don Huffines, who is among Abbott’s challengers in the upcoming Republican primary, was quick to condemn the directive in a press release, calling Reid “a Far-Left lawmaker whose views and actions in Congress were contrary to the values of everyday Texans.”
“With this action of ordering flags to fly half-mast, Abbott has shown more respect for other career politicians than for Conservative Texans. Harry Reid is not an individual Texans should look up to, and I am calling on Greg Abbott to rescind his order,” Huffines added.
Former Texas GOP Chair Allen West, who is also among Abbott’s Republican opponents, similarly expressed disappointment in the decision.
“Since November, we have had four Texas Army National Guard soldiers commit suicide, another attempted suicide, and a potential suicide under investigation,” West told Texas Scorecard. “Instead of lowering flags for someone who did nothing for Texas, we should be focusing on ending the scourge of Texas troops feeling Operation Lone Star is such a failure that they’re taking their own lives.”
One opponent, humorist and media personality Chad Prather, took a different perspective, saying, “Human compassion should never be lost in the quagmire that is American politics.”
“Those who know history realize that even our Founding Fathers—Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams come to mind—traded regular barbs and acerbic exchanges but, in the end, died friends. In this day of political polarizations, it’s not wrong to honor the lives of those who have given themselves to public service. I would never politically agree with the philosophies or actions of Harry Reid, but it’s rarely wrong to say thank you for someone’s life and service to their country. My condolences to his family for their loss,” Prather added.