Monday, August 06, 2012

Harry Reid's Gutter Politics

[H]e is not some backbencher, but the Senate majority leader. He is the face of the Democratic Party in the Senate and the ally of President Obama. Yet, not a single Democrat has had the spine to rebuke Reid. The White House has been given the chance and explicitly ducked its duty. Other members of the Senate have run for cover. They fear Reid and, if truth be told, sort of like what he’s doing — constantly needling Romney, keeping him on the defensive about taxes and his insistence on releasing only two years of his returns.

The politics of this squabble are delightful. But Reid has managed to draw both his party and his president into the gutter with him. When Reid accuses the Republicans of being overly partisan, he now lacks all credibility. For a long time it’s been difficult to believe anything he says. Now, it’s impossible.

As for Obama, he is tarnished by this episode. The fresh new face that promised us all a different kind of politics is suddenly looking cheesy. The soaring rhetoric that Obama used in his first campaign has come to ground in the mud of Harry Reid’s latter-day McCarthyism.
Richard Cohen finally sees the Democratic Party as the rest of us see them.

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