Harry Reid, with the help of national Democrats, launched the latest in a series of absurd attacks on Sharron Angle yesterday when she was a accused of wishing death on Utah Sen. Bob Bennett.
"While 'death panels' were nowhere to be found in the health insurance reform bill, it looks like Sarah Palin can find a one-woman version of one in Nevada where Sharron Angle thinks people who criticize her political positions should die," the DNC said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Reid's campaign said Angle's statement was "yet another example of Sharron Angle's over-the-top rhetoric that underscores an agenda far too dangerous and extreme for Nevada."
So what was this over-the-top, dangerous, extreme, and death-wishing statement of Angle's?
Well, it turns out that she said of Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, who recently predicted she would lose her Senate race, that "I'm glad to be lumped to a crowd of mainstream Americans who believe as they showed at the polls that Sen. Bennett has outlived his usefulness."
"Outlived his usefulness," of course, is a term that's routinely used.
Here are some examples I came up with just doing a quick Google search:
"But those in the know say that the president may have reached the point where he realizes that Rumsfeld has outlived his usefulness." -- Sally Quinn 10/19/2006
"Scooter Libby has definitely outlived his usefulness." -- Ezra Klein, 3/7/2007
"(Andy) Stern feels that he's outlived his usefulness and would rather turn his union over to younger folks with new ideas, associates said." -- Marc Ambinder, 04/12/10.
It's a line of attack that's so absurd that even a Daily Kos blogger acknowledges that, "In saying 'Bennett has outlived his usefulness' Angle obviously wasn't wishing him harm or death. Nobody is going to believe that, nor should they."
But at the end of the day, Reid doesn't care if he ends up looking absurd. It's pretty clear from polls that Nevada voters don't like him, so the only way he can win is by creating distractions. If the media is talking about this absurd controversy over a totally non-controversial statement for a day or even several days, that's time that they aren't talking about Reid's shortcomings. So he's perfectly willing to launch attacks that force Angle to waste time on utter silliness.
**NOTE on headline: No, I don't mean that I think Hary Reid is going to do a shot of sake and fly an airplane into Sharron Angle's house.
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