The Spectacle Blog

The Reid Doth Protest Too Much

By on 1.28.14 | 11:23AM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a gossip hound, and a champion in the fight against Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Shambling through the Senate halls, he’s been lampooned by the comedy group The Capitol Steps as the Senate’s “most charismatic” legislator. But last week he let loose on former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who, in his book Duty, painted an interesting picture of the Nevada senator. “Why in the world would a guy violate a confidence like this?” moaned Reid, according to the Daily Beast.

“I’m surprised he would in effect denigrate everybody he came in contact with in an effort to make a buck,” said Reid of his portrayal Gates’s book, apparently forgetting that C-Span cameras are rolling every time he speaks on the Senate floor. Doesn’t Reid realize that a cursory glance at the Congressional Record will reveal his long career of denigrating his colleagues, such as just last year when he accused many of them of being anarchists?

Even Barack Obama, who he labeled electable because he’s a “'light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’” was not spared the wrath of Reid’s sharp tongue.

And shame on Harry Reid for complaining about Gates and his betrayal of confidence, when Reid himself packs within his slight, crookbacked frame the gossiping power of 40 Jewish grandmothers. His incredible rumormongering prowess took center stage during the 2012 election, when he stood on the Senate floor and claimed that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid his taxes. “So the word is out that he has not paid any taxes for 10 years,” said the senator, truly befitting the grand station of his high office as he entered his conjecture into the Congressional Record. “Let him prove he has paid taxes, because he has not,” insisted Reid, unconsciously portraying an anthropomorphized version of the IRS, bidding Romney to defy logic by proving a negative. “His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son," Reid said in an earlier interview with some other gossipmongers from the Huffington Post:

Romney’s campaign later released his tax forms, and Politifact.com labeled Reid’s rumors “Pants on Fire” inaccurate (though somehow they passed it over for lie of the year in favor of a Romney campaign ad that later proved to be true). But Reid has never recanted or apologized for his practically libelous comments, which he repeated for days.

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast asserts that Gates’s book characterizes Reid as out of touch, and that he harangued the Secretary of Defense to try to convince him to divert Defense Department money into researching Irritable Bowel Syndrome. “With two ongoing wars and all our budget and other issues, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” writes Gates.

How fascinating it is that Senator Reid thinks that the Defense Department, charged with defending Americans from foreign invasion and terrorism, can afford to prioritize research on intestinal disorders. Is it possible that he was confused by acronyms and thought he was contacting the National Institute for Health? One should hope so; otherwise it’s hard to justify Reid’s defeatism and penny-pinching during the Iraq invasion, going so far as to attempt to defund the war. Anarchist much? And where was this passion for fighting Irritable Bowel Syndrome while the majority leader behaved like this during the recent government shutdown?

To Senator Reid’s credit, he doesn’t deny his singular obsession with IBS. “These two maladies that he makes fun of, millions of people, millions of people are effected by these diseases. I’m sorry that he’s so insensitive.…I thought a lot more of him than that,” said Reid, presumably before tying a kerchief around his head and heading to the village square to pick up the latest tidbits.

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