Have you seen it?
The outgoing Senate minority leader Harry Reid, whose pitiful lie about being severely beaten in a vicious attack by an elastic exercise band continues largely unchallenged by our lugubrious mainstream media, said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash that he had no regrets about another pitiful lie he told back in 2012.
Asked whether he felt any regret for defaming then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 by accusing him of tax evasion, in no less a venue than the floor of the U.S. Senate where he would be immune from suit, Reid’s answer was haughty and dismissive.
In the interview, Bash asked Reid if it bothered him that his tactics in telling that lie (disproven as it was when Romney later released his tax returns) were reminiscent to some of McCarthyism, Reid said, “They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win, did he?”
Reid’s unrepentant villainy is no surprise. The man is perhaps the most dishonest, disreputable, personally and politically corrupt, dishonorable, shameless, scum-sucking degenerate every to hold such a high office in American history and that has been known for some time. Romney was hardly the only victim of his lies — there’s not a major issue in American politics of the last two decades about which this man hasn’t concocted provable falsehoods that he set loose on the Senate floor, and the victims of his defamatory remarks are legion. It’s also fairly clear that Reid’s private persona is no more palatable than what the public sees; after all, Reid’s current physical condition — he’s recovering from blunt trauma to his eye and jaw, as well as to his ribs, which obviously had to have come from a violent encounter with someone who knew what he was doing — isn’t the first time he’s been beaten.
It’s clear that being physically brutalized hasn’t taught Harry Reid more discretion. And if you’ve been watching cable news amid his unapologetic exit from the stage, you’ll notice he’s hardly alone in his party. In fact, the parade of Democrats on the airwaves this week excusing Reid’s blatant and shameless lies about Mitt Romney based on “that’s just politics” is truly breathtaking.
That said, there is still basis for faith that most politicians, Democrat and Republican, are more circumspect and possessed with a modicum of discretion that Reid lacks. And because we can still hope to dissuade the next Reid from following his ramshackle path to ignominy, there may be a solution.
Perhaps our remedy for the kind of behavior Reid has put on display is to bring back duels in the political sphere. If it is acceptable for Harry Reid to take to the Senate floor to knowingly and brazenly defame an American citizen with provable lies like the ones he told about Romney (not to mention the Koch Brothers), then it ought to be OK for the aggrieved party to demand satisfaction in the form of pistols at dawn.
After all, this is a country in which duels occupy a prominent historical place. Alexander Hamilton, whose face still appears on the $10 bill, was shot and killed in a duel by then-Vice President Aaron Burr on June 11, 1804, over the question of a supposed letter in which the former insulted the latter’s honor. The Burr-Hamilton duel, which as it happens was illegal, was shocking to the American people and ended Burr’s political career. But it stands as a testament to the importance of civility and honor in politics in that era.
Duels might be something we can do without in current American culture, but the critical importance of personal honor that has melted away since the early days of the Republic may be more regrettable than the loss of Hamilton to Burr’s bullet.
And since the current Republican majority leadership in the Senate lacks the sand to demand accountability for Reid’s assault upon the honor of the body by telling serial lies from the floor, we might need to see such drastic measures taken. Have we any alternative?
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