Clown of the Senate

cover_20140602_toc The mainstream media’s bemused observation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s shenanigans stands as indictment of the media’s thoroughgoing partisanship in the guise of objectivity. It is a bloody outrage.

Professional observers of politics like to highlight the new and the novel, yet they overlook Reid’s contribution to the field. In Reid we have a newfangled contraption. He revives old-fashioned, LBJ-style corruption in office. He combines old-fashioned corruption with unprecedented abuse of Senate rules of procedures. He brings bald-faced prevarication and hackery to the high office that he holds. He repeatedly uses his office to lie with impunity about productive and philanthropic men in the private sphere. Now he wants to rewrite the First Amendment to limit the right of free speech in state and federal elections, reposing it in the hands of Congress.

Reid therefore disgraces the institution that he leads. If he were a Republican, the hijinks would have been been terminated one way or another long ago.

In the current issue of National Review, Kevin Williamson administers justice to Reid. NR has rightly made Williamson’s article its cover story, but you have to wonder how many readers will actually take the time to read it and how much impact it will have. Dear Mr. Limbaugh, please give this brilliant article a dramatic reading on the Excellence in Broadcasting network.

The article is accessible online here for the modest price of $0.25; I highly recommend it if you don’t have the hard copy. NR even gives you Williamson’s introductory sentence (and a little bit more) for free. Williamson’s introductory sentence is a sinuous Buckleyite classic, delivering the goods with elegance and wit:

There are 53 Democrats in the Senate, plus two nominal independents who associate with them, and this clown caucus has chosen, since 2007, to place itself under the malignant leadership of Harry Reid, Washington’s answer to Frankenstein’s monster — stitched together out of the worst bits of Roger Chillingworth, Joe McCarthy, and Droopy — a teacup tyrant who has filled his own pockets to the tune of $10 million while decrying the allegedly baleful influence of the wealthy on politics, a man who has done violence to ethical standards left and right, using campaign funds for personal expenditures and trying to hide payments channeled to his granddaughter, who takes to the Senate floor to make patently false, malicious, and increasingly loopy claims about his political rivals, and who is leading a partisan assault on the Bill of Rights.

Thank you, Mr. Williamson. Thank you very much. And may others learn from your example.