Perhaps the lowest of the 2012 presidential election’s many low points was Harry Reid’s absurd claim, asserted on the floor of the Senate, that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid any income taxes in ten years. It was a classic Democratic Party lie, too dumb to be believed by people of any sophistication–which, of course, didn’t prevent it from being widely reported–but catnip to the party’s base.
Now that Reid has announced his retirement, he is giving a series of mostly-celebratory interviews about his career. On CNN, Dana Bash asked Reid whether he regretted his statement about Romney, the implicit premise being that it was a lie. Reid didn’t deny that he lied. Instead he responded, “Romney didn’t win, did he?” Here it is:
Chris Cillizza comments:
This sort of “the winners make the rules” approach is part of the broader partisan problem facing Washington and the polarization afflicting the nation more broadly. There is no trust between the two parties because they believe — and have some real justification for believing — that the other side will say and do literally anything to win.
But this is wrong, isn’t it? It may describe the Democrats accurately–I think it does–but when did Mitch McConnell or John Boehner peddle an outright, slanderous lie about Barack Obama? It hasn’t happened. Hysteria is a constant among Democrats: consider Reid’s crazed attacks on the Koch brothers, the current ridiculous misrepresentations about Indiana’s RFRA, the repeated suggestions that scientists who prefer data to global warming alarmism should be shot or imprisoned. There simply isn’t anything like this on the right.
Harry Reid may be exiting the stage, but he leaves behind a party that never had any problem with his lies, as long as they worked.