In various interviews and Sunday talk show appearances, top Democrats and Obama campaign surrogates have refused to condemn Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid???s vile effort to slander Mitt Romney by using fabricated ???anonymous??? sources to claim Romney hasn???t paid taxes for the last ten years.
In every appearance, the story was the same ??? a Democrat was asked about Reid???s remarkable abuse of the Senate floor, and responded by endorsing Reid???s twisted McCarthyite reasoning: it???s up to Romney to make the story go away by giving in to Reid???s demands, and providing a decade or more or his tax returns.
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) pointedly declined to repudiate Reid when directly asked to do so by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, instead repeatedly changing the subject to Romney???s tax returns, which she said would ???clear this up in ten seconds??? if he released them. Former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs did exactly the same thing on CNN, although he added a feeble attempt to insist that Reid wasn???t acting with the blessing of the Obama campaign.
The current White House spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters the same thing on Monday, insisting that Reid ???certainly speaks for himself.??? In a grimly amusing footnote, Carney added, ???Only Senator Reid knows his source, which he has discussed, and I would refer you to that.??? That would be the apocryphal ???source??? whose identity Reid has refused to disclose, making it rather difficult to ???refer??? any reporter???s questions in that direction.
Carney???s remarks have been reported as ???distancing??? Obama from Reid???s clumsy slander, although they do nothing of the kind. All of these Democrats are trying to use Reid without getting too much of his unethical stink on their hands. None was willing to denounce his tactic of inventing mysterious sources for wild allegations, or using the Senate floor to do his dirty work??? denunciations they could have made without necessarily relenting on their own demands to root through Mitt Romney???s ten-year-old tax returns.
The strangest defense of Reid came from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who told the Huffington Post, whose pages Reid originally used to launch his smear campaign: ???Harry Reid made a statement that is true. Somebody told him. It is a fact. Whether he did or not can easily be disposed of: Mitt Romney can release his tax returns and show whether he paid taxes.???
Well, when you???ve got Nancy Pelosi as a character witness, what else do you need? Pelosi, of course, would not disclose how she knew Reid made a statement that is true, or the identity of this anonymous individual who has magically gained access to ten years of Romney???s tax returns.
In her own special way, the woman who once declared that unemployment checks are the most powerful form of job-creating economic stimulus known to man explained why Romney???s tax returns are so important: ???Here’s a guy who wants you to pay more when I think, ‘I’ meaning Harry Reid, somebody told me he hasn’t even paid his taxes. But he wants you to pay more to underwrite tax cuts for the wealthy??? It’s like a double doozy.???
This person used to be Speaker of the House, America. To address just one layer of stupid in Pelosi???s infantile comments, would someone like to show us where Mitt Romney has proposed making anyone ???pay more??? to ???underwrite tax cuts for the wealthy???? Democrats are the ones salivating to raise taxes and redistribute wealth. They have expressly declared their willingness to let Taxmageddon slam into Obama???s weak economy because the Republicans want to avoid raising anyone???s taxes. That is a statement that is true, as Pelosi would put it.
It???s interesting that a number of media liberals seem to be growing queasy about Harry Reid???s tactics, even as Obama and his surrogates cynically use the Majority Leader as a wrecking ball. Stephanopoulos, in particular, looked very uncomfortable during his discussion with Wasserman-Schultz, and not at all happy with the way she handled the question about Reid:
On the same ABC News show, RNC chairman Reince Preibus called Reid a ???dirty liar who hasn???t filed a single page of tax returns himself, and complains about money while he lives in the Ritz-Carlton down the street himself.??? That???s one reason liberals are growing nervous about Reid ??? he???s single-handedly discrediting a line of attack they once found promising, while putting Democrats on defense. It doesn???t help that Reid is a distinctly unappealing face to put on the Obama campaign, which was foolish to think it could use Reid to carry out a quick political hit, then usher him back into the shadows.
The other reason smart Democrats have good reason to be worried about where Harry Reid???s tactics is that they won???t relish finding themselves on the wrong side of incoming fire from anonymous, unvetted sources. We all get to play that game now, right?
For example, the Las Vegas Review-Journal had a very interesting story recently about how Harry Reid has been using his power to further the interests of a Chinese solar energy company that just happens to be represented by his son, attorney Rory Reid. It???s the same old ???green energy??? racket, using quotas to mandate the purchase of solar power, while suppressing coal-fired electric plants, in order to conjure up ???customers??? for a billion-dollar solar energy plant.
What if some anonymous sources were to step forward with allegations of corruption against Harry Reid, relayed through a rival politician ??? perhaps aired on the Senate floor? Would all those Democrats begin insisting that Reid ignore the dubious sources and take the allegations seriously, requiring him to release years of documentation demanded by his opponents to prove his innocence?