The Senate’s top Democrat, Harry M. Reid of Nevada, called President Bush a “loser” yesterday just about the time Air Force One was touching down on foreign soil. Reid immediately called the White House to express regret.
The remark violated the restraint that the opposition party customarily exercises when a president is abroad and reflected the acrid environment on Capitol Hill as Republicans prepare to change a rule that lets Democrats use delaying tactics to block the confirmation of judges.
Reid made the remark while discussing the filibuster issue with about 60 Del Sol High School juniors, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Web site.
“The man’s father is a wonderful human being,” Reid said in response to a question about Bush’s policies. “I think this guy is a loser.”
How about this?
MR. RUSSERT: When the president talked about Yucca Mountain and moving the nation’s nuclear waste there, you were very, very, very strong in your words. You said, “President Bush is a liar. He betrayed Nevada and he betrayed the country.”
Is that rhetoric appropriate?
SEN. REID: I don’t know if that rhetoric is appropriate. That’s how I feel, and that’s how I felt. I think to take that issue, Tim, to take the most poisonous substance known to man, plutonium, and haul 70,000 tons of it across the highways and railways of this country, past schools and churches and people’s businesses is wrong. It’s something that is being forced upon this country by the utilities, and it’s wrong. And we have to stop it. And people may not like what I said, but I said it, and I don’t back off one bit.
About the only difference is that in each case, Reid made his comments outside of an official session of Congress. But the disrespect to the Presidency was the same.
Think the port-siders will drop the hypocrisy and acknowledge that they did not nearly get the case of the vapors they have now in the aftermath of the Wilson outburst?
Neither do I. What Wilson did was wrong. But Barack Obama’s defenders should stop pretending that this is some kind of new low in partisan rhetoric. That low was reached a while ago, with the current Senate Democratic Leader having helped reach it.