Kevin Williamson publishes the definitive article. I’ll bet you never knew all this about Harry Reid.
Here’s a telling passage — one of many:
Harry Reid is in some ways a laughable figure, and one of his few charms is that he is known to make self-deprecating observations about his own unprepossessing nature. His obsession with Koch Industries and the intimations of venality that surround him might be grounds for annoyed eye-rolling if they were not of a piece with his audacious war on the most important of our fundamental constitutional liberties. The cheap histrionics, the gross hypocrisy, the outright lies, misusing campaign funds to tip his staff at the Ritz $3,300 — all of that would be just about bearable, but the shocking fact is that Harry Reid and his Senate Democrats are quietly attempting to repeal the First Amendment. And that elevates Senator Reid’s shenanigans from buffoonery to villainy.
Here’s another one that manages to summarize the political landscape in America in the past more than a century:
But personal seems to be Harry Reid’s most comfortable mode. His dishonest tirades against the Koch brothers have been described as “McCarthyite,” but that is in many ways unfair to Tail Gunner Joe. For all of his shortcomings, McCarthy was concerned about the presence of Soviet operatives in the State Department, which was an entirely reasonable thing for a senator to be bothered about. Reid is busy denouncing private citizens for having the gall to exercise the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution, which include the right of engaging in political speech and petitioning the government for the redress of grievances, in ways that do not meet with the approval of Senator Harry Reid. There is no legitimate policy issue in question here. Charles and David Koch are simply doing what millions of Americans, including millions of Democrats and progressives, do all the time: putting their money in the service of their political priorities. The only reason for this activism to be a subject of vitriolic denunciation in the Senate is simple personal hatred, which Reid possesses in abundance, and the pursuit of political advantage, in which Reid is tireless.
Not only tireless, but ruthless. In the wake of the decision in the Citizens United case, which held that the federal government may not fine or imprison private citizens for showing a film critical of a political figure during a window of time deemed inappropriate by other political figures, Reid and the Democrats became agitated by their fear that the main currents of political discourse in these United States were moving outside of such Democrat-dominated institutions as newspapers and network news programs, as well as outside of federally regulated enterprises such as political parties and political campaigns conducted under the watchful eye of the Federal Election Commission. The Democrats have for a generation been able to fight the vast majority of national campaigns on friendly ground of their own choosing, the arbiters of political conversation being the editors of the New York Times and employees of the regulatory agencies. The Kochs, and others like them, had for decades been active at the ideas end of the political process, but once they started to take an interest in actual election outcomes, the hysteria set in. With the assistance of such feckless co-conspirators as Senator John McCain, the Left set about attempting to put practically all private political activism under federal regulation. Their greatest obstacle, as the Supreme Court has reminded them repeatedly, is the First Amendment.
As Harry Reid prepares to depart from the scene, it’s worth understanding better just what a toxic, polluting, abusive presence Dirty Harry Reid has been in the United States Senate. The entire essay is worth the read. As is everything that Kevin Williamson writes.