“Very junior senator” Ted Cruz really getting under skin of very senior Sen. Harry Reid

posted at 7:21 pm on May 7, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

This is the second very similar attack, by name and name-calling, on the Senate floor in two days. It begins to look a little overwrought on the part of Sen. Harry Reid, who used to be known for boasting of his pugilism prowess and ducking booby-trap bombs in his Gaming Commission days. Now, he’s rather ruffled by a “schoolyard bully” many years his junior trying to, gasp!, influence Senate processes.

May I suggest that, in the Alinskyite tradition, Reid stick with demonization of his target instead of muddying the waters with this emasculation and condescension tactic. This is just sloppy and makes Reid look scared and insecure, not angry and scurrilous, as is his customary pose. He sounds like Montgomery Burns, indignantly fist-shaking in the presence of a new crop of cargo-shorts-wearing tech CEOs. “CONFERENCE ROOMS ARE NOT FOR AIR HOCKEY TABLES, DAMMIT!”

Here he is on the floor today. Thanks to Charlie Spiering for the clip:

Highlighting his relatively advanced age and accompanying crotchetiness is perhaps not the best fit with a Democratic Party apparatus that has been successful in laying that stereotype on the Republican Party. Elevating the GOP’s youthful up-and-comers with a good bout of get-off-my-lawn ire seems counterproductive, even if Reid makes it clear he doesn’t think Cruz is the sort of “clean, articulate” and ethnic-dialect-free young man he’s wont to approve of in politics. This has a whiff of Sen. John McCain’s railing at Sen. Rand Paul in the wake of his drone filibuster, complete with repeated, personal hits that suggest deep annoyance at one’s opponent’s efficacy.

And, then he goes and cribs his insults from the New York Times. Reid’s attack today began with a reprise of “schoolyard bully” before moving on to “very junior senator,” the same phrase the Times used when it took to the fainting couch over Cruz’s disrupting the “courtly ways” of the U.S. Senate in February.

You’re slipping, old man. Excuse me. Very senior man.


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