It has, alas, come to this:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday accused Republicans of holding up crucial assistance to Ukraine in order to protect the Koch brothers.
Reid tied the billionaire brothers who have bankrolled conservative causes to GOP demands that language delaying the Internal Revenue Service’s regulation of non-profit political advocacy groups be added to the Ukraine package…
“It’s hard for me to comprehend how with a clear conscience they could say, ‘Ukrainians, we probably can’t help you because we’re trying to protect the Koch brothers,’” he said on Thursday. “And not only that, they’re saying to the American people that protecting the Koch brothers is more important than helping our country.”
What’s the strategy here? And don’t tell me “he’s trying to rev up the Democratic base.” They did the same thing in 2010, hyperventilating over secret “foreign money” and the Chamber of Commerce (ironically, now a Democratic ally on amnesty), and they got roundly destroyed at the polls for their trouble. No one cares enough about this to make their vote turn on it; if you’re a liberal who hates the Kochs with a blinding passion, you’ve got a thousand other issues that’ll get you down to the voting booth with or without Reid’s Koch binge. Granted, demagoging the Kochs might squeeze an extra nickel from lefty donors, but surely not so much that it’s worth the Senate majority leader droning on repeatedly about this for weeks on end. If this is part of a party-driven strategy to hit liberals in their wallets, why on earth would you farm it out to Harry Reid instead of to Elizabeth Warren, whom the left loves and whose leadership on this subject would inevitably be amplified by breathless media treating it as a sign that she might run in 2016?
If, for whatever reason, they didn’t want Warren to take the lead on this, you would think they’d at least want someone besides Reid, who’s known for unusually shameless demagoguery among political media and whose whining is therefore more easily discounted. Maybe this guy simply pulled rank and demanded the job himself. Maybe he’s anticipating a tough reelection bid against a strong opponent in Brian Sandoval in 2016 and figures there’s no time like the present to start mega-pandering to the left. He can’t save the Democrats in November but maybe he can save himself.