Harry Reid: Town-hall protesters are "evil-mongers"

It’s his own coinage, as nasty and awkward as the man himself. And like a two-year-old who’s just crapped on the carpet, he’s curiously proud of it.

Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, was having second thoughts – or was he? – about the way he had characterized people who are disrupting town halls with “lies, innuendo and rumor,” and not letting others speak. They are, he said, “evil-mongers.”

A day after tossing out the term “evil-mongers” in the closing speech of his annual clean energy conference, Reid was alternating between pride in his coinage and knowing that he probably should be trying to defuse, not escalate, the turmoil erupting at town meetings across the country on health care reform.

“It was an original with me. I maybe could have been less descriptive,” Reid said. He also said, “I doubt that you’ll hear it from me again.” But a few minutes later, he couldn’t resist a sardonic little joke. “I feel I haven’t done anything to embarrass them,” Reid said of his children. “Except maybe call somebody an evil-monger.”

Mind you, this is a guy who’s up for reelection next year and whose unfavorable rating already stands at 50 percent. I’d love to see the internal polling that’s convinced him and Baron Hill that egregiously demonizing protesters — whom more Americans are sympathetic to than not — is a sure path to victory. Consider this further proof, though, that William McGurn was right in dubbing ObamaCare the left’s new religion, with protester-heretics now officially deemed “evil” for shouting about it. Exit question: Isn’t this actually the left’s line on the right in all policy disagreements? Pick any issue you like, foreign or domestic, and liberal conventional wisdom has some nefarious explanation available for the conservative position. Warmongering, racism, exploiting the poor, “controlling women’s bodies” — you name it, they’ve got an “evil” ulterior motive to account for it. I wonder why it took Reid this long to drop the E-bomb. He must really want to win this debate.