Bad news from Harry Reid: The Republicans may have helped Russia annex Crimea

This guy now occupies a magical place in American politics, not unlike the niche Joe Biden occupies although different in a crucial respect. Both get the media’s Democratic discount from bad coverage whenever they say something stupid and/or offensive, and both also get a discount from the sheer volume of stupidity/offensiveness that pours forth. (“Just Joe being Joe.”) The difference is that Reid’s worst soundbites are demagogic by design whereas Biden’s are more oafish. This is the sort of thing that would warrant a 35-minute block on “Hardball” about McCarthyism had a Republican said it of Democrats; as it is, it’ll float by with some vapid comment attached about how Reid’s just an old boxer who enjoys a street fight now and then.

And the worst part isn’t the demagoguery. The worst part is that he’s willfully stupid about Russian intentions during an ostensibly serious debate about how to deter Russia.

Outlining the Senate’s agenda after a one-week recess, the Nevada Democrat said the first item would be the Ukraine bill that Republicans blocked just before lawmakers went on break. He urged Republicans to consider “how their obstruction affects United States’ national security as well as the people of Ukraine” and said their delay of any congressional action “sent a dangerous message to Russian leaders.”

“Since a few Republicans blocked these important sanctions last work period, Russian lawmakers voted to annex Crimea and Russian forces have taken over Ukrainian military bases,” Reid said. “It’s impossible to know whether events would have unfolded differently if the United States had responded to Russian aggression with a strong, unified voice.”

GOP Senate aides noted the House has passed different legislation, meaning the Senate bill could not have become law before recess anyhow. They blamed Reid and Democrats for blocking the Senate from taking up the House legislation.

In other words, having already seized Crimea at the cost of poisoning relations with the U.S. and EU, Putin might have belatedly abandoned the whole project last week if only the Senate’s weak-ass sanctions bill had passed on time. Even though there was zero chance the bill could have become law before the recess regardless. Just an old boxer, misleading the public in the name of uppercutting his opponents in the groin for funsies.

Here he is on the Senate floor, with an assist from McCain, laying into Senate Republicans for blocking the sanctions bill last week in the name of strengthening IMF reforms that are attached to it. They’re voting on cloture as I write this and have already cleared 60 votes. Presumably Putin will now gift Crimea back to Ukraine in terror. When you’re done with this, go take David Freddoso’s new quiz, “Whose Fault Is It?” Hint: There are no wrong answers!

Update (Ed): Hey, does anyone else remember Mr. Unity declaring the Iraq War lost in 2007? That’s a few orders of magnitude worse than a delay of an aid package, no?