Taking down Harry Reid's accusations against Romney

Recently, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) publicly said an unnamed source told Reid that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes for most of the last twelve years. This has risen to something of a brouhaha, and on Megyn Kelly’s show yesterday former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen and Kelly basically put Reid and his Democratic supporters in their respective places.

First, it was Kelly who asked if it was even appropriate for Reid to accuse Romney on the Senate floor. To take her question one step further, would that be an abuse of power? Is that a powerful public official using his position to target an individual private citizen? It sure seems like it.

Second, Thiessen mockingly accused Reid of beating his wife, and said the burden of proof was on Reid to prove Thiessen wrong. Thiessen’s liberal counterpart, Julie Roginsky, responded by saying the burden of proof is on Romney, but that was just partisanship on her part — clearly, an unsourced accusation requires zero response. More importantly, it should completely destroy the credibility of the accuser, especially one as experienced and powerful as Reid. Kelly pointed this out to Roginsky, saying that Reid’s accusations have importance because of Reid’s position as Senate Majority Leader.

Third, according to Thiessen, Reid declined an official request to put out his own recent tax returns. Hypocrisy much?

In watching this little back-and-forth, it occurred to me that Nevada taxpayers might have an argument if they accuse Reid of engaging in campaign work on the Senate floor. Such campaigning is illegal, but it sure seems like Reid was giving Obama a political boost during a time when he should have been acting as Senate Majority Leader. And given Reid’s intent to break the law by not passing a budget through the Senate for the fourth year in a row, we know how much he believes the laws of our land apply to him.

The fight over Romney’s tax returns is yet another of the many distractions Obama wants on the table so Americans will care less about the economy, and Reid is clearly willing to play along. It’s unfortunate that Huffington Post chose to publish Reid’s statement to them about the taxes, since Reid’s initial mention of the unsourced accusation on the Senate floor went almost unnoticed. Hopefully conservatives can now repeat what Thiessen and Kelly noted to great effect, and get the attention of politicians and pundits back to debating and passing legitimate budget, foreign policy, and abortion policies.

Note: Thanks to commenter Tomshup for pointing out that I accidentally wrote that Reid accused Romney on the House floor near the top of this post, not the Senate floor. I got all the other mentions right, but flubbed the most important one.