For Reid, this is yet another brazen and tasteless partisan attack. As majority leader, he has managed to sink the public image of the Senate even lower than it would otherwise be. He contributes to bad feelings, gridlock and the sense — nay, the reality — that everything is done for political advantage. Reid is a crass man, the very personification of the gaudy and kitschy Las Vegas Strip.

Still, he is not some backbencher, but the Senate majority leader. He is the face of the Democratic Party in the Senate and the ally of President Obama. Yet, not a single Democrat has had the spine to rebuke Reid. The White House has been given the chance and explicitly ducked its duty. Other members of the Senate have run for cover. They fear Reid and, if truth be told, sort of like what he’s doing — constantly needling Romney, keeping him on the defensive about taxes and his insistence on releasing only two years of his returns…

As for Obama, he is tarnished by this episode. The fresh new face that promised us all a different kind of politics is suddenly looking cheesy. The soaring rhetoric that Obama used in his first campaign has come to ground in the mud of Harry Reid’s latter-day McCarthyism.