Another Harry Reid moment


There's not anyone in Nevada who doesn't know about Harry Reid's propensity to look foolish.

Now comes this little gem today in the heat of the federal budget shutdown, courtesy of the Washington Beacon. 

DANA BASH: You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials. The House is presumably going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH. Given what you’ve said, will you at least pass that? And if not, aren’t you playing the same political games that Republicans are?

HARRY REID: Listen, Sen. Durbin explained that very well, and he did it here, did it on the floor earlier, as did Sen. Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It’s obvious what’s going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don’t know what other word I can use. They’re obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.

BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless –

So, let's break this down: If you dare to ask a question that even hints that Democrats may be, might be, could be also contributing to the government shutdown, you are "irresponsible and reckless." Bad, Dana Bash. Bad, CNN.

I'll be writing about this more on Sunday. But if you don't think Harry Reid isn't at least part of the problem, you have not been paying close enough attention. This is as much of Harry Reid's shutdown as it is Ted Cruz'. The only one who bears more responsibility is President Obama, the Great Divider.

UPDATE: The latter-day spin from the above encounter is to suggest that Sen. Harry Reid was not really responding to CNN's Dana Bash when he said "Why would we want to do that?" He was responding to Chuck Schumer who interjected as Reid was responding to Bash.

I suppose you could contend that, but in real time that's not what it looked like. And it is not how CNN reported it.

To adopt that slo-mo, upon-further-review revisionist position, you'd have to contend that Reid is quick enough on his feet to do that. My experience is he's not that quick. Looking at the film, which you can find here, Reid clearly begins his response to Bash before Schumer jumps in.

This part of the Reid press conference disaster isn't my point in the blog above (it's about calling Bash "irresponsible"), but if it makes you sleep better to think Reid really, really didn't say "Why would we do that" to Bash, then fine. Believe it. Personally, I don't think Reid is quick enough on his feet to begin responding to Bash, quickly retort to Schumer, and then seamlessly continue with Bash.