Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Do you know who Harry M. Reid might be? Frankly, I did not know either, until he was quoted in the newspapers as having said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Justice Clarence Thomas is "an embarrassment to the Supreme Court."

 He also asseverated that Justice Thomas' opinions "are poorly written." As he made these utterances recently on "Meet the Press," I concluded that the man must have some stature -- unless, of course, the issue being treated on the show was small-town bigotry.

 Well, it turns out that this fellow Reid is a United States senator. In fact, he is the incoming Senate Minority Leader from Nevada.

 Reid will replace the ever-purring Sen. Tom Daschle as minority leader after Daschle's mishap on Nov. 2. This should be amusing. On the same program, he also said Justice Antonin Scalia would probably get his support if the president nominates him to be chief justice because Justice Scalia is "one smart guy."

 So Reid is not a small-town bigot. Rather he is just another vulgar mind, raised to eminence by Democrats and emboldened to favor us with his crude thoughts. If in the course of "Meet the Press" he were to have wiped his nose on his sleeve, I would not be surprised. Doubtless, he would have a morally superior explanation if anyone questioned his etiquette. This is the consequence when liberalism's morally superior mindset affixes itself on mediocrity.

 The moral pretense of the American liberal is a thing to marvel upon. So is the intellectual pretense. The Nevada senator who pronounced on Justice Thomas' record and literary merit is a man of no intellectual distinction whatsoever. Having read over the transcript of his remarks on "Meet the Press," I can tell you he articulates woodenly. His thoughts are banal. How well he writes I cannot say with total confidence, but if he writes as well as he speaks he is -- after his first few simple sentences -- unreadable.

 What would provoke such a born blank to pronounce on the intellectual capacities of either Justice Thomas or Justice Scalia? The incoming Senate minority leader believes he is part of that large gaggle of impostors who consider themselves liberals or "progressives," as they in their florid vanity would have it.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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