Carol Platt Liebau

As I've pointed out before, Harry Reid has a history of ethical dubiousness.

But that's not all. He is also a thoroughly unpleasant human being.

You may not see it on the networks, but yesterday, Harry Reid made a remark that would be a career-killer had it fallen from the lips of a Republican. See for yourself (if you haven't already):

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. . . . .

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 –

The gratuitous attack on Dana Bash's intelligence is a nice touch.

Predictably, Reid has taken umbrage at the criticism of him, and the predictable media sycophants are falling all over themselves to "explain." So could he have meant it? Could anyone really be that unpleasant? A look at the record isn't reassuring for Reid's supporters. He says some pretty nasty stuff -- and not infrequently.

Earlier this summer, he indulged in a little bit of race-baiting at the Republicans' expense:

REID: It's been obvious that they're doing everything they can to make [Obama] fail. And I hope, I hope -- and I say this seriously -- I hope that's based on substance and not the fact that he's African American.

Harry Reid's vitriol isn't limited to kids with cancer or Republicans in general. He's also upset that there are Hispanic Republicans:

REID: "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK? Do I need to say more?"

If you're not a sick child, Hispanic or Republican, don't feel excluded -- Harry Reid has enough contempt for all of us. Here is he is, speaking about its at the dedication of the new Capitol Visitors' Center:

REID: "My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway. In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

Yes, friends, that's you and me that he -- and the rest of the federal crowd -- is mocking: You know, the chump taxpayers who subsidize their lives . . . and their ObamaCare subsidies.

Finally, there's the grandaddy of them all:

Everybody in public life misspeaks from time to time. But Harry Reid has a history of ugly commentary that suggests his comments yesterday weren't one-off gaffe he'd like everyone to believe it was.


Carol Platt Liebau

Carol Platt Liebau is an attorney, political commentator and guest radio talk show host based near New York. Learn more about her new book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)" here.