Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has the voice and demeanor that seems to resemble that of a sad undertaker, is it really accurate to describe him as "soft-spoken" and not being known for "hyperbole?" That is how the Huffington Post described him in an article chock full of unhinged Harry Reid quotes so over the top as to actually be comedically entertaining. The story was about Reid castigating fellow Democrat Bill Magwood of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. I will get into the details of Reid's anger but first let us enjoy one of the highly entertaining money quotes:
"He's a first-class rat. He lied to Rouse, he lied to me, and he had a plan. He is a tool of the nuclear industry. A tool. Magwood was a sh*t-stirrer..."
You want more of unhinged Harry? Okay, I'll give you more:
"That man I will never, ever forget what a treacherous, miserable liar he is. I met with him because Pete Rouse asked me to meet with him. I said, 'Is he OK on Yucca Mountain?' Pete said, 'Yeah.' So I went through some detail with him as to how important this was to me. 'Senator, I know this industry like the back of my hand. You don't have to worry about me,' [Magwood said]. And the conversation was much deeper than that."
As to what set off the fuse of "soft-spoken" Harry Reid, the Huffington Post explains:
In an interview with The Huffington Post, the Nevada Democrat savaged Bill Magwood, a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, when asked if he thought the Democrat had a chance to become NRC chairman.
"You know, when you're in this government, this business of politics, the only thing that you have is your word," said Reid, seated in his Capitol office. "I can be as partisan as I have to be, but I always try to be nice. I try never to say bad things about people. Bill Magwood is one of the" -- Reid paused, deciding which adjective to reach for, before picking them all -- "most unethical, prevaricating" -- he paused again, this time for 10 full seconds -- "incompetent people I've ever dealt with. The man sat in that chair -- right there -- and lied to me. I've never, ever in my life had anyone do that. Never."
...Reid is a vociferous opponent of storing nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. By backing Obama early in his campaign for president, he persuaded the candidate to promise to block the project. A former staffer of Reid's was named chairman, and Reid said he was assured by Pete Rouse, a senior White House official, that Magwood would also oppose Yucca. Instead, according to Reid and confirmed by sources familiar with the internal dynamics of the NRC, Magwood worked against the effort to shut down Yucca.
As for the Huffington Post's assertion that Harry Reid does not normally engage in hyperbole, a search of Reid quotes here at NewsBusters would contradict that claim, including this statement he made last year: "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine..."
One thing about this story has your humble correspondent scratching his head. Since Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader and Yucca Mountain is in his own state, wouldn't it take just one call to the White House to prevent Magwood from becoming chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? Why the public conniption fit? And is Magwood the only Democrat that Reid is aiming his harsh words at? Could Reid's anger possibly be really directed at a certain high ranking Democrat causing him extreme frustration but is unable to name him for political reasons? Just wondering. Hmmm... One of the "most unethical, prevaricating...incompetent people I have ever dealt with. The man sat in that chair -- right there -- and lied to me." Now who else could Reid be describing? I need to think on that for awhile.
Oh, and if the Huffington Post has the audio (or video) of Harry Reid coming unglued, they must post it online. The entertainment value of hearing Reid say "sh*t-stirrer" would be enormous.