Thursday, December 11, 2008

Harry Reid does not accept your bribe.

I haven't been a big fan of how Harry Reid "led" the Democrats in the senate, but this story might be one of the coolest things I've ever read. Via Ezra Klein:
In July of 1978, a man named Jack Gordon, who was later married to LaToya Jackson, offered Reid twelve thousand dollars to approve two new, carnival-like gaming devices for casino use. Reid reported the attempted bribe to the F.B.I. and arranged a meeting with Gordon in his office. By agreement, F.B.I. agents burst in to arrest Gordon at the point where Reid asked, “Is this the money?” Although he was taking part in a sting, Reid was unable to control his temper; the videotape shows him getting up from his chair and saying, “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!” and attempting to choke Gordon, before startled agents pulled him off. “I was so angry with him for thinking he could bribe me,” Reid said, explaining his theatrical outburst. Gordon was convicted in federal court in 1979 and sentenced to six months in prison.
Let me get this straight. Even though he knew it was a set-up, Reid was so incapable of containing his rage that he proceeds to go Sprewell on the guy while the FBI is in the room?! Where did that Harry Reid go? Wouldn't the senate Republicans be a little less filibuster-happy if they thought the guy across the table might flip out and try to kill them?

If there's anything we need in the senate, it's highly combustible Ron Artest type doing the negotiations, and I'm not really joking.

So despite his usual "strength through weakness" approach to politics, the Blagojevich bribery scandal touched a nerve and led to this shocking response from Reid:

On Wednesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin drafted a letter -- which they subsequently urged their Democratic colleagues to sign -- that calls on the Illinois Governor to not just remove himself from office but to "under no circumstance" make a last-minute appointment to fill Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

Should Blagojevich disregard these warnings, Reid and Durbin write, the Senate would "be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated."

The Majority Leader then added: "Is Harry Reid gonna have to choke a bitch?"

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