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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gestures as he addresses reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 11, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
This might be the most refreshing interview Politico has ever conducted with a politician. Politico's Manu Raju and Burgess Everett sat down with Harry Reid, but don't take his admonition seriously, judging by the results in this story.
Republicans think Harry Reid is running the Senate like a dictator: His no-compromise style is almost like Vladimir Putin’s, and his inflammatory rhetoric is reminiscent of the Joe McCarthy era.

But Reid doesn’t seem to care.

"Get a brain, OK?" the Senate majority leader snapped at a reporter, when asked why he doesn't permit far more votes on GOP amendments. "You're a smart guy."

In an interview this week in his Senate office, a feisty Reid pushed back aggressively against Republican complaints over his leadership, pinning the blame entirely on the GOP for the gridlock and polarization that define the historically unproductive 113th Congress.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

That's a simple place to start: all those GOP amendments that are little more than poison pills. For example, Republicans have offered up Obamacare repeal amendments to nearly every bill that that the Senate has considered this session. They've offered up amendments about every cooked-up "scandal," from the IRS targeting the tea party to "Obamaphones."

The unapologetic majority leader offered no regrets for his jaw-dropping rhetoric on the Senate floor where he’s repeatedly lambasted his political enemies and incited GOP charges of McCarthyism for calling the billionaire Koch brothers “un-American.”
Jaw-dropping rhetoric? Like this? "'It's reprehensible the way the United States Senate operates today,' said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), before comparing Reid to Putin." No, that's just mild Republican complaint. One of eight Republicans given the opportunity to complain about Reid in the article. (One Democrat besides Reid was included, Joe Manchin (D-WV).)

But this might be the worst Politico has to offer:

In Reid's mind, it's Republicans who have shifted and tossed out their moderate wing, particularly during the Obama era. He says the likes of Karl Rove and McConnell made it their top priority to make Obama a one-term president to "make him look bad" by denying him legislative achievements. GOP senators, he said, tie up Senate votes by making far-fetched demands that are not policed by Republican leaders, such as Louisiana Sen. David Vitter’s demand for votes to slash Capitol Hill health care subsidies, leading to the obstruction of even the most routine business.
In Reid's mind? He's just imagining the tea party took over? He just imagined it when Mitch McConnell said his top priority was denying President Obama a second term? (Which Politico reported on, btw.) He's just imagined all those bullshit amendments, every cloture vote required on every nominee—even those that end up garnering 100 affirmative votes? He's imagined the most filibusters ever forced? Politico reporters obviously don't spend enough time with C-SPAN2.

The last thing Reid should be apologetic for is speaking the truth about Republican obstruction. And he really doesn't need to apologize for telling Politico reporters to get a brain.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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