Not that the health-reform debate needed more fuel for its rancorous fire, but Democrat Harry Reid tossed some on today anyway, comparing conservatives who would block the current measure to those who tried to stop the emancipation of slaves and universal suffrage. The GOP reaction was swift and angry, with Republican National Committee chief Michael Steele questioning Reid’s sanity, and fellow senators accusing the majority leader of desperation.
The heart of Reid’s statement this morning: “When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.” And highlights of Steele’s rebuttal: “Harry Reid is under immense pressure to pass this 2,000-page experiment on our nation’s health. … The pressure has apparently led Sen. Reid not only to make offensive and absurd statements, but also to lose his ability to reason. … If he is going to stand by these statements, the Democrats must immediately reconsider his fitness to lead them.”