Ed Driscoll

Harry Reid's History Of The World Part I

In Mel Brook’s History of the World Part I, there’s a scene in which Mel, playing the King of France, has this memorable exchange:

Count de Monet: It is said that the people are revolting.
King Louis XVI: You said it! They stink on ice!

France lost its Ancien Regime in 1789, but Harry Reid (D-NV) sounds like he’s been drinking in a little too much from the House of Bourbon for his own good:


As AllahPundit writes, “Comedy gold from the unerring political instinct that brought us a Congressional approval rating lower than Bush’s. Behold, the ultimate Kinsleyan gaffe:”

“My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway,” said Reid in his remarks. “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.”

But it’s no longer going to be true, noted Reid, thanks to the air conditioned, indoor space.

Allah asks, “What did the Senate chamber smell like before A/C?” I have no idea, but it is a reminder that Big Government needs Big Air Conditioning to prosper, as Jonah Goldberg wrote a few years ago:

In the 18th and 19th centuries a congressman wouldn’t be caught dead in Washington during July. Well, actually, they might be caught dead, because they wore all those clothes and were so fat that they might have died while trying to get out. The British Embassy, for example, moved the entire kit and caboodle to Maine every summer.

The idea is: Ban air conditioning in Washington and you would cut the “productivity” of the government by more than a third (say from late May to late September) and return the United States to the limited government the Founders intended. D.C. is still full of members of this school of thought.

For such a powerful guy, Harry’s an awfully delicate soul. Before he was getting the vapors from having to smell the peasants, he was having other health issues:



Come 2010 when he’s up for reelection, the voters of Nevada might want to consider replacing Reid with another senator–if only to give Harry’s delicate sinuses a chance to heal up.

Update: Welcome Corner readers!