On Wednesday, the Republican Party of Louisiana sent a formal complaint to the Senate Ethics Committee against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) claiming that Reid is abusing publicly funded resources for partisan and electoral activities. Basically, Republicans are mad that Reid keeps attacking the Koch brothers. They are claiming the abuse comes in the form of him using his official Senate Twitter account and senate.gov website to criticize the billionaire Republican donors. Apparently, the feeling is that Reid is ripping off the American public by utilizing social media and the internet by letting his feelings known.
Obviously, Republicans are looking at this as a way to shut up Reid. The Nevada Senator has been on a crusade as of late, launching a full-on assault lambasting the Kochs for their meddlesome activities in the world of politics. Seeing many red and purple state Democratic Senators, currently up for reelection, attacked by Koch-funded political ads these past few months, Reid decided it was time to shine the spotlight on these shadowy figures.
Beginning Wednesday morning, conservative media did its best to make this into a huge story. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus appeared on Fox & Friends to get the ball rolling. He tried to go for the jugular when he said, “Harry Reid is so dirty and so unethical.” Steve Doocy, with Roger Ailes almost certainly in his earpiece, helped setup Priebus’ criticism of Reid by stating that Reid’s attacks on the Kochs are only a way to distract the American people from the failure of Obamacare (Yes, Doocy really did say that.)
Below is video of the exchange:
Evidently, the Priebus interview, along with the formal complaint being filed, was supposed to create a huge torrent of media activity, with news sites, papers and cable news shows flocking to the story. However, the overall reaction was mostly a ‘Meh.’ Obediently, the conservative media tried to give the story traction. Right-wing sites like The Daily Caller and BizPac Review made sure to toe the line and put forth the perfect amount of Republican spin. Yet, that was about it. Most of the rest of the coverage, how little there was of it, focused more on Priebus calling Reid dirty and unethical in the Fox interview.
Perhaps one of the reasons this story isn’t being seen as huge news to the majority of media outlets is because there is almost no way anything is going to come of this. It is an extremely transparent attempt by Republicans to go to bat for their biggest benefactors and try to shut down any negative statements made about them. Also, it rings especially hollow considering the amount of negative, partisan behavior displayed by Republicans on their ‘official’ Twitter accounts.
How about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attacking other government agencies using his Senate Twitter account?
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 15, 2014
Or, how about Cruz directly criticizing the President using the same Twitter account?
POTUS is dancing in the end zone while millions of Americans hurt. Obamacare wasn’t working last year & it’s not now. We need #FullRepeal!
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 2, 2014
Another Republican Senator, Rand Paul, has had no issues using his Senate Twitter account to attack others:
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) April 18, 2014
Finally, we see it come full circle, as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) used his Senate Twitter account to go after Harry Reid. The tweet linked to a post on Johnson’s senate.gov website praising the Koch brothers.
The ideas that make Harry Reid call someone un-American. http://t.co/AVAVCxR6EI
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) April 8, 2014
Apparently, partisanship is a one-way street. It is quite alright if you are a Republican. In fact, it is expected that you rip the President and Obamacare using your official Twitter account, or publicly provided website. However, if a Democrat has the gall to say something bad about the men writing the checks for the GOP, well, that has to be an ethics violation, right?