I learned from Matt Yglesias about The Conspiracy Theory Around Harry Reid’s Exercise Accident. As you have probably noticed, Harry Reid has been wearing sun glasses all the time now. And you may know that this is because his right eye (along with the bones in his face and ribs) was badly damaged in an exercising accident. But was it in exercising accident? Could it not have been that the mafia ruffed up the pugilistic Senator? Well, if you are a right wing freak, you think so. And if you are an “establishment” conservative like Byron York, well, then you are just asking questions.
Part of this conspiracy theory is just the result of the full embrace of postmodern analysis by the conservative movement. I still find it telling that conservatives abandoned their commitment to absolute values the movement they found themselves losing the argument on substance. But it is truly bizarre that so many of them went in the opposite direction to the belief that reality is whatever you say it is. That is the basis, after all, of Fox News. They aren’t lying when they claim to be “fair and balanced.” That’s because to them, “fair and balanced” is simply defined as what they are. The words have no meaning outside their propagandistic uses.
In the case of Harry Reid, conservatives just know he must be corrupt to the core. He is, after all, a politician. And a Democrat — or as conservatives would put it: not a Republican — not our “our team.” And he’s from Nevada. They’ve all seen The Godfather Part II, so they know that the mafia control the whole state. Given all of these things, Harry Reid must just be a puppet for the mob — a real life Pat Geary. The fact that the film took place in the 1950s doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter, as Matt Yglesias noted, the Vegas mob “was largely crushed in the 1980s.”
Another thing about Harry Reid that conservatives are skeptical about is just how he got to be so rich. But as with so many examples of conservative flights of fancy, the claim is not even true. Reid is rich — there’s no doubt of that. He’s is worth an estimated $6.8 million. But before he became a Senator, he was a successful attorney with a net worth of about a million dollars. The amount of money that he has now is “about what he would have obtained had he simply put his $1 million in the S&P 500 and reinvested the dividends.” If Harry Reid is corrupt, he sure is bad at it.
But the ultimate refutation of this claim that the mob got to him is the fact that Harry Reid is one of the most powerful politicians in the United States. As such, he has a security detail with him at all times. They were with him at the time of the accident. In fact, they drove him to the hospital. The story that the conspiracy mongers would have to tell would be something from Mission: Impossible with Tom Cruise coming in through the air ducts.
In addition to this, Yglesias noted that if the mob wanted to drive a point home, there are much better ways — like threatening to harm his family or threatening to expose him. But none of this matters. Conservatives claimed that Obama wasn’t a natural born citizen, even after they were shown his birth certificate and despite him being natural born regardless of his birthplace given that his mother was a citizen. Reality is whatever conservatives want to believe. But we won’t hear much more about this thing about Harry Reid because he isn’t President and he’s retiring anyway. But even in the time that I’ve been writing this article, Breitbart News published, Why Harry Reid’s Home Exercise Accident Story Does Not Add Up. And people wonder why we can’t even raise the minimum wage.