This is indicative of the way politics is played today -- pedal to the metal, full tilt, guns blazing, and without remorse or apology.
Harry Reid said last week that somebody who invested at Bain Capital told him that Romney hadn't paid any income taxes for 10 years. No evidence whatsoever, just a hearsay accusation from someone he doesn't name. Ordinarily, that's the kind of thing the media would come down on a politician for. But WaPo gleefully printed it, and it was dutifully picked up by the rest of the MSM.
When given an opportunity to climb down from his ridiculous, unsubstantiated charge, Reid instead doubled down and stuck his foot in it even deeper.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that the burden of proof is on Mitt Romney to prove that he hasn't evaded paying his taxes, despite the legal principle that a person accused of a crime is "innocent until proven guilty."
Reid accused Romney of what amounts to tax fraud, but he doesn't think he to provide evidence for the charge. "I don't think the burden should be on me," Reid told reporters on a conference call, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. "The burden should be on him. He's the one I've alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn't he release his tax returns?"
The Nevada Democrat earned a law degree at George Washington University in 1964 - not so long ago that he should have forgotten that due process protections in the American legal system require the accuser to prove that the accused is guilty for a case to stand. Of course, Reid isn't filing a formal charge, so there is no impediment to him making such accusations.
"What if he has paid no taxes, like I am saying he hasn't," Reid told reporters, before mentioning Romney's offshore bank accounts. "I mean, gee whiz, rather than ask me why I should do this, that is a story you should be writing."
Reid claimed to have "several" sources who told him that Romney had avoided paying taxes for at least a decade. He wouldn't name any of those sources.
This isn't some back bench bomb thrower making this accusation. This is the highest ranking Democrat in Congress, and second highest ranking elected Democrat in the nation.
It used to be that members of one's own party would come down on someone making an absolutely spurious charge like this. But there is only silence from Obama and the Democrats are now in desperation mode with the economy continuing to tank and the election less than 100 days away.