Among the sleuths: Kos.
Jonathan Chait puts it all together.
On several occasions, I’ve been poised to join the crowd of liberal commentators ritually denouncing Harry Reid for passing on his anonymously sourced claim that Mitt Romney may have paid on the order of no taxes for ten years. What always held me back was a slight nagging concern: What if Reid is right? At this moment I’m glad I hesitated, because I now suspect Reid is right.
Oh, I’m not sure that the underlying claim about Romney’s tax payments is right. I suspect it’s a kind of colloquialism — “no taxes” is rich-guy talk for, say, a single-digit tax rate. But I do think Reid has a real source here. Markos Moulitsas and a host of other online sleuths have compiled a pretty persuasive case that Reid’s source is Jon Huntsman Sr. Reid has described his source as a major Bain investor and a Republican. Huntsman (the father of the former candidate who’s now backing slowly out of the GOP) is a major Bain investor and a business partner with its managing director, as well as a Reid donor. Abby Huntsman curiously co-bylined a Huffington Post story claiming inside information about Romney’s returns.
So, assuming his source is Huntsman or some other legitimate figure, does Reid have a right to repeat what he heard? The answer becomes more clear if you consider it from Reid’s perspective. You’re Harry Reid, and a Republican you know with strong Bain connections passes on that the tax returns Romney refuses to release reveal that he is paying “no” taxes. Must you refrain from declaring this to the world? Given that Romney’s tax returns are something most people believe he is ethically obligated to release anyway, I’d say no. ...Jonathan Chait
Behind all this is something that annoys this lefty a lot -- a whole lot. I'm not a big fan of Harry Reid but I'm even less of a fan of the notion that Democrats shouldn't fight just as hard as Republicans.
Republicans -- for several decades now -- have not just fought hard but fought dirty, really dirty if you include their history of voter harrassment and suppression. Though I don't want the Republican party to go away, I want its criminal and knuckle-dragging politicians on the far right to be vanquished for once and for all. If Harry Reid is leading the effort to drown them -- and the oligarchy -- they've created in their own sewer, that's fine with me.
Give 'em hell, Harry!