There's no question that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is an absolute political genius -- as is the Obama campaign and Obama's Palace Guards in the media.
Having Reid openly and audaciously lie about a Bain investor telling him that Romney didn't pay his taxes for ten years might be the dirtiest kind of Chicago-style politics we've seen on the national stage in awhile, but as we enter into day four of this story, it's painfully obvious -- thanks to the media -- that the Obama campaign's strategy is working brilliantly.
Anyone who doesn’t believe Obama is behind what Reid is up to, doesn’t want to. The media knows Team Obama is behind this, but won't say so. Because saying so isn't part of a sleazy plan that was formulated and rolled out in this way…
Step 1: Obama desperately needs the media focus to stay on Romney and off his own failures, especially with unemployment on the rise and the economy slowing to just above recession levels. Obama also needs to find a way to give the now month-old media narrative about Romney releasing more than two-years of his taxes new life.
Step 2: What better way to keep the focus on Romney and his taxes than for the Senate Majority Leader to repeat over and over and over again the outrageous statement that some Bain "investor" told him Romney paid no taxes over ten years.
Step 3: Naturally, this kind of statement from a high-profile Democrat is going to swamp the news-cycle, as will Reid's McCarthyist tacit of hurling a charge and then demanding his political opponent prove it isn't true.
Step 4: The media plays along by dutifully reporting Reid's charge. Suddenly we're not talking about Obama and Obama's failures but about … Romney's taxes! The media is also careful not to criticize President Obama for having a hand in any of this.
Step 5: By doubling, tripling and quadrupling down on the charge, Reid turns Romney's taxes into a multi-day story that only grows in size. Romney and his surrogates are forced to respond, and that makes the story even bigger. Instead of talking about his vision for the country and getting his message out, Romney is instead talking about … his taxes!
Step 6: Harry Reid has nothing to lose by doing this. He's happy to take the criticism because he risks nothing. Reid isn’t up for reelection for another five years.
Step 7: The media plays along. By making Reid and Romney's taxes the biggest political story of the day, the media is not talking about Obama or his failed record or "you didn’t build that" or our staggering economy. The subject has been changed to … Romney's taxes!
Step 8: The media continues to cover for Obama. Yes, the very same media that demanded Romney repudiate private citizen Donald trump is now refusing to make Obama pay a political price for something his campaign is obviously involved in. No one believes this is the kind of behavior a Senate Majority Leader would engage in unilaterally just three months away from the reelection of his own party's standard-bearer.
Moreover, Obama is accountable for Reid because Obama is THE LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
Step 9: To give this desire narrative a whole new life, add Nancy Pelosi to the mix.
Step 10: For cover, have the media write long, angry denunciations of Reid. This gives the media the phony aura of being "objective," but what it really does is ensure the blame all lands on Reid and the Obama campaign isn't held accountable for their part in this.
If they wanted to, the media could end this McCarthyism by simply doing the right thing and laying this despicable behavior where it belongs -- at the feet of President Obama.
Do you think if House Speaker Boehner was currently running around telling audacious lies about Obama that the media would let Romney float above it all and not pound him senselessly until he was forced to repudiate the behavior or Boehner was pressured to shut up?
Of course the media would.
But the media won’t here, because it's all part of the plan.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC