Harry Reid, it seems, is the honey badger. And this has not only sent conservatives into a tizzy; it has also started tugging at liberal ethics, leading some to denounce Reid’s conduct, and led “fact-checkers” to title Reid a liar. But I think the various scenarios at play here are more multifarious than many give credit, so let’s break this down:

1)      Harry Reid is telling the complete truth, and his source is telling the complete truth.

2)      Harry Reid is telling the complete truth, but his source is not, either:

  1. a.       Knowingly lying, or
  2. b.      Is misinformed.

3)      Harry Reid is lying.

  1. a.       He has no source and made this up out of whole cloth.
  2. b.      He has no source but believes in his gut what he is saying to be true.
  3. c.       He has a source (who may or may not be telling the truth) but is lying about the nature of the source (a “Bain investor”) to protect their identity.
  4. d.      He has a source but is lying (or at least exaggerating) about what the source told him.
  5. e.      He has a source but both are conspiring together to exaggerate or cloud the truth to embarrass or provoke Mitt Romney.

Now, once again, Harry Reid is the honey badger, so he’s just going to eat that cobra regardless of whatever we say, but I do think that everyone who is weighing in on this situation should at least name which of the eight scenarios above they think is the actual fact of the matter, regardless of what they can prove. Personally, I’m going with some combination of 3c and 3e.