Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday the Senate needs to have a "Rodney King" moment in its healthcare debate.

During a speech on the Senate floor this morning, Reid channeled King, the victim of a 1991 police brutality incident, who made his famous plea for unity after courts acquitted police officers in his beating, sparking the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

"I’ve said to a number of people, Rodney King: ‘Let's just all try to get along,'" Reid said this morning on the Senate floor.

"I said when the Senate opened today and I’ll say again because of the long hours we've spent here for weeks now, there's a lot of tension in the Senate," Reid said. "And feelings are high. And that's fine. Everybody has very strong concerns about everything we have done and have to do."


Rancor has indeed increased during the Senate debate, with a host of recent incidents highlighting the tension between both sides. This past weekend, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), accused healthcare opponents of being right-wing extremists, while Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked people to pray that a senator couldn't make a key vote.

(Democrats took that to mean a shot at the sickly Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). "I would never do that to him," Coburn said Monday night on Fox News. "As a physician, I wouldn't wish ill health on anybody. And they know that.")

"But I would hope that everyone would go back to their gentlemanly ways and I would hope that -- I was trying to figure out how to say this," Reid said, before making his Rodney King remark.