Of Tea Party Anarchists and Harry Reid’s A$$

September 18, 2013

The membership list of the United States Senate includes some of this nation’s most respected citizens; orators, statesmen, and even a President or two.  If current Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D, NV) has any desire to be a respected name on that list tomorrow, he would be well advised to choose his words a bit more carefully today.

Last Thursday morning, an irritated Reid lashed out from the Senate floor with:

“We’re diverted totally from what this bill is about. Why? Because the anarchists have taken over,” … “They’ve taken over the House and now they’ve taken over the Senate.  “People who don’t believe in government — and that’s what the Tea Party is all about — are winning, and that’s a shame.”

He continued: “It’s defund ObamaCare, and I guess as the fiscal year comes to and end that’s what it’s all about,”

If you like your truth given to you in sound bites and hyperbole you can stop reading now.  If you believe the United States Senate and the country as a whole deserves better, come on along.

While Harry Reid has never shied from outrageous statements (“this war is lost” while we still had troops fighting in Iraq), resorting to calling legitimately elected political opponents anarchists is a stretch even for him.

News reports reveal that the cause of Reid’s “irritus extremus” was Sen. David Vitter (R-La) saying he would not allow voting on Reid’s pet Energy bill unless he also allowed a vote on Vitter’s amendment requiring most executive and Congressional employees be required to enroll in ObamaCare under the same conditions and subsidy levels that are being mandated upon the general populace.

While one can concede that amendments to ObamaCare and debating an energy bill are an odd coupling, it must be realized that because of the hyper-partisan manner that Reid runs the Senate today, any Senator wishing an amendment or vote not of Reid’s favor has no choice but to play hard ball.

The bill, S. 1392, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, has quite an innocuous name, but in reality the Act is yet another top down federal program full of mandates and regulations requiring even more bureaucrats to manage and more money to be taken from you and your neighbor to pay for it.  $200 million dollars just for starters.

To believe Reid, you have to believe that the Tea Party Republicans truly want to completely eliminate the entire Federal Government, Constitution and all.  Yet nowhere to be found is any one of them actually saying such.  All we have is Harry Reid telling us his “truth”.  A truth contradicted by the facts.

Jamie Dupree, Radio News Director of Cox Media Group’s Washington Bureau, points out that the Republican house budget proposes $967 billion of discretionary spending for FY2014 against the democrat’s budget of $1.058 trillion.

Yes, there’s a $91 billion gap but $967 billion in government spending is hardly an anarchist’s dream.  Especially in a year that, except for 2007, has seen the federal government receive more tax revenue in the first 11 months of a fiscal year than at any time in the past 16.  $2,472,542 trillion with a month still go.

You see Harry, when you get beyond your sound bites, those House Republicans and their Tea Party allies in the Senate are no more anarchists than Nancy Pelosi is a Reagan conservative.

No one is calling for anarchy, but they are demanding accountability.  And that has got to be irritating to a man that knows nothing but spend, spend, and spend some more.

(A version of this column first appeared in the print edition of the Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 edition of the Joplin Globe.)

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