On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took a shot at the Tea Party movement while discussing the sequester and the Simpson-Bowles fiscal reform plan with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Coburn, who is serving his last term in the Senate, objected to S. 788, which would suspend the sequester for the current fiscal year. The sequester — a plan that merely cuts the rate of spending increases, is being blamed for flight delays due to FAA furloughs of air traffic controllers — a move with political motivations behind it.
“What is happening in the Senate is phenomenal, and I want the American people to see this, Coburn explained. “The Federal Government is 89 percent bigger than it was 10 years ago. We just heard the majority leader say flexibility can’t work because we are already dealing with the same amount of money — 89 percent more than we were 10 years ago.”
“I didn’t vote for the Budget Control Act. I think sequester is a stupid way to cut spending. But I want us to understand exactly what is going on,” Coburn continued. “This is a contrived situation because no effort — zero effort — by the FAA or the Department of Transportation has been made to have any flexibility in terms of how they spend their money. They have made no request for a reprogramming of funds within the FAA. They have over $500 million unobligated sitting in balances that aren’t obligated, so none of this had to happen. This has been a created situation.”
Reid responded with revisionist history, bogus numbers, and a slam against both Coburn and the Tea Party movement.
“We have a situation where this country has been driven by the Tea Party for the last number of years,” Reid said in response to Coburn. “When I was in school, I studied government and I learned about the anarchists. Now, they were different than the Tea Party because they were violent. But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government in any level and they acknowledged it. The Tea Party kind of hides that.”
“They don’t say ‘we’re against government’; that’s what it all amounts to,” he continued. “They’re not doing physically destructive things to buildings and people, directly; but they are doing everything they can to throw a monkey wrench into any form of government — whether it’s local, whether it’s state, or federal government. That’s what it’s all about.”
Reid then turned his sights on Coburn, claiming that he is “helping” the Tea Party. “[A]nything they can do to throw a monkey wrench into the wheels of government, they’re happy doing that,” Reid claimed. “And I’m sorry to say my friend from Oklahoma is helping them — maybe not directly but indirectly — and that is wrong.”
Perhaps even more peculiar than his baseless attack against the Tea Party movement, Reid went onto claim that “[g]overnment is not inherently bad,” but rather it’s “inherently good,” in his mind.
“Government is inherently good.” Reid added. “That’s why we have a Constitution; that’s what direct the activities that this government is based upon.”
There aren’t many in the Tea Party, if any at all, who will say that they don’t believe in government. They do believe in a constitutionally limited government. The arguments presented by the Tea Party or freedom movement are that government has grown far too large after years expanding entitlements, requiring Americans to purchase a product, even if they don’t want it — which is exactly what ObamaCare does.
Perhaps they’re also upset about the $1+ trillion budget deficits, nearly $17 trillion national debt, an unconstitutional foreign policy, and spying techniques that run roughshod over the Fourth Amendment. With all of that in mind, it’s incredibly hard to say that our government is being run in a manner that’s consistent with the principles of the Constitution, which was once the basis of good government.
Reid and others in Congress, as well as many of those before them, have ignored the Constitution on nearly every issue that has been brought to the floor. It’s quite possible that deconstruction of constitutional principles is one of the few consistent bipartisan efforts in Washington.