Whenever I hear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speak, it reinforces for me why Congress is so dysfunctional. It also reinforces the need for limited government, because Harry Reid might look like a milquetoast, but he has power, he's a hyper-partisan fighter, and he's woefully misguided. That makes him dangerous. If you can watch this video, where Harry tries to make the absurd claim that income taxes in America are VOLUNTARY (lol), and not come away thinking he's a clueless loon who shouldn't be within shouting distance of power, then you belong over at the DailyKos blog with the other moonbats rather than here. The only thing less voluntary than taxes is death.
Harry Reid was the one who exhibited that good old American can-do spirit by proclaiming "the [Iraq] war is lost" back in 2006. I'm happy to say it looks like Harry was as wrong about that as he is about voluntary taxes.
Another recent Harry gem was this statement, where Harry fully embraced Algorean deathstar philosophy:
"...coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. This global warming, it’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world. You’ve got to stop using fossil fuel. We have, for generations, taken it out of the earth, carbon out of the earth and put it in the atmosphere, and it’s making us all sick, and it’s changing our world."
Atta boy, Harry. Way to stand up for the home team. But you know what would REALLY make us sick ? Not having heat and electricity, which those fossil fuels provide. I'm pretty sure oil has made SOME positive contribution to our society. I mean, I don't think our food supply walks to the grocery story on it's own. If coal and oil is making us sick, why have our lifespans and standards of living increased so dramatically since the onset of the Industrial Revolution ? Maybe some perspective is called for. After all, man-made CO2 only accounts for 3% of atmospheric CO2. Plant life accounts for the majority of it. Maybe Harry should say "farming is making us sick", "trees are making us sick", or make some equally fatuous claim. Better yet, Harry should just stick to his main functions - robbing the taxpayers blind and making all aspects of our society dependent on and controlled by the federal government.
That brings me to what I really want to talk about today - Harry Reid's current battle with the Doctor No of the Senate, Tom Coburn (R-OK). It seems Coburn has frustrated Harry and other Democrats (and some Republicans too) by placing legislative holds on measures before the Senate. Here is how the New York Times describes the situation:
In the Senate, Mr. Coburn has continued down his singular path, driving Democrats and some Republicans to distraction with his prolific use of the “hold” — the ability of a single senator to object to moving ahead on a measure without a debate. He currently has holds on nearly 80 bills, the most of any senator.
Mr. Coburn’s approach is problematic when it comes to the mechanics of the Senate because most of the chamber’s work gets done by what is known as unanimous consent, an agreement among all parties to let a bill pass without a fight since full debate and votes on even the simplest matter can consume days.
In the liberal view of the NY Times, Coburn's approach "is problematic", because Coburn is asking for debate on certain measures, rather than just passing them through automatically. Hmmm. Isn't one of the reasons we HAVE a Congress in the first place to debate these issues ? Now the Times and Harry Reid think debate is just too cumbersome ? I see. In other words, they think the Democratic agenda should just be passed through automatically, regardless of what the opposition might think. You know, like they did it in the old USSR. Forget debating. Let's "streamline" our Democratic-led Congress. No debates, no votes, just unanimous consent. Da !
In addition, Coburn the "obstructionist" also wants to offset spending increases with other spending reductions. From the same Times article:
[Coburn] said the Senate was shirking its duty by failing to give closer review to the hundreds of bills that slide through by unanimous consent. And he said Congress should not be clearing the way for billions of dollars in potential new spending — even on meritorious projects — without making reductions elsewhere. Fearful of the public debt piling up, he said he wanted the opportunity to at least propose those cuts.
“We ought not be borrowing and expanding the federal government unless we get rid of stuff that is not working,” he said.
Some bugger this Coburn guy is, eh, wanting to debate legislation and offset spending increases. Jeez. He must be one of them thar far right wingnuts.
Wait a minute. Didn't the Democrats themselves promise to offset spending increases with other spending cuts or tax increases to avoid deficit spending ? Why yes, they did. It was called PAYGO. They passed it in early 2007 (and then proceeded to completely ignore it ever since). So why are the Dems griping about Tom Coburn the Republican sticking to the very rules the Democrats setup ? That's pretty hypocritical. That's Harry Reid.
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