Political Hay

Harry Reid’s Parallel Universe

Even more amazing, he's hardly the only Dingy Democrat in Washington.

By 1.26.12

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One year when George W. Bush was president, there was talk of his making recess appointments when Congress would be on holiday. Senate Leader Harry Reid countered by keeping the Senate technically in session by having one or two members show up each day. Bush, with the Constitution in mind, dropped the recess appointment idea.

Barack Obama, by contrast, went right ahead with a recess appointment last month, despite the fact the House Republicans stayed in session for the same reason -- to prevent such a move.

This time, Harry Reid said it was right and proper for Obama to do what he did. Reid saw neither the irony nor he inconsistency in this, for he lives in a parallel universe.

The other day he returned to Washington with a warning to House Republicans to eschew Tea Party "extremism." The Tea Party movement was driven by a desire to stop the government's profligate spending and the rapidly growing national debt. In Harry's universe, this is "extremism."

In December, the Senate Democrats and Obama wanted a two-month extension of the payroll tax rate holiday and unemployment benefits. The House Republicans said it didn't make sense to come back after two months and re-argue the issue, so they proposed a 12-month extension. Reid wouldn't budge and ultimately the House blinked before the two items ran out on December 31.

About this Reid said, "I hope that the Republicans will understand, as they learned in the last week of last year, they can't be led over the cliff by this extremism."

Saying that Senate Democrats had "bent over backwards" to work with House Republicans, Reid declared that all he was asking for was a spirit of compromise. His version of compromise is, you give, I take.

Since January 2007, Harry Reid has been Senate Majority Leader. Speaking of bending over backwards, one thousand days have now passed since the Senate last passed a federal budget -- an all-time record, thanks to Harry Reid. By stalling over and over again, he and his Democrat colleagues have not had to make tough choices about cutting the government's bloated spending. Instead, the government operates on "continuing resolutions" that have kept existing spending in place, plus automatic annual increases. The result? Spending grows apace and the national debt is now over $16 trillion.

No wonder House members supported by Tea Party groups are upset. Harry Reid -- living off in space -- thinks uncontrolled spending is normal and fiscal responsibility amounts to "extremism."

Harry has brought some of his colleagues along into his parallel universe. Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for example, recently said, "I have noticed the tone take a very precipitous turn toward edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement." (Translation: Anyone who disagrees with the Democrat playbook is uncivil.) Vice President Joe Biden, who takes frequent trips to the parallel universe, has likened Tea Party members to terrorists.

These are the same folks who have extolled the "Occupy" people as earnest exercisers of First Amendment rights. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was one who cooed over the Occupy movement. It is useful to compare its record in recent months to that of the Tea Party groups. For example, arrests: Occupy 4,149, Tea Party 0; rapes Occupy 12, Tea Party 0; anti-Semitic diatribes: Occupy 12, Tea Party 0; murder: Occupy 1, Tea Party 0; head and body lice infestations: Occupy 1, Tea Party 0; scabies outbreaks: Occupy 1, Tea Party 0; suicide: Occupy 1, Tea Party 0. Now if you live in the Harry Reid parallel universe, as so many Democrat office holders and operatives do, that is clear evidence that the Tea Party members are extremists.

Most people would say they are extremely well behaved, but the parallel universe people would like you to think they are a danger to the nation.

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About the Author
Peter Hannaford was closely associated with the late President Reagan for a number of years. He is a member of the board of the Committee on the Present Danger. His latest book is “Presidential Retreats.”