By Jedediah Bila, Author and Political Commentator
Well, it’s not the first time Harry Reid has turned my stomach. And it likely won’t be the last.
In his Senate address this week, Majority Leader Reid, whose approval rating in his own state of Nevada cowers at an entertaining thirty-eight percent, likened Republicans who oppose President Obama’s health care agenda to those who protested the emancipation of slaves, women’s suffrage, and the civil rights movement. He declared: “When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.’ When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn’t quite right…” And so he continued.
Reid’s historical inaccuracies aside (like the fact that it was a Republican President who freed the slaves, then-Democrat Strom Thurmond who attempted without success to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and Democrat Senator Robert Byrd who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to name just a few), I couldn’t take my focus off another of his erroneous statements: “…all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’” Reid conveniently neglected to mention the numerous GOP reform suggestions, including but not limited to ending junk lawsuits, allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines, granting small businesses the ability to pool together and offer insurance at lower costs, preventing insurers from canceling a policy without just cause…and the list goes on and on.
I’m always astounded by the extent to which individuals will rewrite history to suit their own needs, hoping that they are catering to an ignorant electorate that won’t question the validity of their assertions. Sorry to disappoint you, Harry, but the public is a lot smarter than you’d like them to be. Perhaps the real reason they oppose your agenda is because it will yield numerous tax increases, doctor shortages, hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts, and penalties for those who don’t acquire insurance, among other distasteful outcomes.
I have two suggestions for you, Mr. Reid. One: Study your American history. Two: Don’t insult the intelligence of voters who aren’t interested in letting you carry the fate of their health in your hands.