Harry Reid: The Anarchists Have Taken Over the Senate

Revolution!?

Professed anarchists march through the heart of Boston during a protest on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Monday, July 26, 2004. 
National Journal
Matt Berman
See more stories about...
Matt Berman
Sept. 12, 2013, 8:19 a.m.

Rise! The time has come! The gov­ern­ment is no more! Or, well, at least that’s sort of what Sen. Harry Re­id, D-Nev., said on the Sen­ate floor Thursday morn­ing while talk­ing about an en­ergy bill.

“We’re di­ver­ted totally from what this bill is about,” he said. “Why? Be­cause the an­arch­ists have taken over. They’ve taken over the House, and now they’ve taken the Sen­ate.”

While there are cer­tainly Amer­ic­ans who wouldn’t mind see­ing the cur­rent Con­gress des­cend in­to chaos and flames, that isn’t really quite what’s hap­pen­ing today. “The an­arch­ists” Re­id is re­fer­ring to are just the rem­nants of the con­gres­sion­al tea party. And it’s not the first time he’s thrown around the term.

In an in­ter­view with NPR earli­er this sum­mer, Re­id elab­or­ated a bit more on his com­par­is­on.

Who is the tea party? Well, un­der­stand, when I was in school I stud­ied gov­ern­ment, among oth­er things. And pri­or to World War I and after World War I we had the an­arch­ists. Now, they were vi­ol­ent. Some say that’s what star­ted World War One, the an­archy move­ment. But they were vi­ol­ent. They did dam­age to prop­erty and they did phys­ic­al dam­age to people. The mod­ern an­arch­ists, don’t do that. That’s the tea party. But they have the same philo­sophy as the early an­arch­ists. They do not be­lieve in gov­ern­ment. Any time any­thing bad hap­pens to gov­ern­ment, that’s a vic­tory for them.

So should we ex­pect that the tea party could lead to, well, an­oth­er world war? Ob­vi­ously not, and it’s hard to ima­gine that Re­id really be­lieves that either, es­pe­cially giv­en his hedging to NPR.

But, just a re­fresh­er for Re­id and who­ever else. Let’s con­sult a dic­tion­ary.

An­arch­ist (noun):

1. a per­son who rebels against any au­thor­ity, es­tab­lished or­der, or rul­ing power.

2. a per­son who be­lieves in, ad­voc­ates, or pro­motes an­arch­ism or an­archy; es­pe­cially : one who uses vi­ol­ent means to over­throw the es­tab­lished or­der

So, sure, it’s un­likely that many tea parti­ers would dis­agree with the first part of Mer­ri­am-Web­ster’s defin­i­tion. But it’s that second part that is just a bit too prickly for it to make any lo­gic­al sense for Harry Re­id to touch.

Up­date: Here’s video of today’s com­ments from C-SPAN:

What We're Following See More »
A RARE KIND OF REBUKE
Leading Republicans Would Say ‘No Thanks’ If Asked to Be Trump’s VP
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Nikki Haley. Jeb Bush. Scott Walker. Lindsey Graham. John Kasich. The list is growing ever longer of Republicans who say they wouldn't even consider becoming Donald Trump's running mate. "The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles."

Source:
NEW WSJ/NBC/MARIST POLL
Trump Decisively Ahead in Indiana
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters — followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin in Indiana holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on a glide path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July."

Source:
TAKING A ‘GAP YEAR’ IN BETWEEN
Obamas’ Eldest Daughter Will Attend Harvard
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a statement released on Sunday, President and Mrs. Obama revealed that their oldest daughter, Malia, will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021. She will take a year off before beginning school.

STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
×