Archive for May, 2014

What is wrong with Harry Reid – Is he losing it?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by The Center Shot

What is wrong with Harry Reid?

Is it just me or do other people wonder if there’s something (physically/mentally) wrong with Harry Reid? I understand being a staunch advocate for your party or your causes but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has seemed to take many of his stances beyond the boundary of the sane. There doesn’t seem to be sanity to many of his comments nor many of his actions. Many times it seems that the words that escape from his lips are not those of man in full control of his faculties; and the way he shuffles about and speaks as though he’s heavily medicated raises a lot of red flags for me.

I hate to raise this issue and single out any individual with questions of their mental health; but when a Congressional leader is regularly making comments outside the realm of sanity, what choice do I have? I write this with a heavy heart because my mother suffers from dementia and I have experienced other family and friends with dementia. So, if there is some form of dementia going on with Sen. Reid, I have great sympathy for him. Let me say this to make things clear: I AM NOT saying that Sen. Reid is demented – I have ZERO information on his health status. However, when so many of his comments don’t make sense (based on publicly available information) I don’t think it’s out of bounds to question whether something is going on with him.

If you aren’t aware of his comments (and think I’m crazy), here’s a brief list of just some of his outlandish claims that have been proven to be absolutely incorrect and have been disavowed by even the most left leaning Democrats:

  • While the Koch brothers admit to not being experts on the matter, these billionaire oil tycoons are certainly experts at contributing to climate change. That’s what they do very well. They are one of the main causes of this. Not a cause, one of the main causes.”
  • “Despite all that good news, there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America,”
  • “The leukemia patient whose insurance policy was canceled [and] could die without her medication, Mr. President, that’s an ad being paid for by two billionaire brothers. It’s absolutely false. Or the woman whose insurance policy went up $700 a month–ads paid for around America by the multibillionaire Koch brothers, and the ad is false.”

  • “We heard about the evils of Obamacare, about the lives it’s ruining in Republicans’ stump speeches and in ads paid for by oil magnates, the Koch brothers. But in those tales, turned out to be just that: tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies distorted by the Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.”

  • “Mr. President, these two brothers are trying to buy America. They not only funnel money through their Americans for Prosperity, they funnel money into all kinds of organizations to do the same thing that they’re doing. They’re trying to buy America. I don’t believe america is for sale. We’ll see, Mr. President.”
  • “You guys have said his (Mitt Romney) wealth is $250 million,” Reid went on. “Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”

This is far from a complete list but it’s a few choice comments to illustrate my point. It’s not hard to find reference to many, many more with a quick Google search. Nor is it hard to find where so many of Sen. Reid’s comments have been given extreme Pinocchio Awards, have had to be walked back after his staff got a hold of him following the comments or where fellow Democrats have run from his comments.

Aside from his strange and outlandish comments, we have the procedural move that Reid pulled in the Senate to strip the minority party of it’s traditional rights and abilities. This “nuclear option” may well change, forever, the way that the Senate operates. Sounds great if you’re the party in power; but what happens when the winds of change arrive (which they always do, at some point) and the power shifts? Well, there’s payback – that’s what happens. Conservatives will be faced with 2 options: A. They can undue the nuclear option, taking the high road, and return the Senate to the way it has been for the majority of our nation’s history. But, the precedent set, they will be fearful that the “nuclear option” will just be re-employed when the winds of change shift again. So, they’re likely to stick with the new procedure which just hurts the system and the minority party at any given time. B. They can run with the system that Reid created unilaterally and dish out the same type of treatment that they received under Reid’s leadership. NEITHER option is a good one! The system worked well for most of our history and, now, it’s been forever altered by ONE addled Majority Leader and his misguided leadership. This is a situation that should concern members of BOTH parties because it endangers our very system of government.

I understand wanting to support the actions and comments of our particular party leaders so I can sympathize with Democrats who are hesitant to call out a party leader. However, at what point do they have to come the realization that maybe their faith and tolerance is misplaced? Reid’s comments and actions have LONG past the border of sanity. If a Republican leader was acting this way, I would be making the same comments and calling for a review. We (all parties) expect modern politicians to shade the truth to advance their party’s agenda. We see this from John Boehner (R) to Nancy Pelosi (D), from Reince Priebus (RNC Leader) to Debbie Wasserman Shultz (DNC Leader) but what we don’t see from them is the consistent kind of outlandish (and frankly insane) behavior that we see from Sen. Harry Reid. He has become a category of his own. So, at what point do we (as Americans) begin to ask questions about the mental health of one of our nation’s most powerful people?

This is a fairly unique situation so I don’t have a clue how, procedurally, one would question the mental health of a standing member of Congress, much less a Senate leader. However, I do know one group that has some influence – the people of the Great State of Utah! If I lived in Utah, a state full of pragmatists, I would be supremely embarrassed to have one of ‘my own’ acting this way (and representing me) in Washington. If the Democratic Party as a whole wont take a close look at this situation, I would pray that the people of Utah will. They are our last, best hope. Maybe things will change some come November but even a Republican takeover of the Senate will not do much for the ‘Reid Situation’ because he would, undoubtably, become the new minority leader. He surely has enough ‘dirt’ and ‘chips to call in’ on his fellow party members to retain a power position. No doubt this is why/how he retains his position currently, in the face of his behavior. Ultimately, I fear that 2016 (when he’s up for reelection) is our only hope. It’s time that the people of Utah give up the “pork” they get from having such a powerful Senator, for the good of the nation.

I feel bad for Senator Reid because I fear that he’s not 100% in charge of his own faculties and, if he was just another citizen, I wouldn’t be concerned about him – I’d just be concerned for him. But he’s not. He’s one of the most powerful men in Washington. When we have a real concern about one of our leaders, we have a duty to raise attention about our fears. It’s not about politics, it’s about genuine concern for our country.

 

If you want to read some further articles about Reid’s outlandish comments, here are a few of interesting ones:

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/harry-reid-is-the-worst-living-human-being-on-the-planet/

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/05/01/has-harry-reid-officially-lost-it/

http://ricochet.com/harry-reid-jon-gabriel/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look before you leap – A Conservative Caution!

Posted in Political/Social Commentary with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by The Center Shot

My apologies for the late publishing of this article – I wrote it a while back and forgot to post it. Better late than never, I guess!

In light of some recent events and the upcoming election, I thought it prudent to issue a warning to conservatives everywhere: Look before you leap! We’re all upset over the course our government and our nation is on and it’s understandable, and even laudable, that we want to jump at every opportunity to illustrate our frustration and concerns. However, we need to be more careful about the cases that we throw our support behind; and the faces that we elevate to ‘poster child’ status for our causes. It’s imperative that we do our ‘due diligence’ and properly vet these personalities and cases, to make sure that there aren’t any skeletons in the closet, before we throw our full force behind them. The danger, as recent events have shown, is that those personalities will have fatal flaws that backfire on us; and, instead of bolstering our argument, actually distract from it. The Cliven Bundy case is a perfect example of this; but it’s, by no means, the only example.

We all understand (and fear) the dangers of an overreaching Federal government. The conflict between the BLM and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy seemed like a great opportunity to stand up for individual rights and state sovereignty and against governmental overreach. Unfortunately, there were SO many issues with this case, and Cliven Bundy in particular, that it turned into a debacle. Sure, we won the battle with the BLM; but, on a broader scale, we lost a much bigger battle because of all the information that came out after the standoff ended – information that was readily available and easily accessible. The end result was the discovery that both the man and the facts we thought we were supporting were both fatally flawed; and we’ve given our opposition even more ammo to cast us as hotheads that will blindly support anyone waving a flag. Looking back, it’s hard to argue (in light of that case) that they’re wrong.

As the rally cry sounded to support a small rancher who was standing up to an overreaching Federal government, we leapt to his defense without a further thought. Whether it was the good people that physically ran to his side or the nationally syndicated conservative talking heads that devoted their entire shows to his (supposed) plight, we jumped in head first. Even as events played out, and information surfaced that all was not exactly as it had seemed, many conservatives plowed doggedly ahead making excuses for those inconvenient facts. The talking point was, “that may be true but the real issue at hand is….” Unfortunately, every inconvenient fact that surfaced threw egg on the real issue until, by the time it was all over, that real issue was so obscured that it was lost from sight. In a matter of a couple of weeks we went from a ‘real American under attack by the Federal government’ to ‘a tax evading racist nutcase without a legal leg to stand on.’

My point is not to rehash the Bundy case but to point out that there are cases that exist, which illustrate the governmental overreach we all abhor, without all the baggage that this particular case had. For example, the Red River land grab being contemplated by the BLM. This case addresses all the same issues of the Bundy case but the families involved are all honest, taxpaying and normal. This case doesn’t provide our opposition with mud to sling back at us, diverting attention and reducing the validity of our struggle. This case doesn’t offer our opposition the means with which to paint us as “kooks” who are too blinded by our politics to recognize that we’re lining up behind a mini-Unabomber. Another case that we could have, and should have, thrown our vigorous defense behind is the Wayne Hage case. Their are many valid cases out there, that involve upstanding American citizens, that we can and should throw our support behind. Cases that will help us illustrate our fears, about governmental overreach, to our fellow Americans. We need to look before we leap, though, and make sure that those cases we throw our overwhelming support behind are worthy of our support!

Ultimately, any political battle is really a battle of salesmanship. The bases, on either side of the battle are of little consequence because they are already ‘sold’ on the beliefs of their own, particular, side. Where the battle is ‘won’ is in the middle; by one side winning over more of that ‘middle’ than the other side. Just being “right” isn’t enough. We have to convince that undecided ‘middle’ that we’re right. It’s impossible to do that when we get caught supporting and calling attention to cases that involve characters that are unsympathetic; or that are trying to use our beliefs as cover to get away with things they have no right to get away with. There are ample cases that we can latch our teeth into that won’t bite back. Lets “look before we leap” and properly vet those cases that seem to illustrate our cause; so that we don’t keep coming out of these events with egg on our faces.

Sure, we all wish that we could change the course of the country ‘on a dime’ but our nation is more like a cruise ship than a bass boat- it isn’t capable of making a rapid course correction. Change (in the right direction) will be incremental and slow, like the the turn to the left that’s taken 50+ years to accomplish.

Many conservatives, especially those on the far right, are (understandably) impulsive in their desire for immediate and significant change. Unfortunately, this has hurt us more than it’s helped us – dividing our cause and leaving it vulnerable to attacks from the left. A better tact for the far right and Tea Party to take is as a motivating force that nudges the establishment right to increase the pace, but also putting a governor on their own desire for an unrealistically fast pace. A division on the right only benefits the left. It’s frustrating, I know; but that’s the reality of the situation. The sooner we conservatives realize and embrace this reality, the more successful we’ll be. With an important mid term election around the corner, it’s imperative that we are a united force instead of a divided one. Everyone needs to ‘give’ a little and present a united force for change, even if that pace is a little uncomfortable to each faction.