Doubtless you’ve already seen this little gem of an exchange between CNN reporter Dana Bash and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
‘If you can help one child, why won’t you do it?’ asked CNN reporter Dana Bash.
‘Why, why, why would we want to do that?’ countered Reid.
In the days since this fiery back and forth, conservatives have dutifully jumped on Reid’s comment as more proof of his callous nature. Liberals have responded that conservatives are simply twisting the facts of the matter, and Reid was in no way suggesting that kids with cancer don’t matter. I am actually of the opinion that the truth lies somewhere in between these two responses. Of course Harry Reid didn’t mean that children with cancer don’t matter… but his entire response did mean that kids with cancer matter less then beating the Republicans.
I think that’s what is missed in all of this hubbub. In fact, I don’t believe that the above statement is the most telling one in this discourse, either. Watch the whole thing and see if you hear what I hear.
Did you catch it? At one point Dana Bash says, “You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials… The House is presumably going to pass a bill that funds the NIH. Will you, at least, pass that? And if not, aren’t you playing the same political games that Republicans are?”
That is the big blow here. This is cutting to the truth of the entire shutdown, and why it is, indeed, “Harry Reid’s shutdown!”
Ms. Bash even reminds Senator Reid that he and the Democrats were the ones who first brought up cancer funding and tried to make it sound as if Republicans were killing children by not funding the government. So when the Republicans pass a measure to fund cancer research and the Democrats kill it, they should have no right to complain! And yet, complain they do.
Here is what Harry Reid said he meant with his cruel and uncaring cancer comments.
“What right do they have to pick and choose which part of government is going to be funded?”
“The whole answer is this: Why would we want to have the House of Representatives, John Boehner, cherry pick what stays open and what should be closed?”
Senate Democrats have been whining and moaning about these entrenched obstinate Republicans being unwilling to do what they need to do. The only reason Democrats can say this is because, thus far, the media has been covering for them.
The reality of the situation is this: these budget battles have always been a time for negotiations. There have been 17 shutdowns during these budget battles over the last 35 years or so, in each and every one of them the parties negotiated the end of the stalemate together. Five different Presidents all went to the negotiating table to work to end the previous shutdowns. Only one — President Barack Obama – has refused. The Democrats (and the media) act as though it’s unusual to see this kind of stalemate, but the truth of the matter is this has been common practice for years. What is unusual is the refusal of one party to negotiate with the other.
The Senate Democrats are planning to refuse to fund individual areas of the government because they believe the Republicans should be forced to pass every nook and cranny of the budget that Senate Democrats want. That means that though the House may pass funding for cancer research, Senate Democrats will defeat it. And they’ll do the same to various other parts of the budget that Republicans attempt to fund. It’s vindictive. It’s childish. It’s small. I have come to expect nothing more than this from Harry Reid and Barack Obama.
Hopefully the nation will now begin to see who the Democrats really are.
I don’t think Harry Reid hates kids with cancer…
But the fact that Democrats would vote down cancer funding for sick children because they believe Republicans should vote for all or nothing in funding means that he’d rather try to hurt the Republican Party than cure some sick kids. (By the way… he also hates veterans…)
How crazy is that?
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