Reid: Founding Fathers created America for … pork

posted at 10:07 pm on March 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

If Harry Reid didn’t exist, Republicans would have to invent him. His latest hilarity comes in response to the effort by DeMint to win a one-year moratorium on earkmarking. Reid objected this evening, claiming that the Founding Fathers would weep at the loss of the mechanism that allows legislators to sell Congress to the highest bidders:

“As we look back in history, the Founding Fathers would be cringing to hear people talking about eliminating earmarks,” Reid said, noting that the Founders dictated in the Constitution that all spending should originate in Congress, not the executive branch.

Ah, yes. I’m sure Reid believes that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin would all wail and gnash their teeth at the loss of Reid’s ability to send $750,000 to the Community College of Southern Nevada for Internet-based courses. That’s why they created the three-branch federal system of government — so that Reid could suck up to home-state voters by siphoning federal funds for a community college.

The argument itself suggests Reid should attend a civics course. The power of appropriations does not mean earmarking. It means appropriations, which involves floor votes on fully-disclosed spending. Congress appropriates money for federal spending, which means funding agencies that share power between the branches. While an argument could have been made at one time that earmarks would preserve some Congressional prerogative over the direction of agency efforts, Congress itself has dissipated any moral authority they had for that argument in a quarter-century orgy on the taxpayer dime — and that applies to both parties.

Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin may be turning over in their graves, but it’s because the leader of the Senate they created has no idea what the hell Congress actually does. According to his performance in the last year, he apparently thinks it has responsibility for lobbyist payoffs and surrendering to terrorists.

Update: Citizens Against Government Waste actually has a voice from the grave speaking directly on this topic:

Thomas Jefferson made a similar prediction in a letter to James Madison dated March 6, 1796, challenging Madison’s proposition for improvements to roads used in a system of national mail delivery. Jefferson wrote:

Have you considered all the consequences of your proposition respecting post roads? I view it as a source of boundless patronage to the executive, jobbing to members of Congress & their friends, and a bottomless abyss of public money. You will begin by only appropriating the surplus of the post office revenues; but the other revenues will soon be called into their aid, and it will be a scene of eternal scramble among the members, who can get the most money wasted in their State; and they will always get most who are meanest.

Sounds like Jefferson knew the character of men like Harry Reid, Robert Byrd, Ted Stevens, and John Murtha, 200 years before they tried racing for the title of “meanest”.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I know no positives adjectives befitting Sen. Reid.

Spirit of 1776 on March 12, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Life, liberty and the pursuit of earmarks.

carbon_footprint on March 12, 2008 at 10:13 PM

Shall we start a pool to buy a history textbook?

kc8ukw on March 12, 2008 at 10:13 PM

Ah, yes. I’m sure Reid believes that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin would all wail and gnash their teeth at the loss of Reid’s ability to send $750,000 to the Community College of Southern Nevada for Internet-based courses. That’s why they created the three-branch federal system of government — so that Reid could suck up to home-state voters by siphoning federal funds for a community college.

You have got to be F’in kidding me!

dmann on March 12, 2008 at 10:16 PM

Just lol.

*shakes head*

Midas on March 12, 2008 at 10:16 PM

Can we start up a collection and buy him a history book?

fourstringfuror on March 12, 2008 at 10:17 PM

As we look back in history, the Founding Fathers would be cringing to hear people talking about eliminating earmarks,”

Give me earmarks or give me death.

From Clay and Calhoun and Webster to this?

This?

SteveMG on March 12, 2008 at 10:17 PM

Dirty Harry. :(

And the bad news is the 2008 Senate races looks ugly. He ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.

JayHaw Phrenzie on March 12, 2008 at 10:17 PM

Actually, Harry, The Founders would probably be far too sickened by cretins like yourself taxing The People into oblivion while plotting to take away their rights to free speech and their right to bear arms to notice your whining about pork.

That and most of them would have already seen you hanged for sedition for declaring the current conflict in Iraq as “lost” to a global audience while we still have troops in the field taking fire.

SuperCool on March 12, 2008 at 10:20 PM

Well take another hint from the founding fathers… spend a term or two “serving your country” and then return to the private sector to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Being a politician was never meant to be career.

Hog Wild on March 12, 2008 at 10:22 PM

Just let this guy keep talking. He’s the gift that keeps on giving for Republicans.

Math_Mage on March 12, 2008 at 10:23 PM

hahaha

well, Ron Paul presented himself as some sort of “Founding Father” type while placing over $400 Million in Pork for his district.

jp on March 12, 2008 at 10:24 PM

Sounds like Jefferson knew the character of men like Harry Reid, Robert Byrd, Ted Stevens, and John Murtha, 200 years before they tried racing for the title of “meanest”.

“Character”?

SouthernGent on March 12, 2008 at 10:24 PM

I thinks it’s time for another Boston Tea Party. Taxation Without Representation!

atxcowgirl on March 12, 2008 at 10:24 PM

McCain took $0 in Pork last year, and he’s one of the most powerful Senators….obama and clinton took pork. This is a winning issue for McCain.

jp on March 12, 2008 at 10:26 PM

Jefferson: “It will be a source of eternal scramble among the members, who can get the most money wasted in their State; and they will always get most who are meanest.”

Monroe: federal funding should go “to great national works only, since if it were unlimited it would be liable to abuse and might be productive of evil.”

thankful on March 12, 2008 at 10:28 PM

I know no positives adjectives befitting Sen. Reid.

Spirit of 1776 on March 12, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Ditto.

CP on March 12, 2008 at 10:30 PM

Reid know exactly what Congress does. He may even know what it’s supposed to do. He just doesn’t give a fig. He buys his seat with bread and circuses, and that’s what taxes mean to him. Every cent spent on national defense is less money left for him to play the game–and win.

njcommuter on March 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM

er um. isn’t reid a member of some cult!?!?!?!

oh yeah: he’s member of a leftist greenie defeatist enemy-appeasing cult:

the DEMOCRATS.

i think that oabama is the perfect standard-bearer for this party.

hey… how about this (for a perfect dem ticket):

OBAMA-PELOSI! (She’s already third-in-line; so, she’d only be moving one place up!)

reliapundit on March 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Harry Reid can’t be married or have a family. It’s not possible. If so, the kids belong to the milkman.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Harry Reid can’t be married or have a family. It’s not possible. If so, the kids belong to the milkman.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM

He likes pork, so it’s more likely the butcher. Just sayin’.

SouthernGent on March 12, 2008 at 10:32 PM

McCain took $0 in Pork last year, and he’s one of the most powerful Senators….obama and clinton took pork. This is a winning issue for McCain.

jp on March 12, 2008 at 10:26 PM

McCain $0 in Pork earmarks

Obama over $91 million in Pork-barrel earmarks

Clinton over $340 million in Pork-Barrel earmarks

Chakra Hammer on March 12, 2008 at 10:32 PM

I wondered what the reaction would be of the public and press if the President vetoed a bill plagarizing the words of our founding fathers. For example, veto a transpotation bill and use James Madison’s Veto of Federal Public Works Bill. I would love to see today’s press say how evil the president and vis a vis James Madison, the father of our Constitution.

WashJeff on March 12, 2008 at 10:34 PM

Candidates’ Earmarks Exposed

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure more than $340 million worth of home-state projects in last year’s spending bills, placing her among the top 10 Senate recipients of what are commonly known as earmarks, according to a new study by a nonpartisan budget watchdog group.

Working with her New York colleagues in nearly every case, Clinton supported almost four times as much spending on earmarked projects as her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), whose $91 million total placed him in the bottom quarter of senators who seek earmarks, the study showed.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely, part of his long-standing view that such measures prompt needless spending.

Chakra Hammer on March 12, 2008 at 10:35 PM

reliapundit on March 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Very nice!

dmann on March 12, 2008 at 10:35 PM

speaking of Paul, he’s a guest on Fox Business right now talking about the Fed and the economy. He just stated our economy is worse off now than in the last 70′s.

jp on March 12, 2008 at 10:37 PM

Chakra Hammer on March 12, 2008 at 10:35 PM

But HOPE and CHANGE are what America is hungry for, and don’t don’t you question the Messaih….you Racist!

dmann on March 12, 2008 at 10:38 PM

The Democrats are really, really great (for pork)
I’ve made my contribution so I don’t have to wait (for pork)
There’s always some earmark (for pork)
If someone has a lark (for pork)
An add-on and my town has a new park (it’s pork!)

The Democrats are for pork
The Democrats are for pork
Harry Reid beats Howard Roark
With pork, pork, pork!

calbear on March 12, 2008 at 10:38 PM

UFB.
This is what happens to politicians who go to Washington,
and end up overstaying their welcome

ToddonCapeCod on March 12, 2008 at 10:38 PM

and he just stated he refuses to leave the Presidential race.

jp on March 12, 2008 at 10:38 PM

I would love to win back the congress or at least the House this fall, but the wimp and the chemical imbalance are endless material.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 12, 2008 at 10:45 PM

I know no positives adjectives befitting Sen. Reid.

Spirit of 1776 on March 12, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Useful?

Amusing?

Ineffective? (hey, for a Republican talking about a Dem, that’s positive…)

sulla on March 12, 2008 at 10:55 PM

Why, why, why can’t our side take advantage of these statements?

Thanos on March 12, 2008 at 11:04 PM

In all fairness, it’s not like the Democrats are the only members of Congress at the trough. Both parties have a long way to go. Perhaps we should mail them each a copy of Common Sense and the Federalist Papers?

Hootie on March 12, 2008 at 11:11 PM

While an argument could have been made at one time that earmarks would preserve some Congressional prerogative over the direction of agency efforts, Congress itself has dissipated any moral authority they had for that argument in a quarter-century orgy on the taxpayer dime — and that applies to both parties.

That is just awesome Ed!

omnipotent on March 12, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Harry Reid = clueless douche nozzle. I just cannot get over how idiotic and cluless this guy is.

Afterimage on March 12, 2008 at 11:18 PM

It amazes me to think that Reid is a Mormon. When will the press question him about how his faith affects his politics?

cannonball on March 12, 2008 at 11:20 PM

Reid: Founding Fathers created America for … pork

Well, it is the other white meat.

ReubenJCogburn on March 12, 2008 at 11:22 PM

Being a politician was never meant to be career.

Hog Wild on March 12, 2008 at 10:22 PM

We REALLY need term limits for these scumbags.

infidel4life on March 12, 2008 at 11:23 PM

Even if people don’t want to contribute money to buy this moron a history/government textbook – can someone at least email Reid this thread (with links included) so that he can see AGAIN that he does not know what he is talking about. I have appreciated the history lesson read via the links included in the comments above!

HawaiiLwyr on March 12, 2008 at 11:27 PM

Re: Harry Reid. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make insane.

We REALLY need term limits for these scumbags.

Yes, and a spouse ban, a sibling ban, and a two generation ban on descendants. Put an end to having to die them out of office as well as the imbeciles of dynasty. Right now it’s like medieval Europe without the hemophilia.

Feedie on March 12, 2008 at 11:33 PM

Sounds like Jefferson knew the character of men like Harry Reid, Robert Byrd, Ted Stevens, and John Murtha, 200 years before they tried racing for the title of “meanest”.

Nailed ‘em.

darii on March 12, 2008 at 11:42 PM

Harry Reid is a cartoon character

Mattpat11 on March 13, 2008 at 12:01 AM

Speaking of the Founders, one of the factors thar finally reconciled them to independence was the belief that the British system was corrupt and probably unrecoverable–with money talking, virtue walking.

What was that again, *Senator* Reid? Maybe you should go look into the self-serving actions that got the original Senate–the Roman one–a fully paid ticket into obsolescence, courtesy of Augustus, circa 27 B.C. Could have been something about using the structure of the state for personal power/aggrandizement, with little thought to the greater good.

Horatius on March 13, 2008 at 12:02 AM

If memory serves me correct, the founders debated that a voter needed to be a property owner, for fear that people would just vote themselves money. In time they decided that the Senate would represent this ideal, and the lower house represent the people as a whole. Too bad the Senate doesn’t live up to its ideal.

Conservative Voice on March 13, 2008 at 12:09 AM

Yes, and a spouse ban, a sibling ban, and a two generation ban on descendants. Put an end to having to die them out of office as well as the imbeciles of dynasty. Right now it’s like medieval Europe without the hemophilia.

Feedie on March 12, 2008 at 11:33 PM

LOL, Feedie. Perfection!

Nikita on March 13, 2008 at 12:28 AM

The Founding Fathers would have taken up arms against this government, they took up arms against England for much small offenses than those perpetrated by our modern Congresses.

29Victor on March 13, 2008 at 12:38 AM

The Founding Fathers would have taken up arms against this government, they took up arms against England for much small offenses than those perpetrated by our modern Congresses.

29Victor on March 13, 2008 at 12:38 AM

You beat me to it. People like Reid would have already been removed from office by force if those brave men were alive today.

boomer on March 13, 2008 at 12:45 AM

It amazes me to think that Reid is a Mormon. When will the press question him about how his faith affects his politics?

cannonball on March 12, 2008 at 11:20 PM

His religion may be Mormon, but his FAITH (in liberal government) is shared by the press, so I don’t expect them to call him on it. Wouldn’t even occur to them.

sulla on March 13, 2008 at 12:56 AM

McCain/Romney 2008, let’s get it done.

winemkr on March 13, 2008 at 1:05 AM

If memory serves me correct, the founders debated that a voter needed to be a property owner, for fear that people would just vote themselves money. In time they decided that the Senate would represent this ideal, and the lower house represent the people as a whole. Too bad the Senate doesn’t live up to its ideal.

Conservative Voice on March 13, 2008 at 12:09 AM

Back to Civics class! The Senate in the Constitution was NOT elected by the people. Article I, Section 3: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

In other words the Senators would answer to the state government. When the seventeenth Amendment was passed (1913) the Senate became nothing more than two more Representatives that didn’t have to run for reelection as often. Now the Senators buy their votes from their constituents with earmarks.

LCL4 on March 13, 2008 at 1:25 AM

Constitution? We don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution.

Johan Klaus on March 13, 2008 at 1:51 AM

LCL4 on March 13, 2008 at 1:25 AM

It sounds like it needs to be ratified again…but that would take a revolution. Hate it when we create an amendment without thinking it through, that is government for you…writing laws to solve the problem the previous law created

Conservative Voice on March 13, 2008 at 2:15 AM

I still say Reid could live quite handily in a shoebox after an enema as could most on the left in modern times.

Speakup on March 13, 2008 at 2:21 AM

Don’t forget Davy Crockett

It doesn’t matter what McCain does on this issue when you have most GOP Senators saying “All earmarks are not evil.”

WolkingsWorld.com on March 13, 2008 at 4:14 AM

My only question is why the hell do the good people of Nevada keep allowing this certified moron to represent them in the Senate. The goof has pretty much made the state a laughingstock with his idiotic antics and equally stupid comments, so where the hell is the recall vote?

pilamaye on March 13, 2008 at 6:08 AM

Bribes, pork, earmarks! yea…that sounds nicer. what will we call them 20 years from now? Fluffernutters

HunnyWaggin on March 13, 2008 at 6:15 AM

YUP! As with John “F”ing Kerry, Reid is another example of the scumbags that the Demoncrats elect to high public office and the very reason that I will NEVER vote DEMONCRAT in my lifetime – give me Ralph “F”ing Nader anyday!

jimbo2008 on March 13, 2008 at 6:55 AM

McCain/Romney 2008, let’s get it done.

winemkr on March 13, 2008 at 1:05 AM

Mccain said he was grateful for the pathetic brown nosing Romenee performed on Hannity Wednedsday night and said there will be “a place in the party” for Mitt. Ouch. That’s political speak for an Ambassador appointment. Mav will never let that guy near the white house. He has too much love and respect for the character of the USA to do that.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 13, 2008 at 7:03 AM

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 13, 2008 at 7:03 AM

Hi, troll. Bye, troll.

Math_Mage on March 13, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Caption contest:

Senator Hoek says, “My pectoral implants!”

James on March 13, 2008 at 8:27 AM

Math_Mage on March 13, 2008 at 8:16 AM

He hasn’t had his second cup of coffee yet…..I hope.

jerrytbg on March 13, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Reid is whom Churchill must have been thinking about when he said, “A pig will look you in the eye and see his equal.”

Bigfoot on March 13, 2008 at 8:44 AM

Maybe Harry Reid could reread the 10th amendment to the constitution. You know, the one that says the federal government’s powers are extremely limited, power should be concentrated at the local level. It pretty much makes the Dems and even the Repubs unconstitutional in their governance. I think it was Voltaire who once said that once the governed learn how to empty the treasury through voting, all is lost…Neo-Libertarianism is what this country needs now. FairTax to take power away from the political class. Fauxbama’s main screed is to change. He is the agent least likely for change. It’ll be more fascist economic policy like it always is, with politicians voting the well dry……………Oh well……….

adamsmith on March 13, 2008 at 9:16 AM

Harry Reid…a walking example of how effed up our government really is. Where the H E L L are the people who understand what our founding fathers intended????????????

ihasurnominashun on March 13, 2008 at 10:29 AM

boundless patronage to the executive, jobbing to members of Congress & their friends, and a bottomless abyss of public money.

Thomas Jefferson was a soothsayer.

TooTall on March 13, 2008 at 10:55 AM

This quote from Reid is gift! “Why, why, why can’t our side take advantage of these statements?” I think our side will use these statements. My guess is that ads are already being put together and Reid’s comments will be heard again and again. The problem is, is that Republicans in Congress all too often aren’t on our side. Transparency and accountability conservativism has not been synonymous with Republican under G.W.B.

G. Charles on March 13, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Ah, yes, TERM LIMITS does have a nice ring to it…

eanax on March 13, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Least we forget, Mr. Reid and his cohorts are elected by the people of their state. So what does that say about our fellow citizens? Senator Reid is an embarrassment to Nevada, but I bet he gets re-elected.

My Representative Wayne Gilchest lost in the primary after 19 years in office. I had been a supporter and significant contributor of his since the first time he ran and lost. He is a nice man, but had become a professional politician caught up in the latest political PC ideology. I wrote him many letters trying to get him to see what I believed was wrong about his representation of our district. I finally concluded that it was time for him to go as did many of my friends and a significant number of voters.

Note that former very liberal Senator McGovern and presidential candidate has now decided that through the nanny state policies of our government, we are harming our country and the individual strength of our citizens. That he had “come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society.”

Good for Mr. McGovern; now it is time for all Americans to wake up to what has now become so obvious to one of our most liberal modern senators and presidential candidates.

amr on March 13, 2008 at 11:01 AM

I say it again….if you draw a Hitler mustache on Reid, he looks like crazy Adolph giving one of his speeches. All Schuboob needs is a Luftwaffe uniform and field marshal baton, and he’s a trimmed down Goering.

This is what we have for congress. Interpretive goon squad fulfilling their own agenda Disgusting.

Hening on March 13, 2008 at 11:20 AM

As to the family speculation above, Harry does have kids. One, Rory, is a Clark County (Vegas) Commissioner and Nevada chair for the Hillary campaign. Sometimes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Part of the issue with Senators is that they are supposed to be statesmen (I know, I know…) serving 6 year terms. Reid was elected in 2004, I think he feels a lot of freedom in the middle years of his term to spout off, and he is in a uniquely powerful position as a Nevada senator who is leading the Senate. That don’t happen so often for Nevada, and as long as he keeps funneling pork, blocking Yucca Mt., etc. he’s probably pretty safe.

I do think he’ll have to make some amends after the ’08 Presidential election to prepare himself for his next Senate election in 2010. Between now & ’08, however, he can say pretty much whatever he wants.

I just hope his idiocy is clear enough to prevent the Democratic candidate from appointing him to a higher position if they win in ’08. If Hillary wins, and appoints him to a position in the federal govt., he doesn’t have to worry about the Senate campaign.

cs89 on March 13, 2008 at 12:03 PM

I think it was Voltaire who once said that once the governed learn how to empty the treasury through voting, all is lost… adamsmith on March 13, 2008 at 9:16 AM

Actually, it was Alexis de Tocqueville in “Democracy in America”, but your point is valid. How is it that the leader of the US Senate and a democrat can try to totally subvert the clear meaning of his party’s founding father, and not be called on it by everyone?

Think_b4_speaking on March 13, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Pork: the other white lie.

Kafir on March 13, 2008 at 1:45 PM

cs89 on March 13, 2008 at 12:03 PM

I thought they had recall in Nevada. Isn’t anyone trying it?

Kafir on March 13, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Kafir,

I don’t think anybody’s working on recall. Another tidbit of disheartening information- Nevada’s junior senator, Ensign, is a Republican and chair of the NRSC. I don’t know what they really think of each other, but more than one report notes that Ensign and Reid have a good working relationship and work together on “Nevada issues.”

Think we can get rid of a Dem Senate leader whose Republican state counterpart seems to get along with?

I would really love to see our NRSC chair assist with knocking off Reid (e.g., Daschle) but I just don’t think it’s gonna happen at this time.

cs89 on March 13, 2008 at 1:53 PM

“We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.” -Davey Crockett

This was said during a debate on a bill to give an admiral’s widow a pension. The bill was voted down.

I wouldn’t cross the street to pee on Reid’s head if his hair was on fire.

Akzed on March 13, 2008 at 3:32 PM

I’m a Liberal/Democrat, because I’m like, totally willing to create my own facts, and ascribe them to the Founding Fathers…Dude.

Harry Reid is no Thomas Jefferson…In fact, it’s embarrassing to have his name in the same sentence as Thomas Jefferson.

franksalterego on March 14, 2008 at 10:02 AM