It’s been another frustrating year in the nation’s capital. President Obama decided that the Constitution was more a set of guidelines than hard and fast rules, Sen. Reid decided that debating or passing legislation were passé concepts, Vice President Biden continued to crank up his gaffe machine, Secretary of State John Kerry showed us that he’s likely terrible at the game Risk, and innumerable Democratic candidates tripped over themselves trying to convince voters that they weren’t Democrats. Rather than fall deep into cynicism, we’re taking the opportunity to reflect on some of the more outrageous, asinine and ridiculous things that Democrats said this year. If you missed the Top 7, you can check those out HERE.
8. Rep. Bruce Braley: “If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice…Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary.” The only thing that Braley could have done worse than disparaging a popular senator and one of Iowa’s chief occupations in the same breath while standing in front of a bunch of trial lawyers at a fundraiser in Texas would have been to threaten to sue a kindly neighbor for letting her therapeutic chickens wander into the yard of your vacation home. Oh wait, he did that too. Braley’s comments and actions revealed a startling lack of political sensibility, but more importantly, it hinted at a growing strain of elitism within the Democratic Party, one that put further distance between their candidates and the average voter.
9. Rep. Joe Garcia: “Two of the safest cities in America are on the border with Mexico. Of course, the reason is we’ve proved that communism works. If you give everybody a good government job, there is no crime.” One could certainly quibble with Rep. Garcia’s facts: El Paso is not the safest city in America, it doesn’t have a large public sector, and government work is not well correlated with violent crime (otherwise Washington, D.C. would be the safest place in the world). But the bigger problem here is the belief (even in jest) that communism would work to solve society’s ills. Communism has failed everywhere it has been attempted and the people unfortunate enough to live under its auspices were much the worse for it.
10. Greg Stumbo, Speaker of the House in Kentucky: “It reminded me of the feeling our troops must have had when they liberated the European nations after World War II.” Stumbo was speaking at an event for Alison Lundergan Grimes who was challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell in a U.S. Senate race. In other words, Stumbo was comparing McConnell’s time in the Senate to Nazi occupation of a European country. Those two things are so different that it can’t be interpreted any other way than a heinous smear. After all, it took countless lives and untold resources to defeat one of the most evil people in history, not a simple majority of voters filling out a ballot.
11. Alex Sink, Florida Democrat: “We have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers and especially in this high growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?” Not to be outdone by Sink’s racially-tinged comment, President Obama asked, “Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law.” And Democrats want voters to believe that Republicans are the ones with backward ideas about race? Someone better remind these two that Latinos are capable of being more than landscapers and maids.
12. Sen. Mark Udall: “Steve Sotloff and James Foley would tell us, don’t be impulsive. Horrible and barbarous as those executions were, don’t be impulsive.” Invoking the names of two journalists who were abducted and beheaded at the hands of the Islamic State in an election debate is distasteful enough. But going so far as to put words in their mouths to further your argument about whether the Islamic State is a threat to America is disrespectful the families and memories of Steve Sotloff and James Foley.
13. Sen. Mary Landrieu: “It’s not always been a good place for women to be able to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place, so we’ve had to work a little bit harder…” – When the comment was made, Landrieu and other Democratic candidates were preparing themselves for a serious electoral backlash against the leadership of President Obama and Harry Reid. Rather than do any sort of self assessment Sen. Landrieu simply blamed her struggling campaign on sexism in the South. Apparently she overlooked the fact that those sexist southerners elected her for three terms while also voting for a guy named Bobby Jindal to boot. Most candidates spend their pre-election days praising their constituents so it is unsurprising that Sen. Landrieu’s choice to demean an entire region had predictable electoral consequences (her GOP opponent won in a landslide).
14. Michelle Obama: “There’s too much money in politics. There’s special interests that have too much influence. There is something you can do right now today to make a difference, and that is to write a big, fat check. I kid you not, I’m going to be honest with you. That’s what we need you to do right now. We need you to write the biggest, fattest check that you can possibly write.” Very little explanation or backstory is needed for this one, so I’ll offer up another quote from the same speech, in which she continued asking for sweet, sweet campaign cash: “Writing those checks is the single most impactful thing you can do right now. When you dig deep, when you max out, that translates into staff hired and offices opened and ads running.” Ah, irony.
15. Sen. Harry Reid: “The decisions by the Supreme Court have left the American people with the status quo in which one side’s billionaires are pitted against the other side’s billionaires. Except one side doesn’t have any billionaires.” Chalk this ridiculous quote up as categorically false. After all, just off the top of my head I can think of George Soros, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg and Steven Spielberg as billionaires who give predominantly to Democrats. And lest you think I’m cherry picking information, PolitiFact found that there were 22 billionaires on Open Secrets’ list of top donators, 13 of which gave predominantly to groups affiliated with the Democratic Party. The Sunlight Foundation also found that liberal billionaires were “lapping the competition” in their political spending despite being the ones who “decried the Citizens United ruling.” Hopefully Harry Reid saved some of that campaign cash for a fact-checker.