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 want to skip ahead to the Top 20 most ridiculous quotes you can follow these links: 1-7, 8-15, or 16-20.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: “Maybe I should offer a good thanks to the distinguished members of the majority . . . for giving us an opportunity to have a deliberative constitutional discussion that reinforces the sanctity of this nation and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years operating under a Constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what is not.” The snide comments came in response to a Republican bill that would have granted Congress the authority to file a lawsuit against the president if he fails to uphold his constitutional responsibilities. The sarcasm would have landed much harder if she would have at least remembered that the U.S. Constitutional was adopted in 1787, thus making it 225 years old, not “some 400.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “I don’t keep up with football . . . Except college football. Unless it’s Eli Manning or Peyton Manning. Eli and Peyton don’t do sexual assaults against people, other than their wives.” This bizarre quote came in response to a question from TMZ Sports about the allegations against Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Sammie Hill, who was being accused of sexual assault. Rather than simply say that he didn’t know who Hill was and then leave it at that, Rep. Cohen stumbled over some generic football talk before implying that the Manning brothers sexually assault their wives. If it was anyone else we’d give him a pass simply misspeaking, but this is the same guy who previously compared Republican comments about Obamacare to the Nazi propaganda of Joseph Goebbels.
Chuck Reed, Mayor San Jose, California: “This is one of the dichotomies of California: I am cutting services to my low- and moderate-income people … to pay really generous benefits for public employees who make a good living and have an even better retirement.” Democrats thought it was a gaffe, Republicans thought it was a Democrat finally willing to tell the truth. Whatever your political persuasion, it’s amazing. Rarely do you get to see a lefty reveal the inevitable result of liberalisms’ big-government vision in which Democrats create enormous government programs, hire a bunch of public sector workers to operationalize them, and then quickly realize they can’t afford any of it and end up cutting services and raising taxes – a toxic mix that leads taxpayers to flee.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler: “They just want people to starve, and it’s disgusting.” This is one of a myriad of mean-spirited comments Democrats made this year which were aimed at painting Republicans as morally corrupt monsters rather than engaging in an honest policy discussion. In this case Rep. Nadler was protesting a 1 percent reduction in the food stamp program spread over the next ten years that was included in the farm bill. To put that in context: In the year 2000 the food stamp program covered 17 millions Americans at an annual cost of $18 billion, now it covers 48 million at a cost of $78 billion. The CBO, assuming economic growth following the recession, projects that the number of food stamp recipients will decline by 14 million over the next 10 years. In other words, what is really disgusting is the attempt to demonize any commonsense reduction in the federal budget.
Rep. Hank Johnson: “And so, to the extent that we have African Americans trying to tap into that vein of ignorance, African Americans like Dr. Ben Carson, who is a very smart, well-educated man and knows exactly what he’s doing, when we have blacks like that trying to tap into the ignorance of people who have been whipped into a frenzy, like a lynch mob, and you go to try to garner support from those folks, I think it’s very disappointing that we would have that kind of political discourse going on in this country.” Rep. Johnson is another repeat offender on this list (in 2010 he asked whether additional U.S. Marines would cause the island of Guam to tip over), but contrary to previous entries, his comments this year were more dangerous than they were humorous. Using racially charged language to belittle black conservatives is sadly becoming increasingly common and only serves to dumb-down our political discourse.
Rev. William Barber: “A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy. . . [T]he extreme right wing down here [in South Carolina] finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the tea party.” Yet another example of Democrats attempting to degrade black conservatives by arguing they are nothing more than mouthpieces for white conservatives. But one need look no further than the potential Republican presidential field—which could realistically include two Hispanic senators, an Indian-American governor, a female business leader and an African American neurosurgeon—to see the tremendous inclusivity of the Republican Party. As it turns out, things like economic growth, tax reform, school choice, and personal freedom aren’t limited by race or gender.