Harry Reid: We Really, Really Need Cowboy Poets

Many things about Washington puzzle me, but Harry Reid must be at the top of the list. Not to put too fine a point on it, he is stupid. I am no fan of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, but it is inconceivable that Harry Reid is the best they’ve got. He is a sort of doubly whammy: not only is he dumb, he comes across to the average person as dumb. You can contrast him, in this regard, with someone like John Kerry, who is of very limited intelligence but whose bombast might fool some voters. Harry Reid isn’t fooling anyone.
What gives rise to these thoughts is this story in Politico. On the Senate floor, Reid denounced the Republicans because their “proposed budget cuts would eliminate the annual ‘cowboy poetry festival’ in his home state of Nevada.” I think most of us would agree that it is a bad idea to borrow money from the Chinese–I don’t care how much–to fund cowboy poetry festivals, so that our children–few of whom, it is safe to say, will have attended such festivals–can someday have the privilege of paying back the Chinese with interest. Does Reid seriously believe that is a good idea? If so, he is even dumber than I thought. Which wouldn’t be easy.

“The mean-spirited bill, H.R. 1 … eliminates the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts,” said Reid. “These programs create jobs. The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”

Let’s put aside for a moment the question whether creating jobs as cowboy poets is really what the federal government should be all about. Instead, consider Reid’s claim that if it weren’t for Nevada’s cowboy poetry festival, “the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.” Really? Their parents would not have conceived them decades ago but for the expectation that someday they would assemble to hear cowboy poetry? Live, in Elko, Nevada?
It is a very good thing that as of January 2013, Harry Reid will no longer be Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

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