If you haven't seen it already, and if you have a liberal bone in
your body, you'll enjoy these excerpts from a recent Senate floor
speech by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. For those who like to
look at words all spelled out, I've appended the text below the
video. Have a nice day.
It was delivered on Oct. 3. Here's a partial transcript:
"Mr. President, we are now three days into a completely
unnecessary, completely unavoidable Republican shutdown, and there
is more talk than ever about our inability of our leaders to find
common ground on central economic and fiscal issues of our time.
The government shutdown is throwing a major wrench into a fragile
Nearly 1 million federal employees are sitting at home for no
reason, and other public servants are working but not earning a
paycheck. Cancer patients are being turned away from clinical trials
at the NIH. Veterans' benefits are at risk. Basic nutrition services
for pregnant women and new moms will be disrupted. Small businesses
won't be able to get federal loan guarantees.
And all this is happening on top of the idiotic sequester -
drastic, across-the-board spending cuts - that have crippled Meals
on Wheels, Head Start, and investments in medical research.
We all know how we got here. For years now, we've heard a small
minority in this country rail against government.
When I hear the latest tirades from some of the extremists in the
House, I am struck by how vague these complaints are.
From their rhetoric, you'd think they believe that anytime that
we the people come together to improve our lives that the nation is
committing some terrible wrong.
From their rhetoric, you'd think they believe that the government
that functions best is a government that doesn't function at all.
So far, they haven't ended government but they have achieved the
next best thing: shutting the government down.
But behind all the slogans of the Tea Party and all the thinly
veiled calls for anarchy in Washington, behind all that there's a
The American people don't want the extremist Republican's bizarre
vision of a future without government. They don't support it. Why?
Because the American people know that without government, we would
no longer be a great nation with a bright future. The American
people know that government matters.
The anarchy gang is quick to malign government but when was the
last time anyone called for regulators to go easier on companies
that put lead in children's toys? Or for food inspectors to stop
checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with
deadly bacteria? Or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness
drugs will cause horrible deformities in little babies? We never
hear that, not from political leaders in Washington and not from the
In fact, whenever the anarchy gang makes headway in their efforts
to damage our government, the opposite happens.
After the sequester kicked in, Republicans immediately turned
around and called on us to protect funding for our national defense
and keep the air traffic controllers on the job.
And now that the House Republicans have shut down the government,
holding the country hostage because of some imaginary health care
bogeyman, Republicans almost immediately turned around and called on
us to start re-opening parts of our government.
Why do they do this? Because the bogeyman government is like the
bogeyman under the bed. It's not real. It doesn't exist.
What is real, what does exist, are all those specific and
important things that we as Americans have chosen to do together
through our government.
In our democracy, government is not some make-believe thing that
has an independent will of its own. In our democracy, government is
just how we describe the things that we the people have already
decided to do together.
It's not complicated. Our government has three basic functions:
Provide for the national defense, put in place rules of the road -
like speed limits and bank regulations that are fair and
transparent, and build the things together that none of us can build
alone - roads, power grids, schools - the things that give everyone
a chance to succeed. …