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It's a difficult title to assume: most clueless man in America. Difficult because there is a never ending shortage of candidates, and because the country's most recognizable figure, President Barack Obama, seems to have such a stranglehold on the competition. But if anyone can best him, it's Harry Reid:
Reid sat down with more than 30 Review-Journal staffers Friday afternoon for an hour-long Q&A session at the newspaper's offices. The bulk of the back and forth was dedicated to federal spending and how Congress might tame exploding budget deficits.
Reid blamed everything that ails Washington and the nation on Republicans. He slammed the GOP for its refusal to go along with tax increases as part of this month's debt-ceiling deal, saying hard-core fiscal conservatives are making it impossible to strike a long-term deal that slows the growth of the national debt.
Shortly after blaming Republicans for their refusal to "go along with tax increases," check out this "pot-meet-kettle" moment:
Reid left the indelible impression Friday that as long as he's leading the Senate Democrats, the Tea Party agenda is dead on arrival in his chamber. In exchange for a modicum of reduced growth in federal spending, Reid said someone will have to pay more. There will be [no] reductions and entitlement reforms without tax increases. He singled out the rich and oil companies as especially deserving of punishment.
Saying the Tea Party agenda, which is nothing more than ending our profligate government spending obsession, is dead on arrival might be difficult to enforce if the 2012 elections see more conservatives elected as a result of the movement's continued influence. For his part, Reid doesn't think that will be an issue:
"The Tea Party was the result of a terrible economy," he said. "I've said that many times, and I believe that."
"That (the Tea Party) will pass. They will lose a number of seats next year."
Is he really that oblivious to what is happening outside of the Beltway? Is he really unaware of how many Democrats are sprinting to the right on spending issues in their efforts to get re-elected? Is he clueless to the fact that Democrats have far more seats to defend in their efforts to control the Senate through the next two election cycles than Republicans? Is he really under the impression that Americans believe our out-of-control spending in Washington can be solved by taxing corporations or wealthy people more?
Sadly, yes, he probably is. Which is why Mr. Obama should be worried that while he may lose the presidency to a conservative challenger in 2012, his hold on the title of "Most Clueless Man in America" is under a more immediate threat.