Harry Reid has been isolated in the Senate so long there is absolutely nothing he will not latch onto to make a political point — even the accidental deaths of seven U.S. Marines at the Hawthorne ammunition depot during a training exercise.
The Marines were killed Monday night when a 60 mm mortar shell exploded inside a mortar tube.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, but that did not serve as so much as a speed bump as Harry stepped atop their dead bodies and used the tragic accident as fodder for a venal argument that the sequestration spending cuts caused their deaths.
Harry said in the well of the Senate:
“Mr. President, it’s very important we continue training our military, so important. But one of the things in sequester is we cut back in training and maintenance. That’s the way sequester was written. Now, the bill that’s on the floor, we hope to pass today helps that a little bit. At least in the next six months, it allows the military some degree of ability to move things around a little bit. Flexibility, we call it, and that’s good. But we have to be very vigilant. This sequester should go away. We have cut already huge amounts of money in deficit reduction. It’s just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can’t train and do the maintenance necessary.
“These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it’s going to cut back this stuff. I just hope everyone understands the sacrifices made by our military. They are significant, being away from home, away from families, away from their country.”
In addition to not showing a shred of human decency — comparable to the clowns from Westboro Baptist Church, who protest at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan — his argument is self-contradictory. The Marines were not killed because their training budget had been cut, they died while on a training exercise. Had they not been training as a result of the sequester, they would not now be dead.
Never mind that the sequestration idea came from the White House.
If Harry is implying that perhaps the Marines cut corners to save money while handling live ammo, he is also insulting their intelligence and a couple of centuries of military experience.
After quoting a snippet of Harry’s indelicate, intemperate, obscene floor rant, the Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted Rep. Steven Horsford, whose 4th Congressional District includes Hawthorne, as saying he knew of no evidence that corners might have been cut on safety at Hawthorne because of the sequester.
Horsford said, “The investigation will be forthcoming and I’m sure we will get all the facts at the appropriate time.”
The freshman gives the senior senator from Nevada a lesson in humanity, restraint, patience and common decency.
Reid in 2011 said of the Westboro Baptist Church members, who were planning a protest at the funeral of a Nevada National Guardsman in Carson City:
“I am disgusted at reports that these hateful extremists plan to protest the funerals of Nevada National Guardsmen, whose lives were taken by a senseless act of violence on Tuesday. America owes men and women who have served our country the right to a dignified memorial and we all owe their families, who share their sacrifice, the right to mourn in peace.”
Harry should take some of his own advice. Have you no shame, Harry?