Ely Times column: How Harry put words into Jefferson’s mouth and subverted his ideas

Surely you’ve read by now about how Nevada’s senior Sen. Harry Reid descended to the well of the Senate and misquoted Thomas Jefferson, even managing to take the misquote out of context and attribute to Jefferson a stance he would never have taken. It was in all the papers, right? Well, no, just in the weeklies in Eureka, Hawthorne, Caliente, Elko and Ely.

My column, which is now available online at The Ely Times, seems to be the only place you can read about the Searchlight mangler’s abuse of our third president.

Thomas Jefferson

While arguing in support of the acronym torturing DISCLOSE Act — Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections — a bill that would require any group spending more than $10,000 on political ads to file a report within 24 hours and reveal the names of those who donate more than $10,000, Reid misquoted Jefferson as saying, “The end of democracy will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed corporations.”

The problem is that authoritative research says the quote cannot be found in any of Jefferson’s writings and appeared nowhere until 1994, according to Monticello.org. It is apparently an amalgam of quotes and interpretations. It can be found in countless locations on the Internet, but never with any indication of when, where or to whom.

As though that weren’t bad enough, Harry manages to take the misquote out of context. The rest of the invented passage talks not about corporate speech corrupting politics but about debt: “I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity is but swindling futurity [on the greatest possible scale].” I suspect such words would curdle in Harry’s mouth, since he’s done nothing to stop the foisting of current spending onto future generations.

What makes Reid’s words doubly damnable is that Jefferson would never have backed something like the DISCLOSE Act. You see, Jefferson, along with James Madison, were anonymous backers of scandalmonger Philip Freneau and his National Gazette newspaper, which savaged President Washington while Jefferson was in his cabinet. Washington referred to the newspaperman as “that rascal Freneau.”

The DISCLOSE Act would have forced Freneau to reveal his secret backers.

Here is Harry committing quoticide:

8 comments on “Ely Times column: How Harry put words into Jefferson’s mouth and subverted his ideas

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    Not to worry, your correction will alert Harry Reid, and his staff, to his error and a better version will appear in the Congressional Record, if they can correct the comments of the moron representative, Hank Johnson of Georgia, that wondered if adding more Marines to the island of Guam would tip it over they can sure make Harry’s inane ramblings coherent for the permanent record. It seems really surprising Harry has to go all the way back to the writings of Jefferson for his reasoning on this act, it seems more likely he would refer us to Obama and his onerous speechifying, that’s noting that Obama hasn’t committed anything official to writing for public consumption. Whatever Harry is up to he’s more than met his match in Obama in spreading BS.

  2. Athos says:

    Another bit of “why no reporting on this news?” is found here:

  3. Athos says:

    Here’s another one that’s shorter, and more unbelievable. If this guy isn’t lying, we are in a world of military hurt. Dreamers? The new term is Dreamers?

  4. I’ve shoveled out a barn or two, Vernon.

  5. I had not heard a word about this, Athos. Disgraceful.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    The individuals that spoke out were men with morals, principles and character, therefore not anyone the news media wants to hear from. They obviously prefer the press releases from their liberal padrones in the administration and the Congress, if such isn’t coming in timely for broadcast of print, they spin something to relevancy. Nothing will come of their disclosures, the borders of the nation are just another issue that the Obama administration and the majority of the Congress don’t want to bother with. Senator Sessions seems an exception as he doesn’t show signs of being a RINO like so many of his colleagues; Harry Reid must hate the very sight of him, there will not be the typical address of “my friend from Alabama” if he speaks of Sessions. If Sessions speaks of Harry he may say “my ailing and fading friend from, uh, uh, where is it, Nevada?” Okay, maybe he won’t say that but has anyone else noticed Harry’s stooped back and shuffle, and the short of breath voice coupled with mangling his speeches? It was reported he’d had a “mild” stroke, I’m not a diagnostician but I’d rather see his medical report that Obama’s or Biden’s.

  7. Athos says:

    Far better for people to think you’re demented, than to be the no morals, lying Crook that you are, Harry.

  8. […] an example of this would be a politician misquoting someone, taking the misquote out of context, and using that to […]

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