Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has drawn national attention for remarks he made on the Senate floor today. Harkin, a Democrat who helped craft the Affordable Care Act, accused “minority” Republicans pushing for a government shut-down over “ObamaCare” of stirring up passions and putting the country at risk.
“It’s dangerous. It’s very dangerous,” Harkin said. “I believe…we are one of the most dangerous points our history right now, every bit as dangerous as the break up of the Union before the Civil War.”
Harkin referred to Republican Senator Ted Cruz and other Tea Party favorites as a “small group of willful” politicians who didn’t get their way in the 2012 election.
“Since they can’t get their way, they’re going to create this confusion and discourse and hope that the public will be so mixed up as to who is to blame for this that they’ll blame both sides,” Harkin says. “And perhaps they feel that their minority which is so, so imbued with this passion of theirs, this ideology, this rigidness of ideology of theirs that they’re the ones who will come en masse and vote in the next election, other people will be so discouraged that they’ll say, “Ah, a pox on both your houses. I won’t vote.’ And, therefore, that’s the path they see to taking over government.”
Earlier this week when he spent more than 21 hours speaking on the senate floor, Senator Cruz compared modern-day “pundits” who say “ObamaCare” can’t be “defunded” to the Nazi appeasers of the 1940s. Harkin has referred to Cruz’s speech-a-thon as a “tirade.”