Harry Reid compares the Tea Party to the the anarchists who started WWI and when asked about rising above it, he blames the Tea Party Senators for blatant overuse of the filibuster:
Now about 40% of my Republican Senators vote with the Tea Party all of the time. So when we have absolute gridlock, we have those folks, the Tea Party who represent five, not even 10 percent of the people in America, but they’re vetoing everything. Just, without belaboring the point, who is the tea party? Well, understand, when I was in school, I studied government, among other things, and prior to World War I and after World War I we had the anarchists. Now they were violent — you know, some say that’s what started World War I, the anarchy moment — but they were violent. They did damage to property and they did physical damage to people.
The modern anarchists don’t do that — that’s the tea party. But they have the same philosophy as the early anarchists: They do not believe in government. Anytime anything bad happens to government, that’s a victory for them. And that’s what’s happened. We have absolute gridlock created by a group of people who represent few Americans. But it makes it extremely difficult to get things done.
Reid was asked about trying to rise above it to make things work a little bit better, and he said:
The problem is something that was taken as done very, very rarely – filibuster. Lyndon Johnson, he was majority leader for six years. I’ve been majority leader longer than that, but not by much longer. During the time, six years he was majority leader, he had to overcome one filibuster. Me, same period of time, 420. It’s gotten way out of hand.
A little later Reid responded to an upset caller who said he was sick and tired of the finger pointing in Washington, like calling the Tea Party anarchists:
Matthew, let me respond to your little harangue here. I understand why you’re upset. But you expect me to come on this radio program and lie to people? I came here to tell the truth. I was asked what was going on in Washington and I told you. Whether you accept it or not, I defy you to do anything to denigrate the statistics I gave. The House is controlled by the Tea Party. Forty percent of the Republicans in the Senate, Tea Party. They don’t represent America but they are vetoing everything we do. If you don’t like that, that’s finger pointing, get somebody else to talk to you because on this program I’m going to tell the truth.
Listen to the full call: