Reid defends remark likening Tea Party to modern-day anarchists

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) says the Tea Party is the main reason why things are not getting done in Congress and views it as a party of modern-day anarchists.

Reid on Wednesday afternoon stood by comments he made on the Senate floor last week comparing Tea Party-affiliated Republicans to 19th century American anarchists.

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“I believe that, my experience with the Tea Party, is that they are against government in any form. They throw monkey wrenches into the government,” Reid said during an interview on the "Rusty Humphries Show."

“It’s evident. We can’t get things done. They don’t want anything to happen in government,” he continued. “We pass laws. They fight funding the laws we pass. They don’t want government to work. I want it to work.

“We have a situation where this country has been driven by the Tea Party for the last number of years. When I was in school, I studied government, and I learned about the anarchists,” Reid said. “Now, they were different than the Tea Party because they were violent. But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government in any level and they acknowledged it. The Tea Party kind of hides that.”

Some Tea Party lawmakers have acknowledged the influence of 19th century thinkers.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Authorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient GOP feuds with outside group over analysis of tax framework MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor last month that he considers Henry David Thoreau more of a mentor than Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.).

Thoreau famously declared: “That government is best which governs least.”

“Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe — ‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have,” Thoreau wrote in his landmark essay, “Civil Disobedience.”