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Congressman Rob Bishop

Representing the 1st District of Utah

ep. Price says Obama, Democrats rolling out ‘tide of soft tyranny'

May 19, 2010
In The News

By Bob Keefe
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
click here to view the original story

Republican Rep. Tom Price of Roswell rarely minces words about his feelings toward President Barack Obama or Democratic leaders in Congress.

But his latest verbal volley at them may have reached a new level.

Price, chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, recently issued a statement deriding Democratic leaders and declaring that Washington's "stolen powers must be relinquished."

"The tide of soft tyranny must be turned back if we hope to remain both the land of the free and a land of opportunity," Price said in the statement announcing a new "10th Amendment Task Force" in his committee. (The Constitution's 10th Amendment established that powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the states.)

I later asked Price if he really thought Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress were tyrants who stole their powers. He responded by paraphrasing Alexis de Tocqueville, the renowned French observer of American democracy, saying that it is "the tyranny of the majority that could ruin this country."

"Tyrannical rule has been known to occur in countries across this Earth," Price said.

While Price is not suggesting a coup against Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid anyplace beyond the ballot box, he said he thinks the Democrat-led federal government is becoming too intrusive in Americans' lives. The new health care law that will require all Americans to get insurance, he said, is indicative of that.

At the White House, whose officials are reluctant to pick a fight with members of Congress or angry voters, a spokesman declined to comment on Price's political name-calling. Just days earlier, Obama gave a speech in Michigan calling for more civility in politics.

Ryan Rudominer, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was less reserved.

He said Price's statements were a clear election-year political appeal to the less-government "tea party" movement, and he accused Price and other Republicans of caring more about appealing to their conservative base than doing real good in Washington.

"It's these types of reckless statements that are going to prove problematic with modern, independent voters," he said. "It might play well to the base," but not to others.