Hail to the Redskins, Butt Out Harry Reid!

By Mark TrammellBarbWire guest contributor

The Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus is known for several things, but perhaps most notably for playing his fiddle while Rome burned, and persecuting Christians. As our nation is facing serious challenges that need to be addressed by Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the Senate floor to discuss the Washington Redskins.

Yes, that is no typo; Reid’s priorities appear to be centered on professional football, not legislating. As a brief recap, let’s consider a list of what Reid could be focusing his efforts on solving:


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Mosul has already been taken by Islamist militants and now the security of Baghdad is in serious jeopardy. With reports that the Beiji oil refinery, which is responsible for a quarter of Iraq’s oil refining capacity, is now under an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria banner, the need for a stabilized Iraq is not only in our economic interests, but our broader security interest.


Americans still deserve to know what happened in Benghazi. Why did the Obama Administration blame the attack on a Youtube video? Why are four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, dead today?

Pastor Saeed Abedini

American Pastor Saeed Abedini has been imprisoned in Iran since September 2012. He has been beaten and tortured because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

Meriam Ibrahim

Serious human rights violations are taking place in the Sudan too. Ibrahim has been sentenced to death and 100 lashes for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. Her husband, Daniel Wani, is an American citizen; they have two young children.

IRS Targeting of Conservatives

The latest in this saga is that Lois Lerner’s hard drive crashed and has now been recycled, making it highly unlikely Congress will ever learn her level of involvement in the scandal. Does anyone actually believe that her computer crashing was somehow accidental?


Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, citing the Congressional Budget Office, projected annual growth at only 2.1 percent. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve, in March, stated “it no longer expected a full recovery in the foreseeable future.”

Bergdahl Exchange

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) both said that the White House broke the law by exchanging five Taliban detainees in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.


In an article for Foxnews, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) stated that the U.S. is expecting 90,000 unaccompanied alien children to illegally enter into the U.S. in 2014. Cornyn said that number could rise to 142,000, or higher, in 2015. This is not only a national security and immigration crisis, it is a family unit crisis.

Department of Veterans Affairs

Earlier this month, it was reported that of the 1,700 veterans that were left off the electronic appointment list, 18 more veterans have died.

This list of scandals and/or world events doesn’t even broach the failure of the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obamacare rollout; the Fast and Furious scandal; the unconstitutional surveillance and data collection of American citizens; soaring government spending; and the denigration of religious freedom domestically as courts force men and women of faith to participate in wedding ceremonies that are contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs.

I am a die-hard fan of the Washington Redskins. Recognizing that the debate around the team name is an emotionally charged topic, my reason for writing today has absolutely nothing to do with the merits in favor or against changing the team name.

It has everything to do with the misplaced priorities of the United States Senate, which is under the leadership of Reid. As such, the Nero illustration is all too fitting. Reid is playing his proverbial fiddle (mindlessly confirming judges and speaking on the Senate floor about the name of a professional football team) while our world is in turmoil.

Without question, if you have ever been to a Redskins game, you quickly learned the team’s fight song. Since Reid is so adamant that it is his place as the Senate Majority Leader to tell team owner Dan Snyder to change the team name, I propose that Snyder play an amended version of the fight song – after the first touchdown, at the first home game of the season – to remind Reid of his priorities.

“Hail to the Redskins, Hail victory, Braves on the war path, BUTT-OUT-HARRY-REID!”

Mark Trammell is Legal Director for the Liberty Center for Law & Policy.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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