By Ernest A. Canning on 10/10/2013, 11:03am PT  

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate last week, on the third day of the federal government shutdown, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) excoriated Republicans in the House of Representatives as "extremists" and "anarchists", while offering an impassioned case for why "government matters."

[See video and transcript below.]

"When I hear the latest tirades from some of the extremists in the House, I am struck by how vague these complaints are," she said. "The anarchy gang is quick to malign government, but when was the last time anyone called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys, or for food inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria, or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause deformities in little babies?"

She went on to argue that the American system of governance, though far from infallible, can carry out the will of the people who are positioned to correct it and make it better. "Our democracy is an experiment, and it’s always evolving. We constantly redesign and re-imagine and improve on what we do together."

"You can do your best to make government look like it doesn’t work when you stop it from working. You can do your best to make government look paralyzed when you paralyze it. You can do your best to make government look incompetent through your incompetence, and ineffective through your ineffectiveness. But sooner or later, the government will reopen. Because this is a democracy, and this democracy has already rejected your views," she said, before concluding with a message of optimism.

"Today," Warren said, "a political minority in the House that condemns government and begs for this shutdown has had its day. But like all the reckless and extremist factions that have come before it, their day will pass, and our democracy will return to the important work that we have already determined to do together."

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Here's a video of the key section of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's powerful 10/3/2013 remarks on the U.S. Senate floor, (a longer version can be viewed here) followed by a text transcript...

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: We are now three days into a completely unnecessary, completely avoidable shutdown, and there’s more talk than ever about our inability of our leaders to find common ground on the central economic and fiscal issues of our time.

We all know how we got here.

For years now, we’ve heard a small minority in this country rail against government. When I hear the latest tirades from some of the extremists in the House, I am struck by how vague these complaints are.

The anarchy gang is quick to malign government, but when was the last time anyone called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys, or for food inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria, or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause deformities in little babies?

We never hear that --- Not from political leaders in Washington and not from the American people.

In fact, whenever the anarchy gang makes headway in their efforts to damage our government, the opposite happens. After the sequester kicked in, Republicans immediately turned around and called on us to protect funding for our national defense and protect the air traffic controllers on the job. And now that the House Republicans have shutdown the government, holding the country hostage because of some imaginary healthcare boogeyman, Republicans almost immediately turned around and called on us to immediately start reopening parts of our government.

Why do they do this? Because the boogeyman government is like the boogeyman under the bed. It’s not real. It doesn’t exist.

What is real; what does exist, are all the specific, important things that we, as Americans, have chosen to do together through our government. In our democracy, government is not some make believe thing that has an independent will of its own. In our democracy, government is just how we describe the things that we the people have already decided to do together.

The Food and Drug Administration makes sure that the white pills that we take are antibiotics and not baking soda. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration overseas crash tests to make sure that all new cars have effective brakes. The Consumer Products Safety Commission makes sure that baby’s car seats don’t collapse in a crash and that toasters don’t explode.

We know that government doesn’t always work. We know that no institution is infallible. People make mistakes, ideas fail and sometimes we get things wrong. But our response isn't to give up. Our response isn't to sit back and say, 'I told you so.' We’re not a nation of quitters. Our response, the American response, is to fix it to make government work better.

Our democracy is an experiment, and it’s always evolving. We constantly redesign and re-imagine and improve on what we do together.

But time and time again throughout our history, we have reaffirmed the simple truth; that government matters.

So, Mr. President: To those who have forced us to the brink, to those who rail against a make-believe government, to those who seem to rejoice in anarchy, to those who salivated at the chance to shutdown our government because their extremist views have left them disconnected from the experiences of the American people, it is time to hear a simple message.

You can do your best to make government look like it doesn’t work when you stop it from working. You can do your best to make government look paralyzed when you paralyze it. You can do your best to make government look incompetent through your incompetence, and ineffective through your ineffectiveness. But sooner or later, the government will reopen. Because this is a democracy, and this democracy has already rejected your views.

We have already chosen to do these things together because we all know that we are stronger when we come together. And when this government reopens, when our markets are safe again, when our scientists can return to their research, when our small businesses can borrow, when our veterans can be respected for their service, when our flu shots resume and our Head Start programs get back to teaching our kids, we will have rejected your views once again.

We are not a country of anarchists. We are not a country of pessimists and ideologues whose motto is: 'I’ve got mine. The rest of you are on your own.' We are not a country that tolerates dangerous drugs, unsafe meat, dirty air or toxic mortgages. We are not that nation. We have never been that nation, and we will never be that nation.

Today, a political minority in the House that condemns government and begs for this shutdown has had its day. But like all the reckless and extremist factions that have come before it, their day will pass, and our democracy will return to the important work that we have already determined to do together.