28 January, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Hate to say we told you so, Mr. President, but... we told you so:

After all the outreach to House Republicans, all the concessions, all of the reports about the economic crisis, all of the evidence showing the stimulative effects of the plan, not a single GOP lawmaker in the chamber voted for the economic rescue package.

The House voted, 244-188, on Wednesday evening for President Obama's package of federal tax cuts and spending worth $819 billion and meant to jump-start the economy out of its worst crisis in decades.

Although the president's legislative victory was no surprise, given the Democrats' 255-to-178 advantage in the House, the lack of any Republican support was a disappointment for Mr. Obama. The vote came hours after Mr. Obama declared that "we don't have a moment to spare" just after conferring with business leaders at the White House.

If the House Republican caucus, en masse, isn't willing to support a stimulus package in the midst of a global economic crisis, it's hard to imagine when, exactly, GOP lawmakers are going to work with the majority party in a constructive way.

So. Can we shut the fuck up about bipartisan bullshit, realize that these fuckwits think "bipartisan" means "what Cons want," and use the Democratic majority to actually get shit done right, please? Thank you.

The Cons spent the last several days lying about the stimulus bill. Here's Eric Cantor, citing a debunked report to try to sway opinion toward the same Con ideas that put us in the toilet to begin with:

Last week, ThinkProgress called out House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) for lying about the economic recovery bill, specifically for claiming that the bill would give more money to “grass” on the National Mall than to small businesses. In new interviews, he continues to peddle the same falsehood, even though House Democrats have now agreed to strip the “grass” funding completely.

More importantly, Cantor is lying about the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) assessment of the recovery bill by continuing to cite a preliminary, incomplete, and misleading CBO chart — despite the fact that the full report was released Monday, giving him plenty of time to arm himself with the truth:

– Well, I mean, you know, the lasting problem with this bill, not only will it not deliver real stimulus — even the Congressional Budget Office says it’s not stimulative — is that, you know, people and businesses and entrepreneurs are going to look out into the future and see trillions of dollars of additional debt. [CNBC, 1/28/09]

– I think first of all you have to focus spending on actual stimulus. You’ve got CBO saying that only 25 percent goes out in the first year. You’ve got to have some type of ability to provide that jobs will be created or maintained because of the government spending. [Interview with Marc Ambinder, 1/27/09]

Cantor’s complaints ring hollow. As to his first claim, the CBO analysis found that the recovery bill would have “a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.” As far as his second statement, the CBO report stated that about 65 percent of the funding would be spent by September 2010. (The report said it “would not be appropriate” to calculate spending in 2009 because “because the bill would be enacted almost halfway into the fiscal year.”)

It wasn't just him. The Con grandstanding on the House floor was a veritible parade of dumbfuckery:

Listening to House Republicans talk about the economy is not only tedious, it's a striking reminder that these guys don't know what they're talking about.

I mean that, literally. They're clueless. There are coherent arguments against the stimulus plan, even from a conservative perspective, but actual GOP policy makers apparently aren't familiar with them. Their arguments about the CBO are wrong. Their arguments about tax credits are wrong. Their arguments about aid to states are wrong. Their arguments about the stimulative benefits of tax cuts are wrong. Their arguments about corporate tax rates are wrong. Their arguments about housing are wrong. Even their arguments about allocation are wrong.*

There's probably some entertainment value in considering the "stupid vs. dishonest" dynamic -- maybe Republicans know their arguments are wrong, and are repeating them anyway -- but the end result is always the same. It's hard to get through a single speech without searching frantically for the Maalox.

It reached the point today that Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), a member of the leadership, said Democrats are acting like ... wait for it ... former Republican president Herbert Hoover. I suppose, by Ensign's formulation, that makes Mitch McConnell FDR?

And they have far too many happy enablers in the media:

The media have been aiding their efforts. In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that the five cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC — have hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio this week:

In total, from 6 AM on Monday to 4 PM on Wednesday, the networks have hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 24 times. Surprisingly, Fox News came the closest to offering balance, hosting 8 Republicans and 6 Democrats. CNN had only one Democrat compared to 7 Republicans.

What was that about the "liberal media" again?

The good thing about all this is that their hand's been played. Obama tried to work with them; they refused. The country needed them to step up and do the right thing; they refused. Despite their objections, this package will pass. Despite their fuckery, we'll see some benefit from it. And Obama's just learned a very valuable lesson about working with Cons: you can't.

Time for the grownups to take charge.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

Here's the shocker (Think Progress noted this, too, toward the end of their article) - look who is the closest to being "Fair and Balanced"! Jeebus Crispies, are all the other networks trying to show that they're bigger whores to the GOP than Fox News? Kinda looks that way, doesn't it?