And the burning stupid just keeps on coming. Steve Benen has an excellent analogy for where we are to date:
Watching the reaction from Republicans and most news outlets, I keep thinking of an analogy. There's a nine-alarm fire, and Obama's the fire chief. He wants to send the cavalry, hoping to save lives and contain the fire from spreading out of control, while simultaneously taking fire-prevention steps for the future. Soon, Republicans start wondering if 2% of the tools on the fire-engines are entirely necessary for fighting the fire. Democrats think nine trucks is an excessive number, and maybe if Obama sent seven, it'll make Republicans happier. (Said Sen. Ben Nelson, "I don't know, hundreds of gallons of water sounds like an awful lot.")
Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, and Joe Scarborough try to convince the community that Obama is making a big mistake trying to put out a fire with water, which is just socialism in disguise.
Conservatives want to know why Obama won't just give people a tax cut, so the public can buy fire-extinguishers, axes, and Dalmatians of their own. The Washington Post runs four op-eds from Amity Shlaes, arguing that Fire Chief Roosevelt overreacted during the last nine-alarm fire, and it would have gone out on its own if he'd just left it alone.
And while the fire keeps burning, the Senate wants to figure out how to address the fire in a way that costs less and satisfies the concerns of "centrists."
That's pretty much it in a nutshell.
And if you wonder why the Cons would rather watch the country burn than put out the fire, look no further than their own self-interest:
On Monday night, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol appeared on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business show to discuss conservative criticism of President Obama’s economic recovery plan. “I’m less certain than I was even 4 or 5 days ago” that Democrats would push the stimulus bill through the Senate without GOP support, said Kristol. “I do think it’s now a question.”
Kristol then claimed that “the loss of credibility” that Obama and congressional Democrats could incur from the process of passing the recovery package “really hurts them on the next piece of legislation.” Citing the example of Bill Clinton’s experience in the 90s, Kristol said that a united conservative front against the stimulus now could help them defeat health care legislation in the future:
KRISTOL: But the loss of credibility, even if they jam it through, really hurts them on the next, on the next piece of legislation. Clinton got through his tax increases in ‘93, it was such a labor and he had to twist so many arms to do it and he became so unpopular.
CAVUTO: Without a single Republican vote. Without a single Republican vote.
That it made, that it made it so much easier to then defeat his health care initiative. So, it’s very important for Republicans who think they’re going to have to fight later on on health care, fight later on maybe on some of the bank bailout legislation, fight later on on all kinds of issues. It’s very important for them, I think, not just to stay united at this time, though that’s important, but to make the arguments.
I don't need to tell you how disgusting that is, now, do I? They basically want to ensure that nothing gets done. If they can't rule this country, no one can. They're not only acting like screaming children, but absuive spouses. I think it's time for America to ask for a divorce.
Especially when the Cons are taking marching orders from a fuckwit like Joe the Plumber:
I do believe that taking this schmuck seriously should shatter any claim to credibility that the Cons might make.
Republican congressional aides gathered yesterday for a meeting of the Conservative Working Group. The topic: opposition to the economic stimulus package. The guest policy strategist: unlicensed plumber/campaign prop Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher.
So, how'd it go? Wurzelbacher told the New York Daily News, "Went really well."
"It's not politically incorrect to say you're Republican or conservative," Joe said. "They need to dig their heels in and fight for what needs to be done." [...]
One thing that needs to be done, he said, is killing this stimulus package, because it's just another example of "American government" -- Republicans and Democrats -- "kicking our butts left and right." He also called it welfare.
The Cons will never get it - they're too locked into their ideology and posturing to come up with anything reasonably approaching sane when talking about the stimulus - but the media doesn't have that excuse. Time for them to get educated:
On Tuesday night's CBS Evening News, CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson uncritically repeated Republican Talking points about the Recovery and Reinvestment Act without pointing out how absurd their anti-stimulus arguments are. In the segment (video here), the reporter also illustrated she does not have a clue about what constitutes economic stimulus.
Attkisson included critical statements from several Republicans but none from Democratic supporters. She started with the nonsensical comment from John McCain that "this is not a stimulus package, it's a spending package," and continued with a "CBS analysis" which was nothing more than displaying the dollar totals assigned to several of the Cabinet agencies: X billions for Commerce, Y billions for Labor, Z billions for HHS. This is analysis?
It is not suprising that John McCain pretends not to know that spending creates jobs and economic activity, and that is what the stimulus is all about, but apparently CBS' Attkisson doesn't know this either. So here's Dean Baker to make it simple:Spending that is not stimulus is like cash that is not money. Spending is stimulus, spending is stimulus. Any spending will generate jobs. It is that simple.
This country is in horrific shape. If our federal government doesn't get a stimulus plan out there ASAP, we are going to crash and burn. All those people you know who have lost their jobs and their homes are just a mere drop in the bucket compared to what's coming.
The Cons are destroying any chances we have to pull out of the tailspin before we hit the ground and come apart. Get on the phones. Ensure Congress is hearing from more than just the people who were deceived by all of the Con propaganda. Get word out to friends and family. Give them the information they need to understand how a stimulus works. It's time for Americans to do the hard work, because with the Cons in the way, the work's not going to get done otherwise.
I refuse to let the people of this country suffer just because the fuckwits they were snookered into electing put party before country.