I’ve been meaning to post about this topic since last weekend, and I wish I had, since now it will only look like I am echoing Frank Rich of the NY Times. Apparently he read my mind, but the real kicker is that he said what I’ve been thinking better than I’m about to. I guess that’s why he gets paid for his opinions.
In any case, I’ve decided that the Republicans in Congress have all lost their minds. Week before last, there was John McCain on TV saying, “This isn’t a stimulus bill, it’s a spending bill”. Well, duh, John. I think we all pretty much knew it was a spending bill, what was your first clue? Then I saw him on Face the Nation last Sunday (I think–is that the one with Bob Schieffer?) And Bob, who is pretty neutral usually–he’s no Tim Russert–said, well, pretty much everyone agrees that something needs to be done, are you going to support such a bill even if it’s in a revised form? And John said, “I just can’t”.
Then there were the various Republican members of Congress using phrases like “mortgaging our children’s future” and “generational theft”. I try hard not to curse, because I’m in the business world and don’t want such language to become so habitual that I “slip” at an inappropriate moment. Also, I do subscribe to the theory that you should make the effort to say what you really mean, and curse words are a mere shortcut. But in this case, I’m making a deliberate exception. To the “generational theft” charge, I say, Who the fuck cares? Is there a generation that did not inherit debt in this country? As far as I’m concerned, your children and your children’s children are on their own. Show me the rule that says we have to suffer so that our children and children’s children can tiptoe through the tulips without worry, debt, or pain. What you should be worried about now is keeping your children alive, by actually putting food on the table.
So now the Republicans are actually congratulating themselves. It’s a badge of honor that not a single Republican in the House voted for the bill. That’s how I know they’re crazy. If I were a Republican (which is kind of like saying “if I were an aardvark”), here’s what I would have said. Okay, look, there’s some really stupid stuff in this bill. Let’s work to get those parts cut. But in the end, we need to vote yes, because if we don’t, the majority of the American people are going to think we don’t care about them.
This time the Republicans didn’t just shoot themselves in the foot, they shot themselves in the head. What they did, probably convincing themselves they were doing the right thing even if it was unpopular, wasn’t even smart on a crass political level. They are for all the world acting like the wide receiver who runs a pass into the end zone, doing the little victory dance, only to realize that it’s the end zone of the opposing team. I’m at a loss to understand this mass delusion. But I’m thinking maybe it isn’t safe to drink the water in D.C.
For Frank’s far more imposing take on the subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/opinion/15rich.html?ref=opinion