WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014 - This Day In History
What is Blue, Republican, and Has No Numbers?
Posted By MichaelSweeney - Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 2:51 PM
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Reupblican Budget Plan...sans numbers.OK – quick quiz time…ready?  Is a proposed “budget” that doesn’t include actual numbers in it any kind of budget at all…or is it just apparently some kind of promotional prop to distract from the unfocused flailings of an opposition party with no true ideas beyond the simple, repeated use of the word “No”?  (Or, in the words of NBC’s Chuck Todd, “Isn’t that like selling a car without wheels?”)

Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the US in the post-Bush-Cheney era, where the Republican Party they left in tatters is:  Seeking to band together with the current administration to try and repair the multiple messes created in the past 8 years?  That would be quite the positive-minded guess, but no.  Well, then how about:  Coming up with rightward-leaning but still potentially helpful proposals that will benefit all regions and classes of people in the country?  Nope, not that one either.  OK – well, I guess we’re just stuck with:  Opposing whatever the Democratic President and Congress suggests or enacts and coming up with mere propagandistic feints at even the hint of compromise.  Ding-ding-ding!  We have a winner!  (Well, more of a loser really, but…you get the point…)

So, there we all were last week, watching the ongoing governmental attempts at stimulating, bailing out, and all-around reviving the US economy that the two faux-semi-cowboys from Texas and Wyoming had helped slide into the deepest gutter in 80 years.  And, after various elephant-pols had complained nearly non-stop about President Obama’s proposed new budget for the country (“misguided” and “dangerous” were typical charges), the GOP’s leading Congressional voice, House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (OH) stood in front of a room of gathered reporters and cameras and solemnly intoned, “Here it is, Mr. President.”  He held up a copy of the GOP’s counter-budget – a little too reminiscent of that old pre-WWII paper-waving, “Peace in our time” post-appeasement footage of Neville Chamberlain for my taste.  Their “important” document was an attractively blue-bound…um…less-than-20-page…uh, booklet…with an outline of an eagle on the cover.  Ah, quite professional-looking little piece there – but, flipping through it…uh, Rep. Boehner, where are the details on your side’s plans?  Where is the full, deep budgeting in your budget?  Uh, Mr. Minority Leader?  If we may so impolitely ask, where the eff are the numbers?  Don’t you need some numbers in a budget?

Well, not in “The Republican Road to Recovery.”  While Spinal Tap-ster Nigel Tufnel’s amplifiers famously “go to 11,” the GOP proposed budget for 2010 apparently only goes to zero…

Almost immediately, Boehner and others started spinning.  Their circular argument went something like this:  Since the President announced his budget a few days before all of its details were nailed down, can’t we do the same?  Here we are crowing, but…uh, we’ll come up with more details (like actual figures) later.  Well, perhaps – but nobody in the Administration was waving around produced little packets (full of colorful graphs and flow charts that went nowhere), claiming that it was the answer to the economic crisis, then asking for patience when it gets pointed out that budgets normally have numbers in them, showing how much money is going to be spent on what items.

After that showy roll-out, the reactions were honest and amusing.  It seems as though many observers are getting used to the “Party of ‘No’” and their desert-wandering activities of the past 28 months.  Reporters on the spot started paging through the attractive, yet mostly empty booklets and began asking where the details were.  Former GOP Congressman – and current perhaps-most-conservative-voice (except for the gently humored ravings of ol’ Uncle Pat Buchanan) on MSNBC – Joe Scarborough reacted by saying, “They wanted to rush and get in front of the cameras and because they did, they made fools of themselves.”  The numberless GOP budget even prompted a joke query on the “Yahoo Answers” website (where users post questions they want others to respond to) – “Which is thicker, the Republican budget or 3-ply toilet paper?”  (Well, that must be a trick question, right?  Because, of course, the GOP budget is already symbolically smeared with…well, you know what I mean.)

The negative reactions even spread through the rampaging elephants’ own ranks.  Behind-the-scenes word strongly had it that even two of the prominent Republicans who were part of the team that developed the budget – House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (OH) and Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee – were against it being released so haphazardly, prior to completion.  They were apparently shouted down by Boehner and Rep. Mike Pence (IN), the Chairman of the House Republican Conference.  (And, by the way – OH twice, WI, IN…say, when did my Upper Midwest / Great Lakes region become the unofficial headquarters of the GOP’s most strident worker ants?  Ah, at least here in Chicago they’re few and far between – and in Illinois there are currently zero statewide elected Repubs…)

Looking back, it almost becomes ultimately ironic (as well as still wincingly stupid) that the most recent Republican President famously described his first budget like some kind of an amazed first-grader by explaining, "It's clearly a budget.  It's got a lot of numbers in it."  But, of course, who knew then that George W. Bush’s semi-idiotic statement would be clearly topped in thickness by an entire gang of Republican elected officials just 8 years later? 

…Say what you will about our former (alleged) Dry-Drunk-in-Chief (and, quite frankly, I’ve said and written PLENTY about him before), but at least even he knew that a federal budget needs to have some – and probably “a lot of” – numbers in it…

 

Cross-Posted on The Stonecipher Report.



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Discussion:

[ Posted at 2:27 PM on 3/31/09 | Reply ]
[-] Well Done! - MichaelSweeney
...Easy to aim at that foot while it's right up there in that mouth already, eh?

Excellent graphical add! Thanks...
[ Posted at 4:07 PM on 3/31/09 | Reply ]
[-] Thank God for the current GOP - Guest-Dragon5616
(leadership) mob bosses. They provide needed comic relief in these troubled times.

Their new slogan should be: "Republican politics: Good for a laugh."
[ Posted at 3:53 PM on 3/31/09 | Reply ]
[-] we luv graphics - antgooble

"It's official. The Underpants Gnomes have taken over the GOP!"

[ Posted at 9:56 PM on 3/31/09 | Reply ]
[-] Nice! - MichaelSweeney
Time to go to work, work all day
Search for underpants today
We won't stop until we have underpants
Yum yum yummy yum yay
[ Posted at 2:28 AM on 4/1/09 | Reply ]
I am only just going through the naturalization process, and wouldn't have bothered to vote in the previous 2 elections, since I didn't like any of the candidates, but I would have voted for Obama in a heartbeat if I could, and I think he is doing a remarkable job, given the total mess that the country has been left in.

Tony Website Link
[ Posted at 3:10 PM on 4/1/09 | Reply ]

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