The Wailing of Scoundrels
It seems that President Obama’s vigorous defense of his center-left vision of America last week was just too much for the delicate sensibilities of the
Tea Republican party. They were so hurt and betrayed that they had to wail to the Washington Post about it.
The three Republican congressmen saw it as a rare ray of sunshine in Washington’s stormy budget battle: an invitation from the White House to hear President Obama lay out his ideas for taming the national debt.
They expected a peace offering, a gesture of goodwill aimed at smoothing a path toward compromise. But soon after taking their seats at George Washington University on Wednesday, they found themselves under fire for plotting “a fundamentally different America” from the one most Americans know and love.
Still, Republicans said, did Obama have to attack the men to their faces? “Reagan had the decency to insult his enemies when he was out of town,” grumbled one GOP aide.
Isn’t that terrible? Those poor Republicans had to sit there and take it, without so much as a “You Lie!” being yelled out. But just in case you mistakenly thought this was all about the speech, there’s this little nugget:
For Ryan, the misadventure began Sunday morning, when he was bumped from the lead spot on “Meet the Press” by David Plouffe, the senior White House political adviser, who suddenly appeared on the show to discuss the president’s new deficit-reduction plan.
In retrospect, Ryan said, Plouffe’s presence should have been a red flag.
“I’m, like, well, if it’s a deficit plan, and they’re serious about it, why isn’t [White House budget director] Jack Lew or [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner rolling it out?”
The scandal! Poor little Paul got bumped off the lead spot by David Plouffe instead of someone important like Tim Geithner. No wonder he was so furious!
RYAN: I’m very disappointed in the president. I was excited when we got invited to attend his speech today. I thought the president’s invitation to Mr. Camp, Mr. Hensarling and myself was an olive branch. Instead, what we got was a speech that was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate in addressing our country’s pressing fiscal challenges. What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander in chief. What we heard today was a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief.
Can’t you hear the fury?!
What a bunch of pansies. First of all, politics ain’t fucking bean-bag, so grow up you goddamn sissies. Second, considering the amount of vitriol and hate coming from the right over the last two years, I’d say these damn crybabies don’t get to complain about a strongly delivered speech in defense of our social contract. To hear these assholes bitch and moan about the “tone” of the President’s speech is beyond sickening.
I like Rep. Weiner’s response:
WEINER: If you don’t want to have your program criticized by the President of the United States I say two things. One, don’t make dumb proposals. And two, maybe you should think a little bit about the tone in this town when they’ve been eviscerating the president for everything from being a Socialist, a Communist and not even being born in this country. I thought the president’s tone was remarkably measured considering the attacks that he’s on every day. I mean President Weiner certainly wouldn’t have been that measured.
We need about 200 more just like him in Washington.
Paul Krugman also had it right, Civility is the Last Refuge of Scoundrels.
But the main point is, what are we supposed to have a civil discussion about? The truth is that the two parties have both utterly different goals and utterly different views about how the world works.
It’s not nice to say this (but the truth is rarely nice): whatever they may say, Republicans are not concerned, above all, about the deficit. In fact, it’s not clear that they care about the deficit at all; they’re trying to use deficit concerns to push through their goal of dismantling the Great Society and if possible the New Deal; they have stated explicitly that they want to reduce taxes on high incomes to pre-New-Deal levels. And it’s an article of faith on their part that low taxes have magical effects on the economy.
Bitching, moaning, whining, wailing Scoundrels.