Sunday, February 22, 2009

Arrogance and Stupidity

"Ahh, arrogance and stupidity all in one package. How efficient of you!"

Watching the Republican governors bluster, preen, and posture this week reminded me of the above quote from one of my favorite TV shows, Babylon 5. Hayley Barbour of Mississippi won't take part of the stimulus, specifically the money for expanding unemployment insurance? What, Trent Lott's house has been rebuilt, so no one else in the whole benighted state needs help?? South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford says that we're “digging yet another hole for ourselves,” and that "he may not accept all of the $8 billion in stimulus money designated for his state." Huh? Business is booming in South Carolina, or does he just think that the Repug base will just eat up his insensitivity, while they feed their children clay sandwiches? And Bobby Jindal, the Great Brown Hope of the GOP, doesn't think that the best way to help the economy "is for the government to tax and borrow more money." Where the hell was he when Bush put the Iraq war on the nation's ChinaCharge account, borrowing trillions from the Chinese so W's administration could hide the real costs of the war from the American public?!

Our local Scrooge, Tim Pawlenty,has a problem with "increasing taxes in the middle of a deep, deep recession.” On the top 1%. In the face of a real-world unemployment rate of 13.9%. But let's cut spending by dropping from 84,000 people from state-subsidized health care, decreasing money for public transportation, and get that new stadium for the Vikings done with public money! And of course, the most transparent and hypocritical one of them all, Sarah Palin, the so-called "energy expert," first backed out of an energy conference at the National Governors Association, claiming prior obligations. Then, she criticized the recovery plan, saying through a PR flack that "You're going to have the Chinese and other foreign governments buying up more U.S. debt." Figured that out all by yourself, did you? And this is different from the Bush years, how?? Of course, she also lobbied to get some of that stimulus money, but as we've learned, hypocrisy is the name of the game with Caribou Barbie.

Now, other, saner Republican governors like Arnold Schwarznegger and Charlie Crist support the plan, or at least welcome the effort. So why doe these four oppose it so vociferously? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that all of them plan to run for president in 2012. Certainly they aren't worried about reelection!

Pearson Cross, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana, can see the truth:
“These are people jockeying for the next round of president, vice president and cabinet for Republican administrations…. [T]hey’ve understood the symbolic importance of saying no to what appears to be expanding federal government and deficits and social programs that their constituents, frankly, wouldn’t necessarily care for...[...}...It’s a bit disingenuous to say, ‘Well, we may not take it,’ when in fact we need it desperately."
Considering that the Repugs only won the voters from their base in 2008, massively losing with Democrats and Independents on both the national and state levels, it seems that once again their basic math skills are in question. Do they understand that most people support and need this plan? Or are they so wedded to a discredited political philosophy that they don't understand that their pandering won't lead to a winning majority for themselves in their state houses or in their own reelections?

And if their math skills are so poor, then why listen to their opinions about the $787 billion economic recovery plan? They don't have enough fingers & toes together to count that high!

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