Mitch McConnell, who may be the most disgusting politician in Washington, said on Tuesday:
In all likelihood, we will agree to continue the current payroll tax relief for another year, but we believe that it should be paid for.
Now, sure, one could and should get angry about Republicans suddenly deciding that in order to give middle class folks tax relief, there must be a way to pay for it. Because when giving their rich constituents tax cuts, Republicans argue, as a central tenet of their economic philosophy, that those tax cuts pay for themselves.
So, yes, this obvious hypocrisy should definitely spike our piss meters. But what is nearly as upsetting is the too-often tepid response from some spokesmen in the Obama Administration, sometimes including the President himself.
Example: A very nice woman and senior advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, appeared on MSNBC this morning and was given a chance to comment on Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy on the payroll tax cut issue. The question she was asked was a softball—teed up with jet engines strapped to it—that Jarrett simply had to swing at, and the thing would have set distance records.
Joe Scarborough said to her,
Is Republican Mitch McConnell saying that he doesn’t want this tax cut if it’s not paid for? Because if Mitch McConnell is saying that—and it looks like he is saying that—he would appear to be the first Republican in the history of Washington, D.C., to say they don’t want a tax cut unless it is, quote, paid for, because we Republicans generally believe that tax cuts pay for themselves—the economy grows, daisies bloom in the back yard, male patterned baldness is reversed—is that really what he’s saying?
JARRETT: Joe, I love your sarcasm. I don’t know. I’ll leave it to you to speak for Senator McConnell…[blah, blah, blah]
Now, keep in mind that Mitch McConnell is the President’s most prominent political enemy, a man who vowed to make Mr. Obama a one-term president. Through the filibuster and other parliamentary tricks in the Senate, McConnell has stood in the way of the President’s jobs plan and other initiatives that would have helped the economy and therefore average Americans.
And Mr. Obama’s senior advisor, before a national audience, given the perfect chance, couldn’t muster enough anger to attack him for what is clearly blatant hypocrisy?
That kind of stuff, the unwillingness to get pissed off about what Republicans are doing to the country, is nearly as maddening as what Republicans are actually doing to the country.
I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?
You know, the reason people like Chris Christie, and the reason he gets all kind of credit for being “outspoken” and “real,” is because he actually gets pissed off. Albeit he gets pissed off about the wrong things, as the quote above demonstrates, but people like to see passion, and they especially like to see passion in defense of the average guy.
Look at this headline in today’s New York Times:
Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools
Here’s the first paragraph:
Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.
That is happening on Obama’s watch because politicians like Mitch McConnell are playing political games, protecting the wealthy from tiny tax increases, worrying suddenly and hypocritically about paying for tax cuts, and generally hurting ordinary Americans, who have already been victimized by Republican economics and the Great Recession.
And the response to that kind of stuff should not always be a calm, rational one delivered with a smile, but one that shows some anger, some outrage, some indignation that people are suffering just so Mitch McConnell can sit in the big-boy chair in the U.S. Senate.