Claire McCaskill: “This Fight Has Not Been About Nothing”

Missouri’s Senator Claire McCaskill, nobody’s liberal Democrat, appeared on Meet the Press this morning with South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune and she said this about the debt-ceiling brawl:

Here’s the bottom line: This fight has not been about nothing. This hasn’t just been political theater. There’s a philosophical difference here on the hill between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and it’s pretty simple: They have voted to keep giving taxpayer checks to big oil while they voted to convert the Medicare system to vouchers. Now, that doesn’t compute for us. How can you be more willing to push money—public money—to the most profitable corporations in the history of the world at the same time you’re willing to have smaller Medicare?

So, that’s really the fight here.

Yes, that’s the fight, as both sides acknowledge, including Senator Thune, a right-winger who represents 814,180 folks or 1/379 of the U.S. population. He has the power of, say, New York’s Charles Schumer, who represents more than 19 million folks or 1/16  of the population. (Missouri’s population is 1/51 of the total, so Claire McCaskill represents more than seven times the people as John Thune, but has no larger voice in our political system.)

Senator Thune was asked this question by David Gregory this morning:

GREGORY: Senator Thune, as  a Republican here, somebody who’s reportedly in play, what has to be in this agreement to get you to “yes”?

THUNE: Well, I think a couple of things, David. First, no taxes.

No taxes.”  No taxes first, and really, no taxes second, third, and on to infinity.  

Republican irresponsibility, as the debt-ceiling debacle demonstrates, knows no bounds.

Away In A Manger

How stupid do they think we are?

This morning on Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle asked that question relative to the comments made by Republican Senators Jim DeMint and Jon Kyl yesterday, who suggested that Harry Reid was disrespecting the Christian faith by keeping the Senate in session through the normal Christmas break.

Here is the START treaty obstructionist Jon Kyl’s remark:

It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing — frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.

Now, forget about the fact that there is still a lot of legislative work to be done because of Republican obstructionism.  And forget about the fact that Harry Reid himself is a Christian, and presumably is fond of the whole wrapped-in-swaddling-clothes-lying-in-a-manger thing.  And forget about the troops all over the world who aren’t taking a Christmas break.  Or others here at home that may get off half a day on Christmas Eve, then the weekend, and it’s back to work on Monday.

Forget about all that, but remember this: Some Republicans, particularly in the United States Senate, have become so arrogant that they think they can say or do almost anything with impunity.  They think they can take the most extreme positions and still count on the support of the voters in their states, who often unflinchingly reelect them.

In other words, they think their voters are idiots and fools.

Just yesterday, Senators John Cornyn and John Thune held a press conference for the purpose of ridiculing the $8 billion dollars worth of earmarks in the 1900-page omnibus budget bill. The bill is more than $1 trillion dollars.

The problem with the press conference idea was that some reporters in the room were aware of the Republican scheme, particularly ABC’s Jon Karl, who grilled the two senators on their own earmarks—tens of millions of dollars worth—in the bill. 

“How do you have any credibility on this?” asked Mr. Karl. 

“Because we’re going to vote against the bill,” Cornyn replied.  “This is the wrong way to do business.”

“Senator, were you wrong when you put these earmarks in before?” Karl asked.

“Karl, this is not just about earmarks,” said Cornyn.

Except, that it was just about earmarks. That was the point of the press conference, remember?

You see, what these Republican Senators thought would happen was that the Democrats, who have the responsibility of governance, would pass the budget bill that included GOP earmarks, and the Republicans could oppose the bill, but still get goodies for their states with clean hands. 

Except someone dared to commit journalism and ruined the whole thing.

Here is ABC’s report on the issue (after a too-long commercial): 

Vodpod videos no longer available.
%d bloggers like this: