Friday, April 08, 2011

Malicious Intent

This would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. In their flailing to pass the blame for a government shutdown on the Democrats, the GOPers are really digging deep into the septic tank to find something that will stick. Or maybe, freshman Tea Party Republican Senator Mike Lee just can't read the fine print on his pocket version of the rules of governance and someone could get him a large print version?
“Why was it that a few months ago … when the president had both Houses under the control of his party — why did he opt not to pass a budget for fiscal year 2011?” asked Lee, who helped found the Senate’s Tea Party Caucus earlier this year.

“It was either irresponsible on one hand or deliberate and malicious on the other with intention to bring about a sequence of events that would culminate inevitably in a government shutdown,” said Lee.
Of course, you high denominator readers know that the President can only propose budgets and the onus is on Congress to authorize appropriations. These people are always demanding testing before allowing citizens to register to vote. Maybe they should hold the same standard for their candidates' understanding of the processes of governance before they're allowed to run for office.

Meanwhile, the slightly more informed right wing narrative going around the internets, with the establishment media charge being led by Jake Tapper on twitter is the Congressional Democrats are equally to blame because they didn't pass an appropriations bill when they had the majority. This, of course, ignores the relentless obstructionism and run out the clock strategy of the GOPers from the day in early 2009 when they declared their primary mission was to make Obama fail.

It would have been a collosal waste of time to try to pass a budget bill in that environment. You might recall the GOPers were fighting bitterly against such small funding as health care aid to 9/11 responders. A big appropriations bill would likely have ended in an impasse anyway. So the Democrats focused on what could get done. Thus, despite all the GOP sabotage, Nancy Pelosi's 111th Congress was the most productive since the 60s.

Furthermore, I'm all for historical context, but if the GOP's apologists are going to dig up past history, maybe they want back a little further. The appropriations process has been a mess for years under either party majority. Also seem to recall a whole lot of emergency appropriations for Bush's Folly in the Middle East in order to keep the funding off the books so they could pretend the deficit was smaller. Would be nice if our media would bother to inform the public about that context.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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