Thursday, January 03, 2013

Babar Goes To Washington; or Who Ordered The You-Know-What Sandwich?

The Republicans in Washington need an update to their symbol.

The above image captures what I imagine might be the self-image of many a Republican in Washington.(And yes, it pleases me to irritate said group by linking them to French children's literature.)

And let's be honest - the entire Congress under Republican rule for the last few years ranks as the worst-performing and most disappointing since records on performance have been kept. Writer Ezra Klein refers to them as the "rottenest in history" and the "Wile E. Coyote Congress":

"What’s the record of the 112th Congress? Well, it almost shut down the government and almost breached the debt ceiling. It almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place). It cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act and scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy. It achieved nothing of note on housing, energy, stimulus, immigration, guns, tax reform, infrastructure, climate change or, really, anything. It’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule.

"The 112th found legislating so difficult that lawmakers repeatedly created artificial deadlines for consequences and catastrophes intended to spur them to act. But like Wile E. Coyote with his endless supply of Acme products, when the 112th set a trap, the only sure bet was that it would explode in its collective face, forcing leaders to construct yet another hair- trigger legislative contraption."


They invented a fiscal crisis, wailed about it endlessly and barely acted in time to delay the consequences until the last possible moment, which gave most of the Washington representatives from Tennessee time to show off their failings.

My Congressman, Rep. Phil Roe, issued a statement after voting no on the plan approved this week - "Washington cannot continue to tax, borrow and spend."

Um ... isn't that pretty much a major chunk of what government does? Too bad he always says No rather than offering a more positive idea, say, maybe "Government needs to invest in America" - it's education, infrastructure, technology, etc etc.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker doesn't sound much better as he offers his view on voting for the plan to avoid fiscal meltdown:

"I looked at the policy of where we were going to be if we didn't pass it or where we would be if we did, and while it was like eating a you-know-what sandwich to vote for this, to me it was a right of passage to this quarter." 

(NOTE to the writer of the article cited above - you mean "rite of passage" maybe? Tsk Tsk.)

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