If you're watching the news theses days you're probably sick of at least two things: the octuplets mom saga and the debate around deficit spending. The former is annoying and basically nobody's business but hers and her family's. The latter is a frustrating exercise in disingenuous ballyhoo and political one-upmanship. Which do you find more entertaining?
There's a valid argument to be had regarding running up massive deficits, even in the short term, that serious people can have. Unfortunately, there really is almost nobody on the fiscal conservative side to either make that case with a straight face or to do it while refraining from hyperbole or petty name calling.
For one, the beacon of modern conservatism took the air out of bitching about deficits when he ballooned the defense budget to circus-like proportions. Even Dick Cheney, in response to mild pushback from his own party over deficits resulting from tax cuts, had to remind his homies that "Reagan taught us that deficits are meaningless." So, who among the Right would dare argue with Ronald Reagan? You think stepping to Rush Limbaugh puts you in the woodshed?
And then we have stunts like today's wherein Republicans attempted to steal the spotlight away from President Obama's virtual townhall by presenting an "alternative budget" that promised to reduce spending and shore up resources. Sound great, right? So what are the details, you ask? Nobody knows because all they had in hand was a glossy pamphlet that was long on rhetoric and short on numbers. The key takeaway? Tax cuts for the rich, what else? Yawn...
That leaves us with the new breed of supposed Blue Dog Democrats, led by Indiana's Evan Bayh. This coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats from mostly red-leaning states were assembled to supposedly keep check on the President's ambitious agenda and slow down deficit spending. The problem is that in an appearance on Hardball this week, Bayh said that he agreed with every one of the big ticket proposals host Chris Matthews put in front of him. Additionally, the dysfunctional and impotent GOP can't seem to decide whether they even want to engage these Democrats. Why? Because they see better political positioning if the budget passes and these dopes have to go home and explain it to their tax leery (but woefully unemployed) constituents. So much for service to country, eh?
Anyone wondering why President Obama is pushing hard and fast on an admittedly ambitious agenda need only look at the cast of characters who oppose him. It's a perfect situation that could change drastically in 2010 and he knows it. If the President knows one thing well it is to seize the day!
More hilarity from Republican leadership (Via Politico):
The 19-page document, prepared by Pence's office, was distributed two days after President Obama criticized Republicans for trashing his detail-crammed 142-page budget outline without producing a credible alternative.
"In his egocentric rush to get on camera, Mike Pence threw the rest of the Conference under the bus, specifically Paul Ryan, whose staff has been working night and day for weeks to develop a substantive budget plan," said a GOP aide heavily involved in budget strategy.
"I hope his camera time was gratifying enough to justify erasing the weeks of hard work by dozens of Republicans to put forth serious ideas," the person added.