When Congress was debating the economic stimulus package a few months ago, the GOP turned into the party of Beavis and Butthead (as Paul Krugman put it), mocking parts of the bill they didn’t like without bothering to prove that those particular expenditures weren’t stimulus.
For instance, LA Gov. Bobby Jindal mocked funding for volcano monitoring, and the GOP had a good laugh about it–that is, until AK’s Mount Redoubt erupted and lives were saved thanks to those very volcano monitoring programs. Whoops.
In addition, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter and Karl Rove–among others–mocked funding for “pandemic flu preparations.” But, as it turns out, that $900 million would probably have come in pretty handy right now, considering that we’re on the brink of a pandemic flu outbreak. Oops.
And to top it all off, the GOP is filibustering Obama’s nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, meaning that there’s nobody heading up that department even though we’re in the midst of a serious pandemic flu outbreak. Heckauva job, guys!
This is why the American people don’t trust Republicans anymore–even when they’re out of power, they’re still messing everything up. Hey guys–there’s a reason why Obama’s approval ratings are up there and your approval ratings are down here.
UPDATE: Of course, I log onto my favorite right-wing blogs this morning and they’re all playing the same tune– something along the lines of “Liberals are saying swine flu is all the evil GOP’s fault!”
No, we’re not saying the outbreak of the swine flu is your fault. We’re saying that we could have done more to prepare for a pandemic flu scenario–in fact, were going to do more to prepare for it–except you all kept whining about the cost.
And we’re criticizing you for filibustering the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services because you dislike her position on abortion, since we really, really could use a Secretary of Health and Human Services right now.
So no, nobody’s saying the flu outbreak is your fault. But we are criticizing you for sitting there and playing politics while we’ve been trying to prepare for something like this.
Our country is dealing with some major problems right now. Either grow up and help us fix them or get out of the way and let us take care of things. Once again, Republican obstinace is causing major problems and it’s getting really, really tiring.
UPDATE II: And Chuck Schumer, my former Senator, deserves criticism for this:
All those little porky things that the House put in, the money for the [National] Mall or the sexually transmitted diseases or the flu pandemic, they’re all out.
Bad call, in retrospect.
Of course, there wouldn’t have been an impetus for lawmakers to strip out expenditures for things such as pandemic flu preparation if the right hadn’t spent weeks screaming at the top of their lungs, calling the stimulus package things like “spendulus,” “porkulus,” and “the generational theft act of 2009” and pushing lawmakers to strip out as many expenditures as possible.
But since the right can’t take responsibility for anything, the right will just keep gibbering that “Chuckie Schumer opposed pandemic flu funding, too!!”
Because politics always happens completely within a vacuum, right?