In today's episode, we find Republican leaders whining about being shut out of the stimulus bill process and claiming that President Obama reneged on his promise of bipartisanship.
"Our bill created twice the jobs at half the cost," they sing in unison. Only it didn't. Instead of less than a Trillion bucks, which is the estimated cost of the final bill, the Republican Bill would have cost $2.5 Trillion! Off by a factor of seven is pretty normal for GOP arithmetic. Their bill would have raised taxes on 26 million American families, but cut the taxes of...Wait for it...Rich People!
That was it. Their whole bill. No money for schools, higher education, people who've lost their jobs, alternative energy, transportation, veterans with disabilities, broadband for rural communities, and on and on...Just tax cuts for rich people. Look, rich people got trillions of dollars in tax cuts from the Bush Administration and the economy has tanked. Give rich people more money and all they do is stay up at night trying to figure out how to steal it from each other. Who in their right mind would think giving them more money would help turn our economy around? Nobody! Just Republicans, and they can't pass a "right mind" test with the answers already filled in.
So were they left out of the process as they claimed? Why Hell no! They got to introduce their own Republican bill and as a matter of fact even a bunch of Republicans voted against the Republican Bill. Lack of Shame does appear to have some limits, even among Republicans. In the House, Republican amendments were offered and approved in the final version of the bill. Some were dumped, mostly with bipartisan support. As many as 60 Republicans voted with Democrats against some of the Republican amendments, proving that even some Republicans know better than to do some of the things that Republicans want to do.
What did Tennessee's own have to say about Obama's bipartisanship efforts?
“This was not a drive-by P.R. stunt, and I actually thought it might be,” Zach Wamp, of Tennessee, told the Times after he and his Republican House colleagues finished a long session with the President. “It was a substantive, in-depth discussion with our conference.” More to the point, the bill they were discussing had already been tailored to soothe Republican sensibilities.
Quietly and behind the scenes, the few rational people left in the Republican party are, in fact, working with Democrats to try and save our economy. In the final show, however, they revert to type. I suppose their defense will be, "I was only following orders." When history looks back on this time in world events, will we see that the "Good Republican" will have replaced the "Good German" as the enablers of things wicked?
Representative Lousie Slaughter uses the term "disingenuous" as a polite term for Republicans as she lets us in on how it really was.