Observing Life Through Polarized Glasses
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MAY 25, 2011 12:39PM

GOP Sharpens the Choices for 2012

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Astonishingly, and not content to lose New York’s 26th congressional district to a Democrat for the first time since anyone can remember, the Republican leadership – in the person of House majority leader Eric Cantor - has poured salt an open wound by proposing to withhold aid to the states most hard hit by tornados in the last week unless there is an exchange with offsetting spending cuts by Congress. The Virginia Republican said “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.”

To this writer at least, it appears Cantor handed the Democrats yet another issue on which to campaign in 2012: that of being about as coldhearted as, well, as the proverbial banker. It should be even more evident to any voter that Cantor’s statement comes just a few days after House Republicans voted not to close tax loopholes for the energy industry, protecting $40 billion in tax breaks and subsidies to Big Energy, which is enjoying record profits. In essence, it took Cantor less than a heartbeat to make a political issue out of a disaster which so far counts more than 300 American dead and as many as 1300 missing.

Moreover, the current GOP budget proposal calls for massive cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), which provides early warning information to localities when such weather related calamities are  expected to hit, ripping 21% out of the president’s proposal to beef up NOAA responsibilities.

Needless to say, Cantor is getting plenty of pushback  in the states most affected by tornado damage. The Republican reaction to a disaster from even no less a conservative than Tom DeLay, who advocated for immediate, no-questions-asked aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina will definitely be an issue in the upcoming campaign season. 

Ron Paul, the muddle-headed Texas congressman and Tea Party presidential candidate, a  party which constitutes a very healthy percentage of the GOP now, has said that tornado victims should not be given any help at all, while his governor, Rick Perry, whines that FEMA isn’t giving Texas enough money in the wake of the recent wildfires devastating the Lone Star state..  

The lesson is clear. On one level, Americans believe that in some way government is “too big,” yet, when asked whether or not spending reductions should affect those governmental agencies which protect their food, water, banking, transportation, financial policies, parks, medical needs, etc.,  and of course disaster relief, they are overwhelmingly for having the fed step into the breach.

The 2012 Democratic platform will be built in large measure on asking Americans to decide on what course to pursue. The weather disasters in the Midwest, in the heart of tea partyism, shine a bright light on that precise question. Will we swim together or sink individually?


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strange how they never want to cut back on 'defense' spending...

the usa is insane.
The disadvantage Republicans have is they tend to get locked on an issue and start seeing everything through that lens. Once that bus gets momentum down the Bozo highway, the "best and most loyal" is the one who can extrapolate it further...until the brick wall intercedes.
Cantor should back away from this a bit and settle for something less egregious, like curb-stomping a puppy in front of a Girl Scout troop.
They are not only shooting themselves in the foot..they stood in a firing line and 40 of the republican senate committed political suicide by voluntarily voting for the Ryan budget plan. At least the House R's could say Boehner whipped them into it. Not so the Senate. Aaggrrgghh!
The Republican infestation is like the mold in a bedroom closet, spreading through the airwaves like a political contagion. They have argued themselves down into a rabbit hole of intellectual conceits that there's no way they can regain sound thinking because that would require an admission that their theories are based on fallacies and their fallacies are based on conceits. We are on the verge of an economic disaster because they put us here....and they did it deliberately to enrich themselves and their social class. Aside from that I don't like them very much.
Now that they've shot themselves in the feet, they feel the most logical next step is to kneecap themselves, as well? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't both Alabama and Missouri arterial blood red states?

At this point, I'd really enjoy watching Eric Cantor being hunted through deep Southern swamps by people with shot guns and really mean dogs.

The United States is also on the edge of bankruptcy, and the Left's lack of understanding of the reality of this situation, and its full blown consequences isn't helping very much either.
Ds to Rs, "Go ahead and make my day."