Congressional Republicans vs. Republicans who deal with real world finances

Guess it’s easier to be a grandstanding Congressional Republican than a Republican governor who must balance actual budgets:

WASHINGTON — President Obama must wish governors could vote in Congress: While just three of the 219 Republican lawmakers backed the $787 billion economic recovery plan that he is signing into law on Tuesday, that trifling total would have been several times greater if support among the 22 Republican state executives counted.

The contrast reflects the two faces of the Republican Party these days.

Leaderless after losing the White House, the party is mostly defined by its Congressional wing, which flaunted its anti-spending ideology in opposing the stimulus package. That militancy drew the mockery of late-night television comics, but the praise of conservative talk-show stars and the party faithful.

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Governors, unlike members of Congress, have to balance their budgets each year. And that requires compromise with state legislators, including Democrats, as well as more openness to the occasional state tax increase and to deficit-spending from Washington.

Funny how the question of stimulus isn’t actually as partisan in real life as the Congressional Republicans would have us believe.  Not sure why, but this reminds me of all those armchair warriors leading up to war in Iraq.

Congress Assaults Christianity

Apparently having nothing more important to do, Congress decided to pass a dubious resolution that was intended by its main proponent to “honor Christmas and the Christian faith”.

Borrowing on rhetoric from Bill O’Reilly and his allegations of a left-wing “War on Christmas”, due to folks saying “Happy Holidays” in public places instead of “Merry Christmas–seriously–the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve King from Iowa, had this to say:

I recognized that we’re a Christian nation founded on Christian principles, and we’re coming up to Christmastime. … It’s time we stood up and said so, and said to the rest of America, Be who you are and be confident. And let’s worship Christ and let’s celebrate Christmas for the right reasons. (source)

picture-3.pngBut if this shameless pandering to the religious right isn’t bad enough, Rep. King has the nerve to go on TV and wag his finger at those who had the courage to stand up to this nonsense.

Well, two can play that game. Now, I’m on TV too (and by “TV,” I mean Youtube). Check it out! (For those of you who can’t get the link to work, or are interested in a synopsis of what I had to say, see below.)

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Priorities, priorities.

Today President Bush vetoed a spending bill that would provide roughly $150.7 billion to the Departments of Education, Labor, Health, and Human Services. But he signed a spending bill that provides $450.9 billion to the Pentagon.

A little later in the day, without a trace of irony, he gave an economics speech that compared Congress to a “teenager with a new credit card.”

So let me get this straight:

(reckless teenager) = ($$) x (jobs, education, and health care)

(responsible grownup) = ($$$$$$) x (war)

Hmm…most kids I know can figure out what’s wrong with withholding funds for jobs, education and health care while giving half a trillion dollars to the Pentagon. I guess I’d rather have a teenager with a credit card in charge of the national budget than an adult with completely nutty priorities.