To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, April 16, 2021

Observercast

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest

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BY KAREN WEBB

If the Obama Administration seems too sane at the moment to give comedians material, never fear because the GOP is carrying on the legacy of strategery and stupidity. They are becoming nearly slapstick, but I am sure it is purely by accident.

Not even Mel Brooks could be this funny on purpose.

It is like the political version of Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest, all in one week.

DUMB: THE DUBYA FIRST-TERM REVIVAL TOUR

“Let the Eagle Soar” and he will soar right into Austin and say something stupid. He cleaned up the smut at the Justice Department by draping Lady Justice with $8,000 worth of blue drapes. He wrote most of the Bill of Rights-busting Patriot Act and his conscience is clear.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft said history will be kind to George W. Bush. If history is, then history is blinder than justice. Alberto Gonzales visited Ashcroft in ICU and tried to get him to sign off on firing attorneys for religious or political reasons and I guess he has forgiven him. He did not write the torture memos, but he is supporting them.

“There are things that you could call waterboarding that I am firmly convinced are not torture. There are things that you could call waterboarding that might be torture. And the point that ought to be understood is that throwing a term around recklessly for its emotional content, doesn’t really get you anywhere.”

Which waterboarding is, and which isn’t?

The part that isn’t I suggest we use on Ashcroft just to make sure. Who better to talk about throwing terms around recklessly for emotional content, like a color-coded warning system or WMD or mushroom cloud or stuff like that?
This is a Code Red warning on the hypocrisy scale.

DUMBER: THE GOP BUDGET WITHOUT NUMBERS

House Minority Leader, John Boehner: “Two nights ago the president said we haven’t seen a budget yet from Republicans. Well that’s not true because here it is, Mr. President.”

If you had one two nights ago you should have showed it to the President. Two nights ago what the president said was true, unless you can prove you gave him a copy. So is that thing in the blue folder a budget?

Budgeta: a statement of the financial position of an administration for a definite period of time based on estimates of expenditures during the period and proposals for financing them b: a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures c: the amount of money that is available for, required for, or assigned to a particular purpose.
Where are the details? Even rightwing reporters wanted to know because this is a budget with no numbers, percentages, parameters or estimates of any kind.

“This is the blueprint of where we are going. Are you asking about some other document?”

Do you have some other document, John, maybe one with a spreadsheet, a graph, a statistical analysis or even a pie chart?

“As Mr. Ryan pointed out, he’ll have his alternative budget details next week.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, and others pointed that out last week and a couple of weeks before that and now since no one thinks this blueprint resembles anything other than the same campaign platform the GOP has used since Reagan was inaugurated to get us in the mess we are now in, John is giving Mr. Ryan another week.

“Built on these principals, right here,” he said looking perturbed that anyone wouldn’t be expecting a budget void of numbers and figures.

I think this is what Reagan’s budget guy, David Stockman, called a Trojan Horse. In a lovely piece in the December 1981 Atlantic Monthly called “The Education of David Stockman,” he said, “We didn’t add up all the numbers” and he said Reagan’s “mixture of spending cuts and tax cuts would lead to large budget deficits.”

This really sounds like the Reagan Revolution’s Legacy tax act of 2009 with the same sort of attention to detail.

Stockman from the article: “I mean, Kemp-Roth [Reagan’s 1981 tax cut] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate … It’s kind of hard to sell ‘trickle down.’ So the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really ‘trickle down.’ Supply-side is ‘trickle-down’ theory.” Of the budget process in his first year on the job, Mr. Stockman is quoted as saying: “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers,” which was used as the subtitle of the article.

It is always about finagling the terms, numbers and stuff to bring down the top rate in a way that you think will make us think it helps all of us. If it was hard selling trickle down in 1981, it is damn near impossible in 2009. I guess Boehner and Ryan have the right idea, leaving out the numbers makes it easier to understand and to sell.

DUMBEST: HE DID IT ALL ON PURPOSE

“I’m a cause-and-effect kind of guy. So if I do something there is a reason for it. Even if it may look like a mistake or a gaffe there’s a rational, there’s a logic behind it. It helps me understand what position on a chess board. It helps me understand where the enemy camp is and where those who are inside the tent are. It’s all strategic.”

OK, so Republican Chairman Michael Steele insulted windbag Rush Limbaugh, apologized and then everyone blamed the Democrats for engineering the entire thing and now Steele says it was his own wonderful plan for something. There is method in his madness so, why is it that so many Republicans do not understand this rational or this logic? So, he says something stupid to see what the enemy says about it and then he moves his chess piece.

The enemy is in the camp and “those who are in the tent” are in the tent. That is where they are, aren’t they? It is a lot like the Bush strategy. You do something and then decide what to do next depending on how upset the citizens are and then you make up some hair-brained excuse so illogical it would make Spock shut down. Capt. Steele, that isn’t logical. From now on, when he seems to go off the deep end and all appears to go haywire for the recapturing of the Congress, we can all look at each other and say, he planned that.

At least Stockman realized his error and confessed “that he had used poor judgment and had talked too much.” He offered his resignation, but Reagan didn’t accept it.

Steele isn’t resigning because according to him, if God wants him to be president, he will run. I thought Newt Gingrich thought God wanted him to be president.

God could not possibly hate the rest of us that much.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.