Patterico's Pontifications

1/28/2009

L.A. Times: Republicans Are Complaining Complainers Who Complain

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Economics,General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:13 pm

The stimulus bill was passed in the House without a single Republican vote, and kudos to House Republicans for that. Predictably, the Los Angeles Times portrays Republicans as complainers:

The House’s Democratic leaders pushed the plan to the floor confident about holding the votes needed for passage without the support of Republicans complaining that the plan includes too much new government spending and not enough tax relief. . . . House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R- Ohio) led other GOP lawmakers in voicing the party’s complaint about the measure . . . Republicans complain that Congress also rushed to action on a $700-billion bailout for the nation’s financial institutions in December

Nobody likes a “complainer.” Ya think the editors have that in mind? (By the way, who wants to chip in to buy reporter Mark Silva a thesaurus? Yeah, me neither. Rather, let’s beat him with a cluebat.)

A typical passage contains quotes from a Democrat Congressman comparing Republicans to Herbert Hoover:

“I am tempted to ask . . . what year is this?” House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) asked during debate over one rebuffed Republican amendment. “I didn’t think it was 1933. I thought it was 2009, or something close to it. . . . They don’t look like Herbert Hoover, but there are an awful lot of people in this chamber who sound like Herbert Hoover. . . .

“This is not Herbert Hoover time,” Obey said. “The time for action is now.”

Reading the article, you’d assume that the GOP had no positive measure to offer as an alternative. There is a hint, 14 paragraphs into a 17-paragraph article:

“Our bill will create more at a substantially lower cost,” Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said.

Huh? The Republicans had a bill of their own? That’s the only suggestion of that fact in the entire article.

If you want to actually read it about the Republicans’ alternatives, you’ll have to go to the New York Times, which tells us:

The House voted down several Republican proposals, including a substitute package made up entirely of tax cuts for individuals and businesses. Republicans did not say how much their package would cost, although Mr. Boehner said it would be far less than the Democratic plan. That tax-cut-only approach was defeated on a mostly party-line vote of 266 to 170; two Democrats joined all but nine moderate Republicans in voting for the Republican plan.

By another near-party-line vote, 270 to 159, the House rejected a Republican plan to delete a number of spending programs, including several representing top campaign promises of Mr. Obama, and to add instead $36 billion for highway construction, more than doubling the $30 billion in the bill, and $24 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects.

Hey, New York Times? In addition to offering less costly alternatives, Republicans also complained, and in addition, they complained. You might want to mention that.

But the L.A. Times is content to paint Republicans as mere obstructionists. The L.A. Times article concludes much as it began, with quotations of Democrat wonderment at how Republicans could stand in the way of such a much-needed package:

“The late Jack Kennedy made a remark that sometimes, just sometimes, your party asks too much of you,” Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) told Republicans on the House floor. “Why they would ask you to vote against this, I will never know.”

Ooh, ooh! Call on me! I know!

This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years.

We’ve looked it over, and even we can’t quite believe it. There’s $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make “dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy.” Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There’s another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.

Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren’t likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President’s new budget director, told Congress a year ago, “even those [public works] that are ‘on the shelf’ generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy.”

That from the Wall Street Journal, by the way. Complainers!

55 Responses to “L.A. Times: Republicans Are Complaining Complainers Who Complain”

  1. I would suggest starting to work the GOP Senators next. McCain is probably good on this.

    Graham, Hatch and Snowe, however, need some major encouragement.

    Joe (17aeff)

  2. RACIST!!!

    On the bright side, the Dems own this and there’s very little actual stimulus in their stimulus. See you in 2010.

    Pablo (99243e)

  3. Now somehow the American people need to know how bad this bill is. GOP should run ads listing the Pork and idiotic expeditures.

    Dennis D (ae900a)

  4. Surely we can count on the MSM to document how little actual stimulus there is in this stimulus package.

    JD (d3f294)

  5. There is plenty to stimulate Chris Mathews, right?

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  6. Okay, I denounce myself, in a leg-tingling fashion.

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  7. Ooh, ooh! Call on me! I know

    Horshak lives!

    AD (ca3284)

  8. So it goes: If they are Rebpulicans, their resistance to approve this bill along with their subsequent reasoning and explanation is dismissed as complaining (whiners, you know…).

    But… if they were Dems in the same position, “complaining” would no longer be appropriate. They would then be lauded as cautious, deliberative, prudent, judicious, circumspect, because that’s what conscientious pols who really care about the people are all about.

    In these troublesome days, at least the LAT can be counted on…for something.

    Dana (137151)

  9. I think that “thrill” going up Chris Matthews’ leg is actually the touch of Charlie Rangel’s hand as it’s making its way toward Chrissie’s wallet.

    MarkJ (7fa185)

  10. Obama’s swing vote was fiscal conservatives who saw Doofus ’43 and the Republicans in Congress “mortgaging our children’s future” with deficit spending. Let’s see if they stay true to their wallets come 2010.

    nk (bf9c84)

  11. Didn’t Teh One make a campaign office to offset new spending with savings from increased efficiency and closing corporate loopholes? So, in one week, Teh One has broken his own Executive Order twice, spent almost a TRILLION dollars, and stimulated an orgy of Leftist spending never seen before. And this is just the warm-up, people. Bend over …

    JD (d3f294)

  12. [...] Patterico’s Pontifications: Republicans Are Complaining Complainers Who Complain [...]

    House Stimulus Vote: Quick Blog Reax | The Political Class (0371c3)

  13. House Stimulus Vote: Quick Blog Reax…

    Michelle Malkin: An open thank you thread to the opponents of the Generational Theft Act of 2009 Michelle Malkin: GOP holds the line: 244-188. This crap sandwich is all yours, Dems Michelle Malkin: Today was a good day for conservatism……

    The Political Class (0436bf)

  14. Sprending $335 million for STD prevention!

    Yes, the Democrat Party is the party of Acid, Abortion and Appeasement.

    Alta Bob (44f27c)

  15. $335,ooo,ooo on STD prevention? Unfortunately, this is a tiny little fraction of the overall objectionable components of this travesty.

    JD (d3f294)

  16. Well, I’m sure all the fools employed by the LA Times will soon have their own reason to complain—when their employer’s profits and viability (and readership) start circling the drain.

    Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.

    I thought it was rather nice when Obama held a meeting with Congressional Republicans on Tuesday. But after reading the one sentence above, I now realize it must have been merely his attempt to schmooze with his opponents the same way that a used-car salesman schmoozes with a potential buyer — albeit a very reluctant, cynical and skeptical one — of a big lemon that’s sitting in the middle of the auto dealer’s showroom.

    Mark (411533)

  17. They wouldn’t need the STD Prevention money if they just let us eat more fatty food in peace.

    To boot, they would save trillions in health care since you die faster and before Retirement kicks in.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  18. Huh? The Republicans had a bill of their own? That’s the only suggestion of that fact in the entire article.”

    The Republican alternative cost half as much and did much much more actual economic stimulating – even using the wacky accounting of Obama advisors…. Here’s a factoid about the GOP alternative:
    “a plan that would create 6.2 million new jobs by the end of 2010, according to a methodology used by President Obama’s own nominee as Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, Dr. Christina Romer:” THEY USED THE MODEL USED BY OBAMA’S OWN TEAM AND THE REPUBLICAN PLAN WOULD COST HALF AS MUCH AS THE OBAMA/PELOSI/REID PLAN AND CREATE TWICE AS MANY JOBS!

    The correct LA Rag headline should be:

    Democrats Turn Down GOP Alternative to create 6 million Jobs; go full steam ahead on trillion dollar deficit spending plan.

    Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  19. JD

    Don’t you know? If you opposed the STD/Contraceptive parts of the bill, it is because you don’t like people having sex. If you oppose the ACORN funding, it is because you’re teh racist.

    doth sayeth the Mandy of the Pandagons…

    Darleen (187edc)

  20. It would be like the Mike York movie when once you hit 30 they put some helmet on you and zap you to death.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  21. Obama’s swing vote was fiscal conservatives who saw Doofus ‘43 and the Republicans in Congress “mortgaging our children’s future” with deficit spending.”

    I don’t fully agree.

    Obama’s swing voters were morons who didn’t realize that Queen Nancy has been running the House since 2007 (*) and so in ‘throwing the bums out’ failed to throw out the bums who *really* deserved to lose – Dodd, Frank, and the other clowns who helped create this crisis in the first place.

    (*) Polls showed that a near-majority of voters didnt even know that the Democrats held the majority in Congress. I sort of blame the GOP for not highlighting this fact, since the 9% approval rating of Congress in the fall of 2008 combined with 80% wrong track numbers could have clued anyone in that running an anti-incumbent campaign would WORK.

    Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  22. What’s troubling is how seriously Obama underestimated his opponents on the other side of the aisle. It appeared up until the vote, that he really believed his own hype about coming together in a bipartisan fashion for the sake of the country, putting aside partisanship, etc.

    “This is not a Republican problem or a Democratic problem at this stage,” Obama said Monday. “It is an American problem, and we’re going to all have to chip in and do what the American people expect.”

    If he underestimated the Republican’s strength and commitment to what they believe in while simultaneously overestimating his own influence, one begins to wonder if on an even grander scale, he might seriously underestimate the enemy on the other side of the world while overestimating his ability to influence them toward Hope and Change. This lack of judgement and discernment doesn’t bode well for the citizenry.

    Dana (137151)

  23. How many fucking millions of dollars to study global warming?! I have over 12″ of global warming in ny driveway that they could study. Good Allah, the dirty little socialist is wasting no time.

    JD (e17dac)

  24. “he underestimated the Republican’s strength and commitment to what they believe ”

    Haw haw haw ! What a silly sentance. Republicans didn’t vote their beliefs coz Republicans believe in borrow and spend (see last 8 years). What Obama may have underestimated was the Republican’s willingness to stop thinking politically and vote for something that may go wrong when they can have it anyway. Now the Reps can pretend like they are fiscally frugal and are getting back to “good old fashioned conservatism (some never left it so they get a pass)” and let the Dems take the blame entirely if the stimulus doesn’t work.

    In fact they can blame the Dems for it not working even if it does work (it’s too slow, our plan would have been better etc.)

    All those Republicans who are so horrified by all the waste are still gonna be all about the money coming to their constituents though aren’t they?

    Where is Michelle Malkin’s “conservative congressman list of pride” where she exhorts real conservative congressmen to pledge to advise their constituents to not touch a dime of that dirty wasteful Democrat dough? She would be all about the money too if she could figure out a way to tap into the sugar tit.

    Obama will be interesting to watch now because the Republicans have let him know in no uncertain terms where he can shove his bipartisanship. It gonna be their way or the highway, just like the last 8 years.

    EdWood (67575a)

  25. “Now the Reps can pretend like they are fiscally frugal”

    Republican spending over the last 8 years was indeed excessive, and conservatives have hardly held back in voicing their disapproval of it.

    But Democrats have just made crystal clear why, even with all their spending, Republicans -are- the party of fiscal responsibility… compared to Democrats. In light of the $1 trillion+ crap sandwich they’re trying to shove through within Obama’s first week in office, Republicans of the last 8 years were penny pinching tightwads in comparison. It makes me much more sympathetic to them, actually, considering that they had to deal with -this- infinite, insatiable appetite for utterly unlimited government spending on the part of Democrats to deal with every day they came to work. I had no idea they were -this- insane.

    Qwinn

    Qwinn (e64b97)

  26. Ed – That was a remarkable pile of hoo-ha you spit out there. Bipartisanship, my ass. Baracky made it clear that bipartisanship means simply going along with Teh One, because he won, like he told them.

    JD (a9f2c7)

  27. But Democrats have just made crystal clear why, even with all their spending, Republicans -are- the party of fiscal responsibility… compared to Democrats. In light of the $1 trillion+ crap sandwich they’re trying to shove through within Obama’s first week in office, Republicans of the last 8 years were penny pinching tightwads in comparison.

    In comparison! Too bad you can’t go back in time and make that argument. Maybe if the economy hadn’t collapsed on Bush’s watch, people would be less inclined to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

    Xanthippas (e02a45)

  28. When exactly did the economy collapse? The economy was still on fair footing in 06, although there was the upcoming issue with Fannie and Freddie that some Republicans were trying to fix. Remember that? As far back as 03? When the Dems accused the GOP of being racist and trying to prevent people from being able to buy homes?

    What caused the economic collapse? Housing bubble bursting due to people who couldn’t afford a house being allowed to borrow to buy it anyway. Fannie and Freddie collapsing under its own weight because the Dems refused to regulate them like all other banks get regulated. Banks collapsing due to being forced by the feds to hand out bad mortgages, the Dems refused to let the GOP reign it in before the collapse. The price of oil spiked AFTER McCain took a lead in the polls and dropped back to a normal range after the election.

    So, when did all this stuff hit the fan, again? Who was warning about the catalyst? Who was poo-pooing the warnings? History is the friend of the thinking person.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  29. EdWood, I don’t disagree that the Republicans in the past 8 years have been anything but representative of the GOP’s ideaology of smaller gov’t. and fiscal conservatism, however yesterday’s vote (or lack thereof) is a major step back to one of the party’s core beliefs and goals and many of us applaud that.

    If Obama were smart about it, he would perhaps reassess his opponents – as well as himself – and let a bit of humility in.

    Remember, as he himself said,

    It is an American problem, and we’re going to all have to chip in and do what the American people expect.”

    So we saw that yes, it is indeed an American problem and everyone will have to do what the American people expect – and that is just what happened. The Dems did what the Dems expected and what the Republicans expected them to do, and the Republicans did what the Republicans hoped for and the Dems did not expect and that because the Republicans have become in the habit of rolling over instead of actually getting in the fight for principles and for their constituents. But it had nothing to do with a refusal of bipartisanship – and had everything to do with representing the people that put them in office.

    If our new president were smart and really sought bipartisanship, he himself could have easily set the example and negotiated and/or eliminated the major stumbling blocks in the package that were an affront to taxpayers and nothing but pork (Endowment for the Arts, Abortion funding, etc.) It would have been terrific to see him put his money where his mouth was. Maybe next time.

    Dana (137151)

  30. “The late Jack Kennedy made a remark that sometimes, just sometimes, your party asks too much of you,”

    And sometimes, your political party and media allies conduct an elaborate amount of cover for you, all in order to obfuscate your penchant for using your own private property for political activities, and also not paying your taxes for years on your other real estate ventures.

    Say, whatever happened to his awesome proposal to reinstate the draft? (crickets chirping)

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  31. Say, whatever happened to his awesome proposal to reinstate the draft?

    Never mind that — what happened to his ethics probe?

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  32. Huh? Never heard of it – I get all my news from my daily newspaper here, and only watch the network news show.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  33. It’s not enough that they get what they want. Nobody should be allowed to disagree.

    Jim Treacher (796deb)

  34. It’s not enough that they get what they want. Nobody should be allowed to disagree.

    That’s sure as hell the impression I’ve been getting from them since the election. It’s like they expected complete acquiescence or even the complete disappearance of conservatives.

    Perhaps that’s just the peculiar species of lefty that turns to trolling, but…

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  35. I’m waiting for the Media Wing of the Democratic National Party to settle on a good term, that they can use is lock step, for anyone who opposes the enlightened programs of our leader. Something along the lines of “counter-revolutionary” or “anti=Soviet agitator” or “enemy of the people.” It has to be relatively benignly sounding so that it won’t immediately bring up comparisons to some of the terms I used. Maybe a shorter version of “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”.

    Long Live Our Glorious Leader!

    MikeHu (e9e89c)

  36. MikeHu — I’d put money on “neocon”. They’ve spent seven years attaching all sorts of sinister overtones on it, plus it has the advantage of being a euphemism for “Jew” in some circles. That way they can tap into Jüdenhass as well.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  37. Perhaps we’ll see a reconstitution of the “Committee on Un-American Activities”?

    AD (7d0655)

  38. The Republicans are in a tricky position. Their interests, assuming the Dems pass the bill without significant Republican votes, are for the economy to be in decline through 2010, or maybe even 2012. This is the same place the Dems were on Iraq from 2004 until the war could no longer be argued as ‘lost’ (though Matt Damon’s going to argue it anyway).

    The message has to be: we hope we’re wrong. We hope that Obama’s stimulus is the right medicine or that it does no harm and business recovers on it’s own. If we are wrong we’ll learn from it and move on. Despite the MSM’s protection, the Dems didn’t do this well. ‘Support the troops but not the war’ was transparent BS. The Republican message I propose is also BS and the MSM will be playing this up to no end.

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  39. “the Dems refused to let the GOP reign it in before the collapse” Yes yes the Reps “tried and tried” to fix the subprime problem before it blew up, but despite the fact that the Reps had majorities in both houses of Congress for 4 years the Dems WOULDN”T LET THEM fix it! Gimmie a break. Everybody was making cash and nobody wanted to be a wet blanket.

    “Republicans have become in the habit of rolling over instead of actually getting in the fight for principles and for their constituents” I disagree Dana, I would say that Reps have gotten in the habit of getting whatever they want exactly like they want it and now they are having a little temper tantrum coz they can no longer define “bipartisanship” to mean “do it our way”.

    “I’m waiting for the Media Wing of the Democratic National Party to settle on a good term, that they can use is lock step, for anyone who opposes the enlightened programs of our leader”
    They already have. The Republican party is the party of “NO”.

    I hope the Reps can gain back at least one house of Congress in the midterms so they have the votes to keeps the Dems from doing what the Reps have been doing for the last 8 years…. only MUCH more so. But from a “it will help the economy recover” point of view I hope that they are completely wrong and that this giant binge works. Most people with a job to lose do too, regardless of how far afield of good conservative ideology the government veers.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  40. “Yes yes the Reps “tried and tried” to fix the subprime problem before it blew up, but despite the fact that the Reps had majorities in both houses of Congress for 4 years the Dems WOULDN”T LET THEM fix it! Gimmie a break.”

    Ed – Can you remind me how solid those majorities were and whether they could overcome a filibuster. Don’t let facts stand in the way of your narrative here now.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  41. And, EdWood, remember it only takes 40 senators to filibuster anything in the US Senate.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  42. having a little temper tantrum coz they can no longer define “bipartisanship” to mean “do it our way”.

    This is a big fucking joke, isn’t it?

    JD (a635b5)

  43. You are both right and I suppose that there are other lame tricks like putting indefinite holds on legislation (some of that going on lately)that could have been employed, but from where I was sitting at the time the Democrats didn’t have the moxy to do anything other than threaten a filibuster.
    I don’t think either the Reps or Dems wanted to be the party that told the financial industry “no” so everyone let it ride. Could you imagine the Republican “Government is the problem” party insisting that any industry needed MORE regulation?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  44. Could you imagine the Republican “Government is the problem” party insisting that any industry needed MORE regulation?

    Don’t need to imagine it. It happened.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  45. Rob – Ed (both of them) will not let facts get in the way of Teh Narrative.

    JD (80c89a)

  46. “Ed (both of them) will not let facts get in the way of Teh Narrative.”

    Plus you had the army of grass roots lobbyists from Fannie and Freddie stirring up trouble for any member of Conress who looked like they might oppose any housing initiative or impose more regulation on them. The stories of what those folks did are truly entertaining if you want to read about intimidation tactics.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  47. Democrats didn’t have the moxy to do anything other than threaten a filibuster

    Bingo! We have A Winner!

    Congratualations, Ed. You’ve figured out how the filibuster works in today’s U.S.Senate.
    You don’t stand at your desk with War & Peace anymore, and start reading aloud;
    you just notify the Maj.Leader that you intend to filibuster something (a threat), and he does a quick head-count, and if he doesn’t have 60 votes in his pocket, he pulls the item from the docket.

    AD (7d0655)

  48. Democrats didn’t have the moxy to do anything other than threaten a filibuster

    BTW, Ed, in today’s Senate, all you have to do is threaten to filibuster, and the Maj.Leader does a quick count of the votes in his pocket, and if there aren’t 60 in there, he pulls the legislation from the docket.
    Very rarely will anyone even have to start reading from the phone book.
    Robert Byrd would, but since the on-set of his senility, it is more embarrassing for him, and his fellow Senators, than it is a legislative roadblock.

    AD (7d0655)

  49. The Republican party is the party of “NO”.

    Well, there’s the Mommy Party (Dems);
    and the Daddy Party (GOP).

    You’re catching on quite well.

    AD (7d0655)

  50. …and now they are having a little temper tantrum coz they can no longer define “bipartisanship” to mean “do it our way”.

    Ed, I don’t see how refusing to vote for a ginormous pork laden bill that the pols knew was not the what their constituents wanted equates to a temper tantrum?

    Is it remotely possible in your world to see that it’s the Democrats whose definition of bipartisanship is “do it our way” ? A fitting example, Mr. Obama himself who said just days before the vote, “on some of these issues we’re just going to have ideological differences. I won. So I think on that one,I trump you.”

    Dana (137151)

  51. Dana, it’s too early in this administration to decide that the Dems are going to be all “do it our way”. It was so obviously that way all through the Bush administration that I have become jaded about the Rep controlled congress that was running things at the time. Like I said before, I am hoping that the Reps will win at least one house of Congress so that everyone will have to negotiate a bit more. In a perfect world the Reps and Dems winning seats in the mid-term elections will be challengers who are much more utilitarian and much less ideologically driven than their incumbent opponents. But I’m not holding my breath on that one.

    EdWood (adc576)

  52. #47 Sure Daleyrocks, the lobbyists complained, but that is the part where the senators are supposed to step up and do what they think is right for the country and stand by their principles (conservative or otherwise) etc. etc. so the lobbyist grass roots excuse is a little weak if we are talking about senators who stand on principle. My point was that the fannie-freddy etc. problem wasn’t important enough to enough Reps for them to stiff arm lobbyists and risk filibusters and of course be hassled by the press for asking for regulations. Now everyone wishes they had used their bully pulpit. But they didn’t.

    EdWood (adc576)

  53. [...] Patterico comes this priceless quote from the LA Times about the bailout bill: “The late Jack Kennedy made [...]

    Dull Razor » Moron of the Day (7be474)

  54. [...] In the stimulus bill debate, the paper unfairly portrayed Republicans as “complainers.” [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)


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