[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
But a word of advice to the Democrats. If you are going to play this game, you have to be really careful what you say and do. For instance, Representative Rogers (R-Ky) proposed a bill to fund our troops during the shutdown, and this was the Office of Management and Budget’s official response:
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1363, making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes….
After giving the Congress more time by signing short-term extensions into law, the President believes that we need to put politics aside and work out our differences for a bill that covers the rest of the fiscal year. This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and avert a disruptive Federal Government shutdown that would put the Nation’s economic recovery in jeopardy.
You got that? A bill ensuring that our military gets paid is a distraction. Nice. That sound you just heard was a million Democrats doing a facepalm.
And Eric Cantor’s official blog pounces, saying:
It’s alarming that a bill that funds our troops and could likely pass both the House and the Senate has been termed as a “distraction” by the White House. No one wants to see the government shut down, but Republicans are committed to ensuring that our men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world will be paid if that happens. The White House is directly jeopardizing that.
But at least there is increasing evidence that Obama might be smart enough not to take a vacation in the middle of all of this. Early reports suggested he was considering visiting Williamsburg, Virgina during the weekend, which led a commenter at Ace to say the following:
[Consider] the military crew contingent and ground staff required for an Air Force One Mission. It’s a full flight crew plus hundreds of ground personnel. Special Air Mission teams from Andrews. Multiple C-141 cargo planes (at least two) will fly in advance carrying the Presidential motorcade. There are a thousand servicemen and women in the 89th Airlift Wing who are on station and engaged from flight planning to execution, to conclusion. And not one of them will be paid next week because Obama decided they’re just pawns in his political game.
I am not sure the Obama administration thought about things so deeply when they put the trip into doubt. Still even then the Daily Mail reports that there a no-fly zone is already established, so the military is working to take care of him, in case he wants the weekend off. But making sure their paychecks will keep going forward is a “distraction.”
Oh, and a bit of advice to Congressman Moron Moran. If a military veteran stands up and gives you a tongue lashing over this, don’t get all ornery and resentful. Take it, and then calmly and respectfully explain why you differ with him. In other words, don’t do this:
Look, first, I do think it is fair to say that this Vet’s comments were caustic. I don’t even consider that an insult. And of course decorum needs to exist in these meetings. On the other hand, I don’t think it is fair for Moran to pretend he was just saying it to score points and wasn’t offering a good faith criticism, and that attitude contributed greatly to the breach of decorum. I agree that the man was being caustic, but to pretend that this precluded the possibility that the man was also offering legitimate criticism was uncalled for. He dismissed the man, which was inexcusable.
Of course, Moran has denigrated military service before, asserting that an opponents’ decades of military service didn’t count as public service:
Update: Via the man formally known as College Politico D.C.’s non-voting Congresswoman Elanor Holmes Norton gets very angry about the looming shutdown and inadvertently demonstrates exactly why D.C. should not be allowed to vote in Congress.
There’s a lot to mock and criticize there, but let’s notice this line: “our issues are not the Federal deficit.” The problem with giving D.C. alleged equality in Congress is that there cannot be equality. If given facial equality, the proximity of D.C. residents would eventually mean that they would be treated better than anyone else in the country. As it is D.C. didn’t have the same recession the rest of you had. And thus their parochial concerns would take precedence.
What could be a clearer example than acting as if the Federal deficit isn’t their problem? Ms. Norton you do know your constituents have to pay that, too, right? But she could care less about the national good, and instead only about the harm to D.C. And isn’t that inevitable?
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]