Dumbass Quote of the Day


Sometimes I hear politicians talk and the fact that they can look directly at a reporter or into a camera and say things that a child would know is utter nonsense and I just marvel. Here’s a great example from House Speaker John Boehner saying one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard a politician say:

BOEHNER: Well, Bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce. And so we don’t do commemorative bills on the floor. We don’t do all that nonsense. We deal with what the American people want us to deal with. Unpopular? Yes. Why? We’re in a divided government. We’re fighting for what we believe in. Sometimes, you know, the American people don’t like this mess.

More laws than the administration could ever enforce? What’s the limit, congressman? 800? 900? 10,000? Or is a focus on the actual number of laws rather than what they do the kind of thing that could be compelling only to a moron? And which is it? Are you dealing with what the American people want you to deal with (while sitting at about a 10% approval rate) or is it unpopular? It can’t be both. Do you really think people want you to hold almost 40 votes to repeal a law that isn’t going to be repealed even if you voted for that a thousand times? Do you think people are that stupid?

This is like a quarterback saying, “I think you should judge me on how many touchdowns I don’t throw this year and how many games we don’t win.

Comments

  1. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    We deal with what the American people want us to deal with. Unpopular? Yes.

    Because the way to be really popular is to deal with what the people don’t want you to deal with.

  2. Artor says

    I am reminded of Saliere in the Mozart movie. He can’t criticize Mozart’s music on it’s merits, so the best he can come up with is, “Too many notes.”

  3. Anthony K says

    I think I’m going to use this strategy in my next performance review. “Yeah, but did you notice how many projects I tried to kibosh? I spent three months naysaying. That’s gotta count for something.”

  4. Cuttlefish says

    Artor–that was the critique the King gave, actually. Saliere recognized Mozart’s genius, which was a driving point of the movie.

  5. Chiroptera says

    Boehner: We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce.

    lol

    Does he think that Obama personally flies around the country to enforce each and every law himself?

  6. grumpyoldfart says

    Did the reporter ask for an explanation, or just go on and ask the next question on his/her list?

    Politicians say things like that because they know that only a tiny percentage of reporters have the courage to keep asking the same question until they get a sensible answer or an admission that the first answer was nonsense.

    Some reporters are tenacious (and very entertaining to watch). Most are not.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    Do you think people are that stupid?

    He has plenty of reason to think so. Enough people voted for Dubious to allow his henchpersons to steal the national election, twice, and since then they gave the Repubs a House majority for promising to do more of the same, only worse.

  8. sailor1031 says

    That wasn’t Salieri, it was the court vizier handing a line that the emperor repeated to show disdain for Mozart’s opera. That actually did happen. But not everything in Shaffer’s play is to be taken as fact – for instance Mozart and Salieri were actually quite good friends. Also in that day Salieri was a much more popular composer than Mozart..

  9. shockwaver says

    I’m in the wrong line of work – I’d be fired for telling my boss that I’m not there to do the job I was hired for.

  10. cry4turtles says

    Sooo…in my job as a Speech Therapist I can tell my clients, “Let’s focus on the progress your child has not made.” Then I get fired.

  11. sigurd jorsalfar says

    @14 He would have a point if he actually meant what he said. So far I haven’t seen him lift a finger to repeal the Patriot Act or the laws against particular leafy substances to which you refer. So no he doesn’t have a point. He has a deceptive piece of hypocritical rhetoric.

  12. Alverant says

    “And so we don’t do commemorative bills on the floor. We don’t do all that nonsense.”
    Really? What about all those symbolic laws you tried to pass and fail like repealing health care reform?

    “We deal with what the American people want us to deal with.”
    The American people want you to deal with jobs and how the 1% are breaking the laws. What are you doing about that?

  13. says

    “And so we don’t do commemorative bills on the floor.”

    Last I checked, the Republican Congress does almost nothing but vote on purely symbolic legislation. Trying to repeal Obamacare for the 87th time, voting for farm subsidies with food stamps removed, various nonbinding resolutions, naming post-offices… either the stuff they vote for has no chance of becoming law, was never intended to be law, or is inconsequential. I would be fun to see what Boehner would come up with if forced to name actual accomplishments.

  14. DaveL says

    BOEHNER: Well, Bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.

    Am I the only one who thinks these are both equally stupid metrics of Congressional achievement?

  15. says

    “Am I the only one who thinks these are both equally stupid metrics of Congressional achievement?”

    I for one favor the other Republican metric for good governance, which is how many pages a bill has. Lots of pages, bad bill. Few pages, good bill. No need to concern ourselves with the content or anything.

  16. fmitchell says

    As others have said, Boehner’s boner would makes sense if he were repealing useless laws, simplifying existing codes, and shutting down programs that siphon off money to big companies that don’t need it. That’s not what he’s doing, unfortunately. He (and especially Senator Mitchell (no relation I hope)) merely stand in the way of new and often much-needed legislation simply because one of THEM (a Democrat, what else could they mean?) is in the White House.

    When I wrote software I often thought the ideal team might be one person paid per line of code written and one person paid per line of code removed. However, that presumes the software is functionally equivalent or better (by some objective metric) after removing code. In the legal realm, even if legislators could agree on objective and fair criteria for assessing how well government is working — isn’t that the whole ideological split? — simply rolling back the clock would be the WORST strategy for improving government.

  17. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    @slc1

    Let’s at least spell the guy’s name right. It’s Antonio_Salieri.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think he spelled his name with an underscore.

  18. scienceavenger says

    This is like a quarterback saying, “I think you should judge me on how many touchdowns I don’t throw this year and how many games we don’t win.

    From Boehner’s perspective it’s more like saying he should be judged by the number of interceptions he doesn’t throw, which is only barely less stupid, and about on par with measuring the strength of our navy by the number of ships it has.

  19. tmscott says

    To me, it sounds like he was saying, “It’s not whether we win or lose, it’s how we play the game.”

  20. eric says

    We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce.

    Because you cut the administration’s budget, dumbass. Even heard the phrase “unfunded mandate?” Its Congress that creates them, and guess what, it ain’t a term used to denote Congress’ principled or quality leadership.

  21. says

    A candidate for California lieutenant governor answered a question about her paltry legislative record by saying something like “We already have too many bad laws on the books!” A few of the smarter people pointed out that bad laws are removed by passing measures to repeal them and these repeal measures are also called laws! Stupid woman got the nomination (GOP, of course) but got creamed in the general election and ended up with a low-level appointment in the Reagan administration in DC — where she got to enforce laws!

  22. jnorris says

    Ed, Speaker Boehner doesn’t think people are that stupid. He knows that a goodly number of people are that stupid, ignorant, and scared enough that he and the Tea Party will be reelected.

  23. says

    tmscott #25:

    Boehner channelling Elmo?

    I rather doubt that is Boehner’s intent.

    (If anything, greater attentiveness by Congress to “how [they] play the game”, as long as it was with a view to improving their processes for discerning the national interest and crafting, modifying, or repealing legislation to suit said interest, would be a good thing. I don’t see the Republican Congressional caucus, as an aggregate, being willing to participate in any such undertaking.)

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