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Jan 29 2009

More Republicans Like This, Please

There’s one or two of them who occasionally makes sense. Very occasionally:

Rep. John L. Mica (Fla.), the ranking Republican on the transportation committee, called the proposed infrastructure spending “almost minuscule” and expressed regret that the administration had not crafted its plan around an ambitious goal such as building high-speed rail in 11 corridors around the country, which Mica said would cost $165 billion.

“They keep comparing this to Eisenhower, but he proposed a $500 billion highway system, and they’re going to put $30 billion” in roads and bridges, he said. “How farcical can you be? Give me a break.”

You know what? He’s a typical Republican in many, many ways, but here he’s actually talking sense. More like this, please.

But, of course, the majority of them are just batshit fucking insane:

Now, Republicans are just chipping away and collecting scalps, and they’ve been moderately successful, but in a really haphazard fashion. Yesterday, out of nowhere, conservatives started complaining about the lack of housing aid in the bill, which is rich for them. And check out what nutball Michelle Bachmann tried to pass as an amendment (it didn’t make it through the Rules Committee) – requiring a state spending cap for any state that receives funds from this legislation, the kind that almost destroyed Colorado a few years back (Republicans are the party of state’s rights). I’m not seeing a lot of strategy, just a general lurching from one outrage to the next.

Sadly, it’s working. I guess the provision to refurbish the National Mall has been excised. From a raw policy standpoint, it’s not a dealbreaker, but it shows a troubling trend where GOP hissy fits bear fruit. Democrats are plowing forward on this bill, but what happens with the next one? Who has the ear of the President? Democrats who want to cement legitimate progress? Or Republican know-nothings who appeal to elites to create firestorms? And the idea that this will buy Obama votes down the road for other liberal initatives borders on the insane.

So here’s an idea for Obama: seize on those statements from the rare few Republicans who actually realize the need for more spending, give them their heart’s desire, and then go on teevee crowing “See? All bipartisan, these bits were recommended by Republicans, isn’t that loverly?!”

Reward good behavior, punish bad. It works for small children. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for the bunch of screaming infants the Republicon party has become.

1 comment

  1. 1
    Cujo359

    Thirty billion dollars, which is the amount they’re crowing about in some circles (because it’s a 50 percent increase) really is piddly compared to what’s needed. Our little light rail system out here in King County, WA is costing several billion, and it hardly goes anywhere. The next portion will cost $23 billion over 20 years. That’s for just one largeish city and its major suburbs.

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