The Capital is aflutter with the pointing of fingers as our august group of legislators down in Washington do one of the few things they are actually good at--CYA. The latest "crisis" has them blaming each other for the fundamental defects of deal making because Senator Snowe from Maine lobbied to remove Flu preparedness money from the Porkulus bill.
Her argument is that that particular 878 million didn't belong in the bill. You have to wonder why that was all she found wrong with it. But then, you don’t. As it was, she was just looking for a way to vote yes in the face of unified opposition from the GOP. Notice I didn't say "her own party."
But the (R) is apparently more important than the voting record, so there are liberal bloggers who are blaming her and the entire GOP for the exclusion of the Flu funding. No word on whether they also blame the democrat she co-authored the deal with, or the entire democrat Senate that couldn’t wait to vote for it after the funding was removed. (Or the president for signing it.)
Also no details on whether then Republican Arlen Specter, whose defection also made the deal law, who now realizes he's a Democrat, should also be blamed and if so because he was a Republican voting with Democrats or because he's a democrat who voted like a republican voting with the democrats. Let’s face it. If they actually voted no, there would be NO stimulus. That makes Specter and Snowe part of the party of yes. Yes, lets waste billions no matter what’s in it or not in it, and blame someone else if we forgot something in our mad rush to pass the damn bill.
Clearly 17 hours wasn't long enough to get it right. Whatever the case the donkeys are “bleating” from their eyes...
"It is a shame that in the face of a potential global flu epidemic, Republican members of Congress dubbed this funding as 'reckless spending,'" Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said in a statement.
"Not only is pandemic preparation essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy, but to the world's overall public health."
The advocacy group Americans United for Change, in a statement, also questioned whether congressional Republicans are having any regrets about stripping the money.
"Will the Party of No stop insisting on the failed economic policies of the past and at least try not to make things worse?" Tom McMahon, acting director of the group, wrote.
Then there’s Democrat Chuck Schumer, pretending to be fiscally prudent.
"All those little porky things that the House put in, the money for the (National) Mall or the sexually transmitted diseases or the flu pandemic, they're all out," Schumer said in February.
No word yet on his complicity. Has he also joined the party of No, or was he just advocating for wasting tax dollars at a less rapid pace for political reasons once he realized it was the only way he'd see the Bill on Obama's desk? Does he get a free pass?
Not enough people probably care to ask. No one in the media will make much of it, that’s certain.
All that's important is that the very liberal senator from Maine has a (R) next to her name.
So now the prevailing winds will have additional flu preparedness funds popping up in every piece of legislation imaginable, like weeds in your springtime lawn. One can only guess how many billions will be required, and what strings will be attached. But whatever the case, Washington will do its best to give us the fiscal finger, praying on the crisis theory of government to finance who knows what next, while ignoring the greater problem. That their desire to do something, to appear to be doing anything, creates more problems than it solves. But as long as they can blame a Republican, even a RINO like Snowe, there is no incentive for them change.