Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2009

INHOFE'S PAINFUL INANITY.... It's hardly surprising that members of Congress would be reluctant to accept Defense Secretary Robert Gates' efforts to restructure military spending. Gates' proposal is a rather dramatic effort at reform, and for lawmakers who've grown attached to Pentagon-related pork, the administration's proposal shakes up the status quo.

But while some resistance was inevitable, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a constant embarrassment to himself and the Senate, is once again breaking new grounds of indecency.

In a YouTube video that is getting linked around the conservative blogosphere, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) attacked Defense Secretary Robert Gates' 2010 defense budget recommendations, though he aimed his criticism at President Obama instead of Gates. Speaking from Afghanistan, Inhofe declared that "President Obama is disarming America. Never before has a president so ravaged the military at a time of war."

Specifically, Inhofe charges Obama with cutting funding for "our troops in the field during an ongoing war."

In the video, Inhofe adds, "Here in Afghanistan, while the war is intensifying and the number of U.S. forces increases at the direction of President Obama, he undercuts those he sends into harm's way. It is not just unbelievable ... it is unconscionable."

Of course, Inhofe is either lying or he's a fool. (It's so hard to tell.) Following the recommendations of its Republican defense secretary, the Obama administration is increasing military spending from $513 billion under Bush to $534 billion in 2010. Inhofe, who's never been accused of being the sharpest crayon in the box, is making a series of ridiculous war-related accusations that don't make any sense at all. "Disarming America"? "Ravaging the military at a time of war"? "Undercutting" the troops? Even by Inhofe standards, this is blisteringly stupid.

The point of Gates' review is to make the defense budget more effective for the 21st century, divesting in projects and weapons systems that aren't needed, and directing those funds to better use. That's not "ravaging" the military; it's improving it. That's not cutting funding for "our troops in the field during an ongoing war"; it's actually more money for "troops and new technology to fight the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan."

If Inhofe wants to defend unnecessary spending projects, fine, he can make his case. But this kind of rhetoric is absurd. He either believes this nonsense, in which case he should learn what he's talking about and apologize, or he's deliberately deceiving people, in which case he should set the record straight and apologize.

Steve Benen 2:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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Comments

Fools don't get elected to the U.S. Senate. Inhofe is lying.

Posted by: CJ on April 7, 2009 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "Of course, Inhofe is either lying or he's a fool. (It's so hard to tell.)"

It isn't at all hard to tell.

Inhofe is a deliberate liar, on this subject, on the subject of global warming, on whatever subject his corporate paymasters want him to lie about and hand him scripted, focus-group tested, trumped up lies to regurgitate.

Inhofe is a bought and paid for liar.

Fossil fuels causing global warming? If ExxonMobil wants to pay Inhofe to lie about it, he'll lie about it.

Pentagon budget restructuring will direct less money to trillion dollar boondoggles and more money to what the troops actually need? If the giant military contractors want to pay Inhofe to lie about it, then he'll lie about it.

Inhofe lies for money. It is really as simple as that.

And I really, really wish you would stop giving these greedy, cynical, malicious Republican liars the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they are "foolish" or "crazy".

They are neither foolish nor crazy. They know exactly what they are doing.

They are lying.

For money.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 7, 2009 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"But this kind of rhetoric is absurd." No it isn't. It's Republican.

Did you really expect anything different? This is Republican boilerplate for any change in military spending of any kind.

Posted by: V on April 7, 2009 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Inhofe is either lying or he's a fool"

Or he is a foolish liar and a lying fool.

What the senator really meant to say was "Obama is ravaging defense contractors who are a mainstay of campaign contributions."

Gates & Obama are 'ravaging' a defense industry which spreads the pork around most states and thus will get blowback from congress critters of both the rethug & dumbocrap parties.

What the senator really meant to say was "We senators don't really give a shit about defending our country if it costs us major contributions."

I was disappointed when Obama reappointed Gates as SecDef. Maybe Obama has it correct & needs a rethug in that position if any meaningful reform of defense spending is to be done.

What the senator really meant to say was "Obama is starting to address our bloated defense spending & we senators will not let that happen."

Posted by: AngryOldVet on April 7, 2009 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that it was tantamount to treason if aa member of the opposition party criticized the president while he was on foreign soil?

Or was it only in effect for the last 8 years?

Posted by: ChrisS on April 7, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Question - should a sitting US Senator be making these kind of attacks on the Commander-in-Chief from a foreign country?

I imagine we will be hearing a lot of the same tripe from hacks on the right in the coming days, weeks, and months. They certainly aren't ones to let facts and reality get in the way of any opportunity they see to smear Obama and Democrats.

I can't help but think of the crap Bush-Cheney '04 (and Zell Miller) was throwing at Kerry for voting to cut the very same programs that Cheney had recommended be cut when he was DefSec. Liars and hacks.

Posted by: GiggsisGod on April 7, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

He either believes this nonsense, in which case he should learn what he's talking about and apologize, or he's deliberately deceiving people

I'll take the second option.

Posted by: ckelly on April 7, 2009 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Anti-Americanism

Question - should a sitting US Senator be making these kind of attacks on the Commander-in-Chief from a foreign country?

That's exactly the question to ask.

As a taxpayer and a god-fearing American this sort of fact less rhetoric seems on very border of sedition.

Makes one wonder: Is Inhofe a member of a Chuck Norris sleeper cell? I hope the Administration is using the Patriot Act to weed out homegrown terrorists. We have prisons for these sorts of people you know...

God Bless America!
And may her flag forever fly!

Posted by: koreyel on April 7, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

i actually think it's easier to be dishonest when you're stupid: inhofe undoubtedly does believe what he's saying here....

Posted by: howard on April 7, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Just how many stealthy f-22 fighters does Inhofe think we need to evade the Taliban and Al Qaeda's radar defenses???

Posted by: Chesire11 on April 7, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Somehow, some way, this proposed Pentagon budget PROVES global warming is a scam.

Thank you

Posted by: Trollhattan on April 7, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course, Inhofe is either lying or he's a fool. (It's so hard to tell.)" The options are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Eric on April 7, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I had to brief Jim Inhofe once on certain military developments in another country while he was on a "fact-finding" trip. Not only is he a lying Rethug who's in it for the money, he's a crude asshole, as well. I wanted a shower after coming in contact with him.

Posted by: Keori on April 7, 2009 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, criticizing the President from foreign soil? I'm sure Hannity et al will be expressing their outrage any minute now...

any minute now...

[crickets chirping]

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on April 7, 2009 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Since there are no political, economic, social, or criminal consequence for Republicans/Conservatives who offer aid and comfort to the enemy by rhetorically atacking the President during a time of war (Not like Natalie Maines, Bill Maher, Phil Donahue and most of President Obama's current nominees), We have to continously suffer fools like Beck, Bachman, Limbaugh, Rove, Cheney ...etc.

Posted by: Winknandanod on April 7, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

[i]Inhofe is a bought and paid for liar.[/i]

True, but he's also as dumb as a dead tree stump.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on April 7, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

He either believes this nonsense, in which case he should learn what he's talking about and apologize, or he's deliberately deceiving people, in which case he should set the record straight and apologize.

Of course, neither of these possibilities is likely to happen because people like Inhofe do not possess the necessary qualities of shame or self-reflection. It seems to me that we (by which I mean liberals) need to start making this clear whenever possible. It is not just that these guys are wrong. They lack the character it requires to even enter the debate on intellectually honest terms. We - and I am thinking here of the T.V. liberals - need to stop pretending that this is just some good faith disagreement. People like Inhofe are either pathological liars or they are too dimwitted to understand the issues they are discussing. In either case, its becoming clear that attempting to engage their nonsense seriously is not only a waste of time, but counterproductive.

Posted by: brent on April 7, 2009 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

'Inhofe is either lying or he's a fool.'

I say both. The two are not mutually exclusive.

"...a constant embarrassment to himself and the Senate..."

Some of us think he's also an embarrassment to Oklahoma.

Posted by: Okie on April 7, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Stetson Kennedy -

Not only will the outrage be conspicuously absent, but I fully expect for that hypocritical hack Hannity to gleefully hightlight Inhofe's comments and then pile on with more lies and BS. That man knows no shame.

Posted by: GiggsisGod on April 7, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Even by Inhofe standards? And what just standards would those be exactly? Those dictsated by the little voices in his head?

Posted by: sparrow on April 7, 2009 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Ever notice the connection between beady-eyed white guys and lying?

Posted by: InOmniaParatus on April 7, 2009 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

His deception does not exclude that he is stupid too but he is knowingly lying.

The bottom line with the GOP and these right wing conservatives is to demonize Obama anyway they can. To smear him, to run him down, to accuse him of every nasty thing they can think of...that is their mission. They will lie and twist things...just look at how Hannity takes him out of context....How Beck uses any excuse to put him in a Nazi uniform or to tie him to Hitler etc....It's all they have since they have no policies or ideas or competent leadership.

When you have nothing then just try to make the other guy look bad. Inhoff is a sad character who just isn't very bright but is filled with condemnation and that authoritarian mindset where"if he thinks it then it must be true" and that is all the facts you need.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 7, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember: When a Republican accuses a Obama of shortchanging the military, cutting funding for the troops, undermining the war on terror, etc.


And some rightwing nut job believes him...

And goes on a killing spress because he truly believes our country is in jeopardy because of Obama's policies...even though he's woefully misguided about Obama's policies thanks to Republican lies...

it's still all Obama's fault.

And if you think otherwise, you're trampling on the Republicans' freedom of speech, which is yet another reason for Republicans to whine about the future direction of America being towards socialism or fascism, and how all Republicans must stand up and take back "their" country from the enemy within.

Really, if we all just shut up and let the Republicans do whatever they think is in their best interest, we'd be SO much better off, right?

Right?

Posted by: slappy magoo on April 7, 2009 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Republicans wanted wasteful government spending to be cut. Haven't they been saying the public knows better what to do with that money?

Does Sen. Inhofe want to deny our troops in the field the vital supplies they need and can only get if we reduce spending on wasteful things?

It appears Sen. Inhofe wants our President to fail and for our troops in the field to fail and for America to be weaker so we can be attacked by our many many enemies.

Why does Senator Inhofe hate America?

Posted by: MarkH on April 7, 2009 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

"If Inhofe wants to defend unnecessary spending projects...".
Of course, he wants to defend unnecessary spending projects (state pork, campaign contributions), but telling the truth wouldn't go over too well.
Even in Oklahoma.

Posted by: Doug on April 7, 2009 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Benen:
Republicans should stop being Republicans.

Posted by: smartalek on April 8, 2009 at 5:31 AM | PERMALINK

In reply to fools don't get elected to the Senate by CJ: there are 41 counter examples.

I've had to suffer Inhofe as my Senator, he is a fool and a liar.

Posted by: OKDem on April 8, 2009 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Must disagree C.J, about the fool part, not the liar; Bunning, for example was not even the most intelligent pitcher while he was active. Only thing alive was his arm! As far as Inhofe, he was elected in Oklahoma, a state that makes Texas look better. Posted by a Texan who admits we are Neanderthals.

Posted by: captain dan on April 8, 2009 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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