Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 16, 2010

MORE PASSION FOR A SHUTDOWN THAN FOR JOB CREATION.... Yesterday, Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said shutting down the government would be "a mistake," adding, "Nobody really wants that."

"Nobody" is clearly an overstatement. ThinkProgress caught up with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who happens to be stark raving mad, and who seemed quite animated about the idea.

"Listen, if it takes a shutdown of government to stop the runaway spending, we owe that to our children and our grandchildren. I don't have any grandchildren yet, but if we don't stop the runaway spending -- even if it means showing how serious we are -- okay, government is going to have to shut down until you runaway-spending people get it under control. And if you can't get it under control, then we just stop government until you realize, you know, yes we can."

Now, obviously Gohmert isn't especially bright, and the poor schmo doesn't really know what he wants to cut or why. What's more, the shutdown he and his ilk are so excited about would be dreadful for the country, a fact that the right-wing Texan also doesn't seem capable of understanding.

But watching Gohmert's passion on the subject got me thinking. Asked about cutting spending (on something, at some point) got the congressman pretty excited. Maybe not "terror baby" excited, but clearly he felt strongly about this, and has a real zeal for slashing the budget. It's a fairly common sentiment among congressional Republicans.

Just once, though, I'd love to see a Republican official talk like this about creating jobs. With an unemployment rate near 10%, it's tempting to think an ascendant GOP would talk about nothing else right now (you know, "where are the jobs?" and all that).

But, no. Republicans bring real enthusiasm for cutting spending, gutting health care, and cutting taxes for the wealthy, but have practically nothing to say about the single highest priority of the American mainstream. Ask about shutting down the government, and you'll hear passion. Ask about creating jobs, and you'll hear crickets.

Congratulations, voters, this is what you asked for two weeks ago.

Steve Benen 11:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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And when Rep Marcia Blackburn (R,TN) was asked by Chris Matthews, point blank, *how* she would create jobs (I said to myself a split second before she answered "she'll say tax cuts"), she answered "extending the Bush tax cuts". When that so clearly didn't work during W's administration.

These people are so predictably awful.

Posted by: Hannah on November 16, 2010 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

okay, government is going to have to shut down until you runaway-spending people get it under control.

The "runaway spending people" would be you, congressman.

Posted by: Stephen on November 16, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, hey show no passion abut creating jobs because they believe the government has never and can never create jobs.

Posted by: martin on November 16, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, they show no passion abut creating jobs because they believe the government has never and can never create jobs.

Posted by: martin on November 16, 2010 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Steve,
Are you drinking before noon again!
Have you forgotten that they think that in order for them to keep the House and win the Senate and the Presidency in 2012 they have to make sure the economy stays in the shitter and that unemployment stays high?
It's a feature, not a bug...
And with what they're saying they're going to do beginning in January, they're following right along with the plan.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on November 16, 2010 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, it would be a fine thing if more jobs were created. But the government can do that; at best, it can seize or borrow wealth from the creative part of the economy and create "make work" jobs. If we want real, wealth-creating jobs then we have to let the private market act. One way the government can help is by making it clear that Obama's radical socialist agenda will not be enacted. There are multiple ways of accomplishing this. Shutting down the government is one of them, and gridlock is another. The republicans are in the unenviable position of trying to take away a bottle from an alcoholic who is sure the solution to all his problems is just one more drink away. The constant cries that everything would be perfect if only there was a bigger stimulus is like Seamus sure that the last bender would have cured everything, if only the mean bartender hadn't cut him off.

Posted by: Alejandro on November 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Steve:

Kudos on the best line of the day:

"Maybe not terror baby excited..."

I laughed out loud.

Jeff

Posted by: Jeff on November 16, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

"when Rep Marcia Blackburn (R,TN) was asked by Chris Matthews"

Too bad Chris didn't think to follow up. CM is one of the worst interviewers on TV. He has a predetermined script for every guest which he rarely strays from.

He should have asked: "W Bush had the worst job creation record for a 2 term president. What makes you think Bush's tax cuts will work now?"

Posted by: RolloTomasi on November 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Roy Blunt explicitly ran on the issue of "jobs", and mentioned it in his acceptance speech. The issue is the famous Steele statement, "The federal government never created a job". (Why did I remember that?)

Posted by: 4jkb4ia on November 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

(Stuck with Roy Blunt for 6 years! My head hurts)

Posted by: 4jkb4ia on November 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Of course they emphasize slashing spending. That is the road to freedom my friend, even if freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

Posted by: demisod on November 16, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Congratulations, voters, this is what you asked for two weeks ago.

Some did. And some didn't. Some just asked for Democrats to stand up and fight strong. They didn't get that. So they stayed home.

Congratulations, Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, this is what you delivered two weeks ago.

Posted by: square1 on November 16, 2010 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

I long for a day when Dems in charge won't be afraid to just point at these people and say "STOOOOOOO-PIIIIIIIIIID!"
(Yes, the irony that that's not how you spell "stupid" is not lost on me)

We live in a world where, if might doesn't necessarily make right (Dems had serious political clout for the past 2 years and squandered most of it), then volume certainly helps. And Republicans have no qualms shouting at the top of their lungs how much better their ideas are and worse, how evil, un-American and socialist Democrats' ideas are.

The "bringing a knife to a gun fight" analogy is getting a mite old, but it's still kinda apt, Dems not only need to be better at touting their victories, they have to fight every fight like it's the most important fight they'll ever fight Because that's what Republicans do. And momentum is on their side. It's not enough to "be" on the right side of an argument, we have to defend it like it's not entirely clear to some dunderheads in the crow, because thanks to Fox News, it's not! Concern and compassion is fine in the legislation, but when it comes to the message, bust out the piss and vinegar.

Posted by: slappy magoo on November 16, 2010 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

That would be voters like Alex here.. Unless my sarcasm meter is broken of course. Ol' Gomer here is certifiable! Marsha Blackburn is dumber than Ms. Teen South Carolina and Chris (Cornhole) Mathews is perhaps the equivalent universal counterweight? Maybe not; the Gomer/Blackburn types are very much like a black hole, sucking vast amounts of the stupid in and a great deal of the positive energy. Mathews is lesser than the TeaTard singularity buts does feed on similarly on the stupid.

Posted by: Trollop on November 16, 2010 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Listen, if it takes a shutdown of government to stop the runaway spending, we owe that to our children and our grandchildren..."

We also owe it to our children not to put them in debt to China in order to give rich men a vacation home in France, or another private jet, or maybe diamond encrusted teeth.

And, if Bush's tax cuts were so effective in creating jobs, where, after 10 years, are the jobs???

Posted by: delNorte on November 16, 2010 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Alejandro-what are you a child? You spew utter falsehoods. Just what precisely has Obama done that you consider to be radically socialist? And do you have the foggiest idea what shutting down the govt will actually do? Your addiction analogy sounds impressive if you like simple answers to complex problems. Which by the way are so seldom close to solving anything that it really reflects on the simple mindedness of people who beleive that claptrap.

Posted by: Gandalf on November 16, 2010 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the Pol Pot philosophy prevails.

Posted by: tom on November 16, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

"If it takes a shutdown of the military to stop the runaway spending ... "

It bothers me that it doesn't bother them that we are killing and displacing millions of people.

Posted by: Uzza on November 16, 2010 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Gohmert would say he doesn't want a shutdown either. He may just be forced to support one if Democrats don't completely cave to Republican demands. But then it will be the Democrats fault.

Posted by: Rick Taylor on November 16, 2010 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Simple minds parrot simplistic solutions. Solutions delivered to them by Machiavellian Übermenschen. (Rove, Luntz, Murdoch, et al)

Posted by: DAY on November 16, 2010 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't have any grandchildren yet, but if we don't stop the runaway spending -- even if it means showing how serious we are -- okay, government is going to have to shut down until you runaway-spending people get it under control."

Oooh, new contender Louie Gohmert advances to the next round of the Michelle Bachmann lunacy sweepstakes!

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 16, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Populism and jobs are pre-election messages. Ideology, contributor payback, and rank partisanships are the messages of the hour.

The trick is to try to make the transition from one to the other seamless so people really do believe that the election was all about stopping Obama's agenda, cutting taxes for the wealthy, and sweetening corporate kick-backs.

Posted by: Tom Dibble on November 16, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

(Stuck with Roy Blunt for 6 years! My head hurts)

Posted by: 4jkb4ia on November 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM

That is what we get for letting a handful of old fart union bosses, some never won much consultants and a bunch of gray haired "I got to go to convention to see old friends" women the pick the worse candidate of 2010 to run against him. Imagine the stupidity of running an insider who didn't think to start her lackluster "vote for me, I am a princess, campaign" until after Labor Day. This year, 2010, was a year for a populist outsider running hard.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 16, 2010 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Ron, the campaign for votes CAN wait until after Labor Day as long as the campaign for the seat started with the candidate's announcement, at least.
THAT campaign can mean a lot of political drudge-work, speeches to small groups, unions, luncheons, dinners; just about anything that will get one's name in the LOCAL news. If the candidate doesn't want to do that, it makes me wonder just why he/she is running. I understand the necessity for a strong ego in ANY political candidate, but if that ego is harnessed to a sense of entitlement it rarely bodes well; ie, Coakley and Carnahan.

Posted by: Doug on November 16, 2010 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

EASY climate change and JOB CREATION solution: Eliminate federal income taxes on the poor/middle classes and replace with a carbon tariff who's fees flow directly into LOCAL, MUNICIPAL renewable energy projects (wind, geothermal exchange, tidal, solar, no ethanol). The only Federal programs in danger of cuts are war games and bloated corporate subsidies, and in ten years ENERGY WILL BE CLEAN AND DIRT CHEAP.

Posted by: CitizenPlusPlus on November 17, 2010 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

This is my first time I have visited here. I found a lot of interesting stuff in your blog. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one! keep up the good work.

Posted by: Lego on December 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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