Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 16, 2010

BACHMANN EXPLAINS BUDGETING AS ONLY SHE CAN.... Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) makes no secret of her hatred for earmarks. The head of Congress' bizarre "Tea Party Caucus," Bachmann's far-right crusade has earmark elimination as a top priority.

Except, of course, for those earmarks she likes.

[W]hen it comes to her own district, she's in favor of a little earmark "redefinition." Because what is an earmark, after all?

"Advocating for transportation projects for one's district in my mind does not equate to an earmark," Bachmann told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune yesterday.

"I don't believe that building roads and bridges and interchanges should be considered an earmark," Bachmann continued. "There's a big difference between funding a tea pot museum and a bridge over a vital waterway."

I see. An earmark is bad if Bachmann thinks it sounds like an unworthy idea, and an earmark is good if Bachmann thinks it sounds like an idea with merit. Got it.

Also yesterday, Bachmann talked to CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the budget, looking for "specific cuts" she would be willing to consider. Like most Republicans, Bachmann endorsed across-the-board cuts, returning to 2008 levels of discretionary spending (which, again, is a very bad idea).

A few seconds later, she added:

"We can do across the board cuts, but I don't think that's prudent because there are legitimate projects that have to be done, bridges have to be built, water treatment systems have to be built. So I think, we don't wanna cut off our nose to spite our face. We have to be smart about this."

So, what have we learned from the leading right-wing Republican? Earmarks are bad, unless they're going to Bachmann's district, and slashing spending is good, except for the "legitimate projects that have to be done."

Dear Tea Partiers, I think your leader is having a tough time transitioning to life in the majority.

Steve Benen 2:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Comments

So, what have we learned from the leading right-wing Republican?

That talking the talk means you don't have to walk the walk.

Posted by: grape_crush on November 16, 2010 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think that word means what she thinks it means.

Posted by: sacman701 on November 16, 2010 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Keep the government's hands off Michele Bachmann's earmarks. Why is that so hard to understand?

Posted by: walt on November 16, 2010 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

The smirk on Bushes face making the trip to Mount Rushmore is of more importance than all the cares of the nattering nabobs of negativity . Michelle only wants to be looked upon as an angel of clarity .
Is that too much to ask ?
No point in obscuring her simple message with thoughts or facts . Her constituency obviously believes , or has a trick voting problem beyond the ken of mortal men .
Let the minutemen ride again for the safety of our fragile Tee Baggeurs , the clarion call pealing through the fog of hypocrisy , "The contradictions are coming , the contradictions are coming"

Posted by: FRP on November 16, 2010 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Dear hearts, Tea Partiers are "Big Picture" people. We deal in grand, sweeping ideas. The petty little details are for the bean counters to work out.

Remember, "tea" stands for Taxed Enough Already, and bridges don't get built by themselves, you know. It takes Real People to do that; folks with tools, and values, and old fashioned Common Sense.

Posted by: DAY on November 16, 2010 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute. There's a teapot museum? Why was I not informed of this earlier?!

Posted by: Kyorosuke on November 16, 2010 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

We can do across the board cuts, but I don't think that's prudent because there are legitimate projects that have to be done, bridges have to be built, water treatment systems have to be built.

Funny she mentions all those nagging little infrastructure problems, because every time a vote to fund such projects comes up, she and her radical ilk always seem to vote "no."

Posted by: electrolite on November 16, 2010 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Can we come up with a list of infrastructure items that are approvable to Rep. Bachman and her ilk and then vote on them? Call the bill something like an Infrastructure Stimulus Act and make the case that the items in the bill are worthwhile projects worthy of public investment?

Then, when the costs of the bill are tallied up, find an offset in the tax rate for millionaires and billionaires to pay for these projects. You know, I could get behind Rep. Bachmann on something like this. Alas, there's no way in hell that Rep. Bachmann would support such a proposal once it hit the light of day.

Posted by: danimal on November 16, 2010 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Across the board?" If you use a very narrow and specific board---you know, money that goes to the coloreds.

Yes, let's make "across-the-board" cuts that don't touch the defense budget, because what we spent on the military in 2008 is clearly not enough.

Posted by: Daddy Love on November 16, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

And how do you have a tea party without a teapot museum?

Posted by: Daddy Love on November 16, 2010 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Wait a minute. There's a teapot museum? Why was I not informed of this earlier?!"

Well, there used to be a teapot museum, but it closed in January of this year. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparta_Teapot_Museum

Apparently, it did have half a million earmarked in 2006 but the project was canceled and no federal money changed hands.

Posted by: Ben on November 16, 2010 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Is the rumor true that the IQ testing people spotted Michele Bachmann 50 points?

Posted by: Seould on November 16, 2010 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

In what regard is Michele's argument here different from that of ACA opponents who themselves receive Medicare: I get mine because I deserve it, the rest of you can f*ck off?

Posted by: eserwe on November 16, 2010 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

All the GOP wants is their majorities back so they can return to the business of looting the Treasury for their cowboy capitalist buddies and rubberstamping legislation written by K Street lobbyists. The Tea Party has been played for fools.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on November 16, 2010 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the tea pot museum wasn't in her district, huh?

Well of course she's right. "Infrastructure" shouldn't be considered an earmark (aka pork). Especially if it goes nowhere in Alaska, um, I mean, Minnesota.

Posted by: Mouse Brain on November 17, 2010 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

When looking at Bachman and Kyle among others along with the tea party nuts just elected, I am trying to recall when it became a requirement for anyone to be elected as a republican they had to be either insane , a babbling idiot, or both.

Posted by: grandpajohn on November 17, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Where in the constitution is the federal government authorized to build bridges or water treatment systems?

Posted by: Greg on November 17, 2010 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK
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