Political Animal


February 25, 2013 11:21 AM Calling Out Stupidity

By Ed Kilgore

As we drift towards the sequester on Friday, it’s worth paying attention now and then to politicians who are willing to make it clear to the public how stupid this process is; how if utilized by, say, a city council, we’d see recall petitions bloom.

So here’s Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), quoted at The Hill:

“I don’t think the public realizes how stupid these cuts are,” said Warner on “CBS This Morning” of the across-the-board spending cuts. “In many places we will end up cutting things that will cost the taxpayer more money than the cuts.”
“Let me give you three quick examples. In the navy there are 975 separate line items - each of those will be cut. Each of these programs are not of equal value to the taxpayer,” said Warner. “In some places, we’ll actually even have to cut long-term contracts, volume-based contracts, which means we’ll have to pay more for ships and planes. We’re also going to be cutting back on NIH grants not being able to finish, meat inspectors, so the price of meat will go up.”

Now it’s true Warner represents a state that’s going to be hit especially hard by the sequester (not so much by cuts in federal-state programs, but because of the heavy impact on Northern Virginia’s vast number of civilian Pentagon employees and defense contractors). But as conservatives begin to snuggle up to the sequester as a Good Thing (even as they continue to blame the administration for unearthing the procedure from the dustbin of bad idea, in response to Republicans pig-headedness on the budget), accurate use of the “s” word to describe the whole mess is more important than ever.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on February 25, 2013 11:33 AM:

    I'm going to call this, "Confederate Roulette."

    At least in Russian Roulette, a person has a gun with 4 or 5 empty chambers, and one with a bullet - and holds that gun to his own head, then pulls the trigger.

    In Confederate Roulette, all of the chambers are loaded, and the Red State politicians hold that gun to the nation's economy, with itchy trigger-fingers ready, willing, and able, to pull it.
    Maybe, even eager to pull that trigger - just to see what happens!

    The Republicans think that they've gerrymandered themselves so safely, that there will be no personal consequences for them, no matter how feckin' bad things start to get in a month or two.

    And anyway, these Cold Civil Warriors figure they can blame President Obama and the Democrats for everything anyway.

    "Stupid" is too kind a word for what they're doing.

  • Wapiti on February 25, 2013 12:09 PM:

    and speaking of stupid ideas, just think: if we had a balanced budget amendment we could go through this sequester situation every year.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on February 25, 2013 12:18 PM:


    And then the GOTea would really be marveling at how government don't work...

  • Fess on February 25, 2013 2:56 PM:

    I was thinking of how hard N. VA would be hit, not just by civilian Pentagon contractors, but by the legions of federal workers at all the 3-letters official gov't outfits. Suddenly they can't pay their rent/mortgage, buy their dinner at Subway, or otherwise participate in the local economy. This could devastate N. VA. But then I remembered that the southern portions of the state would find that a cause for great celebration.