Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Daily Strike-5/2/09-Premier of "Wouldn't Go as Far as THAT"

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. We are adding a brand new feature of the blog today called "Wouldn't Go As Far As THAT!" This feature will appear every Saturday. The idea is to identify the top three most ridiculous things someone said during the previous week of politics. The competition was so keen this week, so it was difficult to narrow it down to three. Thanks to the Big Picture for this idea. If you disagree with our rankings, or think that we missed something, please let us know in the comments section!

3. The bronze this week goes to Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner. While evaluating his party's first 100 days, he claimed that "I think our team's doing fairly well, considering the barrage that's coming at us." Mmm-kay Johnny. Let's see. We would tend to measure a party's performance by a) what policies it accomplished for the American people, b) its politial popularity, c) its avoidance of doing anything incredibly stupid.

Boehner's House Republicans not only have lost every single vote so far this year, but they've lost by huge margins. Their "alternatives" to President Obama's agenda failed to even garner unanimous Republican support. I can't say I'm too surprised. Their alternative policy proposals seem like they just came out of a time machine. To counter President Obama's stimulus and budget proposals, the Republicans proposed more tax cuts for the wealthy, a spending freeze, and partial privatization of Medicare. Those may be the three most discredited policy prescriptions out there right now.

The Republican party has, by almost any measure, become even less popular since Obama became President. Fewer Americans now identify as Republicans than at any time since 1983. A majority of American's see Congressional Republicans' opposition to Obama as politically motivated.

Finally, House Republicans have embarrased themselves on numerous occasions in the last few months. Remember when they were endlessly mocked for releasing a budget with no numbers?

I don't know what John Boehner's smoking, but that sounds about as stupid as the time The Big Picture and I told our 4th Grade teacher that we were the two most mature kids in the grade.

2. Jim DeMint, Republican Senator from South Carolina, gets the silver this week for two separate idiotic statements. The first came Tuesday when Arlen Specter defected to the Democratic party. DeMint was asked by CNN's Rick Sanchez if the Republican party's tent was shrinking, and DeMint responded that, "the biggest tent of all is freedom." Sanchez's reaction says it all.

The second statement is still making me laugh almost three days later. When his interviewer suggested that the GOP has become a Southern party, DeMint responded that Republican losses in the northeast happened because "forced unionization" has caused a mass migration of conservative-minded voters to the South.

Not only has union membership significantly decreased over the past three decades, there has NEVER been any such thing as forced unionization in this country. To suggest otherwise is just silly. I hope his "brilliant understanding" of America's political climate informs the Republican party's electoral strategies.

1. The top award goes to Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is steadily gaining in the race against Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Bill-O for the most ridiculous person in America. She said two things this weekend that are among the stupidest things I've ever heard in my life. And I don't say that lightly. We pretty much had to create this feature because of Bachmann.

First, she noted in an interview that "the last time we had the swine flu was under a Democratic President. Not that I'm blaming Obama, but I think it's an interesting coincidence." First of all, the last outbreak happened in 1976, when Republican Gerald Ford was President. More importantly, this might be the most egregious case of finding causation from correlation that I've ever seen. By Bachmann's logic, Reagan is responsible for AIDS. Also by her logic, you can blame clouds for the swine flu, since there were clouds in 1976, and there are clouds now.

The real kicker, though, came during a statement on the House floor Wednesday night that makes Miss Teen South Carolina seem like Martin Luther King Jr. Bachmann was trying to defend Republican economic policies by giving viewers a lesson in "history." By far the most intelligent part of her speech was when she referred to the "Smoot Hawley Tariff Act" as the "Hoot-Smalley Act." In the space of one minute, she claimed that the recession of the 1920's was actually greater than that of the 1930's (FALSE) , but Calvin Coolidge cut taxes, which led to the "roaring 20's." (Coolidge Presidency ended in one of our "greatest" economic years, 1929). Our problems only came along a year AFTER the stock market crashed, apparently, when Franklin Roosevelt signed the "Hoot-Smalley." (Herbert Hoover actually signed it). Roosevelt's action somehow turned a minor recession (the Great Depression) into a, um, depression. If Bachmann's speech was a 3rd Grade history report, she wouldn't have just gotten an F, they would probably have to set up a serious meeting with her parents. I frankly admire her ability to include that many insane falsehoods in a one minute speech. Her historical revisionism is truly audacious.

Ladies and gentleman, congratulations to Michele Bachmann, who blames "Roosevelt's" 1930 "Hoot-Smalley" act for the Great Depression that started in 1929. Wouldn't go as far as THAT!!

We'll get you caught up on the weekend in politics during tomorrow's Daily Strike. See you then!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Sanchez's reaction is priceless. LOVE that.

    DeMint thought this was some sort of campaign activity and just threw out those buzz words - which did not make any sense at all.

    Regarding Bachmann's attempt to blame President Obama on swine flu, even it's an "interesting coincidence" (I would not say interesting - there're people dying out there), so what? Katrina happened under Bush's watch and shall I say it's an "interesting coincidence"?

    BTW, I came across some articles couple days ago that some ex-staff from the Bush Administration said President Obama is following the "flu epidemic playbook" that was established during Bush Administration. I personally don't mind those folks came out and tried to get credits for that -- in fact, President Obama did credit the Bush administration to stockpile anti-flu treatment -- just want to point out that what make the difference is the execution part. You can have the world class playbook but it's useless if one acts slow and do not take things seriously, a painful example - Katrina.

    Oh, this week Republican address is on the attack mode again. While people are worried about their jobs and the flu epidemic, they look like they are so out of touch.