Monday, December 22, 2003

Oh, to Wish

Man oh man, I wish liberals were more like conservatives and never resorted to cheap, dishonest shots at the opposition.

Then [Tom] DeLay lit into "extreme extremist" Howard Dean who was said to have opposed the war in Afghanistan (he didn't) and was accused of lying for accurately noting that Bush's deficits are the largest in history. In the ensuing dialgogue with Tim Russert [a la Meet the Press] on the subject of balanced budgets, DeLay insisted that Bill Clinton deserves "no credit" for the budgets he signed -- in fact, not a single Republican in Congress voted for Clinton's 1993 package -- and claimed that in the nineties the GOP majority passed the first balanced budget in "well over forty years" when the correct number is somewhat less than thirty. DeLay also claimed that the Bush administration has held spending growth below 4 percent after allegedly big increases during the Clinton years, while in fact spending grew 7.6 percent in 2003, and 7.9 percent in 2002, both figures far higher than anything from the Clinton years. Next he insisted that balancing the budget will require more tax cuts and then seemed to liken the whole balanced budget concept to Communism anyway.

[. . .]

Faced with this massive lies-to-airtime ratio, we got basically nothing from Russert. His only efforts to point out the truth consisted of hypothesizing what "the Democrats would say" in response to DeLay, as though the question of what's in the federal budget was somehow subjective. Russert enjoys trying to trip his guests up by bringing up contradictory statements from the past, but when he's faced with someone who's willing to lie consistently he's helpless. In short -- he's the perfect host for today's Republican leadership.