“I DON’T GIVE A DAMN
HOW AMERICA VOTED;
WE’RE RUNNING THE
TABACCO: That may not be what Republicans say in Public; but that is what they mean!
Insiders in the Obama administration have long described the political environment they face as one in which the GOP opposition, especially in the House, will pretty much automatically come out against anything the president proposes. To hear them tell it, it doesn’t even matter if Republicans used to favor the same position. As Exhibit A, there’s the erstwhile conservative support for an individual mandate to buy health insurance. That was the Heritage Foundation’s preferred approach to health care reform in the early 1990s. Yet the conservative behemoth thoroughly repudiated its position when it emerged as the centerpiece of Obama’s health care reform.
The president himself got into the act recently as he unveiled a proposal for a corporate tax overhaul: “I don’t want to go through the same old arguments where I propose an idea and the Republicans just say no because it’s my idea,” he said. Administration officials have also claimed that some Republicans have privately expressed support for compromise but have been cowed into silence by the party’s right wing. If there are indeed such creatures, they have the interesting distinction of being regarded as craven and callow by both the right wing of the GOP (for toadying to the White House in secret) and pretty much the entirety of the Democratic Party (for toadying to the Tea Party in public).
The White House’s point is that everything is so politicized these days that nothing much can get done. If opposition obstructionism is so unmodulated that our poor president can’t even embrace GOP positions without having the GOP immediately discard them—well, what can you do?
Which, come to think of it, sounds like just the kind of argument you would want to make if you couldn’t get anything done—or didn’t want to try. Some members of the House GOP conference are certainly petulant in tone and are vigorously partisan to boot, but the White House line suggests that they are mostly opportunistic and cynical in their policy druthers, taking as their lodestone and first principle the need to oppose anything Obama favors. Yet the clear implication here is that most members of the House GOP are short on conviction and ideological rigor—which (and I’m sorry to be the one to break this news) is just the opposite of current Washington reality, whether you favor their principled stand or think they are out of their gourds.
TABACCO: OK, Folks – yes, I am using the Enemy to prove my Points! So I must treat this author as a HOSTILE WITNESS in a Criminal Trial. Repeating the sentence immediately above,
This GOP Apologist/Sophist deliberately and with Malice aforethought confuses ‘Convictions’ and ‘Principles’ with ‘Self-Serving’, ‘Misleading’, ‘Duplicitous’ and ‘Self-Righteousness’ while BLURRING the differences.
If I object to ObamaCare because it is flawed, that would be honorable. But if I object to ObamaCare because I first inserted the Flaws myself, have applied that eponymous title to that Flawed Legislation of my political Opponent and then seek to discredit him with it when I created the Flaws, that is OBSTRUCTIONISM of the worst kind!
It’s probably fair to say that presidents and their White House retinue of grandees, swells, and wonks tend to see the Oval Office as the fixed point around which all else revolves. That the White House has an Obama-centric view of the world should surprise no one. And there’s no denying that partisan GOP animosity toward Obama is every bit as heartfelt as Democratic animosity toward George W. Bush.
TABACCO: “heartfelt animosity”? Yes! Justified? No! Bush’s intent was to go to War in Iraq even if he had to ignore Saddam Hussein’s deal offer to leave office and Iraq. That “deal” would have cost America a lot less than the Trillion Dollar(s) War!
“ObamaCare” will give 30 million more people Healthcare. Had it included ‘SOCIAL SECURITY FOR ALL’, or ‘SINGLE PAYER’ or even ‘SINGLE PAYER WITH A TRIGGER’ as Democrats wanted, we could have saved 30% of Healthcare Insurance COSTS (removing HMOs & Insurance Companies). Insurance Companies and Republicans would NOT PERMIT THAT!
Insurance Companies DON’T MEDICALLY TREAT ANYONE – all they do is take their 33% off the Top, which RAISES THE COSTS OF HEALTHCARE IN AMERICA by 1/3!
That obstruction of Obama’s agenda has been part of the GOP’s strategy isn’t news. But if we really must reduce our explanation for current Washington politics to one independent variable, partisan polarization would probably have to contend with ideological polarization for pride of place.
TABACCO: By using the terminology “ideological polarization” that author refers to the Middleclass. In using the terminology “partisan polarization”, he refers to the GOP’s favoring Insurance Companies over Uninsured and disenfranchised Lower-Income Americans.
The author does not Lie, but in using Code Words instead of plain talk, he obscures the Unvarnished Truth! That’s known as “Lying while being technically Truthful”!
If he had told the Unvarnished Truth without the Code Words, we could trust him. But then, he wouldn’t be the ‘Enemy’, would he!
The two are closely related, of course, thanks to Democrats and Republicans having sorted themselves out, with vanishingly few liberals in the ranks of the latter and conservatives among the former. Republicans tend not to understand that most Democrats do not regard Obama as especially liberal, and frankly, they don’t care; most of Obama’s policy preferences are plenty liberal enough for Republicans to oppose them on ideological grounds.
The Heritage position on the individual mandate is at most the exception that proves the rule. I remember Stuart Butler, Heritage’s domestic policy majordomo, mirthfully reminiscing in the late 1990s about how a rival conservative policy outfit regarded the Heritage plan with its individual mandate as “sheerest Bolshevism”. The Heritage health care plan was always highly controversial among conservatives. Given that conservatives (including Butler and Heritage) are now entirely unwilling to tolerate a proposal such as the individual mandate, it’s probably fair to conclude that conservatives have moved farther to the right since 1993. But the uniform opposition to Obama’s approach to health care reform is therefore better understood as ideological than as merely partisan.
It’s also worth noting that when Bill Clinton found himself having to do business with a GOP Congress in 1995-96, he chucked all pretense of an agenda that would satisfy the progressive wing of his own party in favor of “triangulation”—presenting himself as the Aristotelian mean between two extremes. In practical terms, that meant agreeing to end the welfare entitlement and cut taxes—which is to say, accommodating GOP priorities. Democratic Party politics has changed considerably since then: The centrist “New Democrat” strain Clinton represented has been absorbed into the party’s more left-leaning mainstream. So Obama has neither inclination nor need to cooperate with an agenda that could command a majority of the House GOP. (In fact, when he did so in 2010 over extending the Bush tax cuts for two years, most of his party howled in protest.) Better, perhaps, to paper over the ideological chasm by painting the GOP as knee-jerk partisan reactionaries.
And yet: about that corporate tax reform proposal. True, the GOP response was initially dismissive. But is that the end of the matter? Insofar as cutting the corporate tax rate in a revenue-neutral fashion by eliminating loopholes has long been a GOP policy goal, maybe this is Obama offering an accommodation after all. True, Obama has in mind a deal that produces some one-off revenue as corporations move big stacks of offshore dollars back home at a cut rate, and he wants to spend it. But the GOP could probably get what it wants on reform in exchange for splitting the short-term windfall between deficit reduction and, say, infrastructure block grants to the states.
I’m not sure how progressives would respond to such a deal. But if you couldn’t get a clear majority of House Republicans on board for a deal to cut corporate tax rates, maybe partisanship is the independent variable after all.
Tod Lindberg (@todlindberg) is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford.
TABACCO: 1933 – Nazis Burn Down Reichstag/ Blame It On The Communists.. 1963 – Mafia Assassinates JFK/ Blame It On Lee Harvey Oswald.. 2003 – Bush Invades Iraq/ Blames 9/11 On Saddam Hussein.. 2013 – GOP Obstructs America/ Blames It On Obama.. The More Things Change, The More They Remain The Same!
WASHINGTON — House Republicans dealt defeat to their own proposal for a $2.4 trillion increase in the nation’s debt limit Tuesday, a political gambit designed to reinforce a demand for spending cuts to accompany any increase in government borrowing.
The vote was lopsided, with just 97 in favor of the measure and 318 against.
House Democrats accused the GOP of political demagoguery, while the Obama administration maneuvered to avoid taking sides – or giving offense to majority Republicans.
The debate was brief, occasionally impassioned and set a standard of sorts for public theater, particularly at a time when private negotiations continue among the administration and key lawmakers on the deficit cuts Republicans have demanded.
The bill “will and must fail,” said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the House Ways and Means Committee chairman who noted he had helped write the very measure he was criticizing.
“I consider defeating an unconditional increase to be a success, because it sends a clear and critical message that the Congress has finally recognized we must immediately begin to rein in America’s affection for deficit spending,” he said.
But Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., accused Republicans of a “ploy so egregious that (they) have had to spend the last week pleading with Wall Street not to take it seriously and risk our economic recovery.”
He and other Democrats added that Republicans were attempting to draw attention away from their controversial plan to turn Medicare into a program in which seniors purchase private insurance coverage.
The proceedings occurred roughly two months before the date Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said the debt limit must be raised. If no action is taken by Aug. 2, he has warned, the government could default on its obligations and risk turmoil that might plunge the nation into another recession or even an economic depression.
Republicans, who are scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House on Wednesday, signaled in advance that the debt limit vote did not portend a final refusal to grant an increase.
The roll call vote was held late in the day, and there was little, if any discernible impact on Wall Street, where major exchanges showed gains for the day. At the same time, it satisfied what GOP officials said was a desire among the rank and file to vote against unpopular legislation the leadership has said eventually must pass in some form.
Republicans said they were offering legislation Obama and more than 100 Democratic lawmakers had sought.
But Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking Democrat, accused the GOP of staging a “demagogic vote” at a time lawmakers should work together to avoid a financial default.
All 97 votes in favor of the measure were cast by Democrats, totaling less than a majority and far under the two-thirds support needed for passage.
For its part, the administration appeared eager to avoid criticizing Republicans.
“It’s fine, it’s fine,” presidential press secretary Jay Carney said when asked about the Republican decision to tie spending cuts with more borrowing.
“We believe they should not be linked because there is no alternative that’s acceptable to raising the debt ceiling. But we’re committed to reducing the deficit,” Carney said.
The government has already reached the limit of its borrowing authority, $14.3 trillion, and the Treasury is using a series of extraordinary maneuvers to meet financial obligations.
By no longer making investments in two big pension funds for federal workers and beginning to withdraw current investments, for example, the Treasury created $214 billion in additional borrowing headroom.
At the same time, the Obama administration and congressional leaders are at work trying to produce a deficit-reduction agreement in excess of $1 trillion to meet Republican demands for spending cuts.
Political maneuvering on legislation to raise the debt limit has become common in recent years, as federal deficits have soared and presidents of both political parties have been forced to seek authority to borrow additional trillions of dollars.
Because such legislation is unpopular with voters, presidents generally look to lawmakers from their own political party to provide the votes needed for passage. In the current case, though, Republicans control the House, and without at least some support from them, Obama’s request for a debt-limit increase would fail.
However, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced months ago that he would demand spending cuts as a condition for passage.
“It’s true that allowing America to default would be irresponsible,” he said on May 9 in a speech to the Economic Club of New York. “But it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt limit without simultaneously taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and to reform the budget process.”
He added that any spending cuts should be larger than the increase in borrowing authority, a statement meant to lay down a marker for the deficit-reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden.
Few details have emerged from those negotiations, although Biden said recently the negotiators had made progress. He expressed confidence they would be able to agree on specific cuts in excess of $1 trillion over the next decade, and then look to procedural mechanisms known as “triggers” to force further automatic deficit cuts adding up to another $3 trillion or so.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a participant in the talks, said afterward, “I am confident that we can achieve over a trillion dollars in savings at this point, and hopefully more.”
Earlier, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., had said the discussions centered on deficit cuts totaling in the range of $150 billion to $200 billion over a decade, but that was from a relatively small category of programs.
Among the areas eyed for spending cuts is the federal pension program, where the White House has signaled it is receptive to a Republican proposal for employees to make greater contributions.
Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor and Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.
TABACCO: Even CNN, that bastion of “unbiased reporting and covering all sides of issues”, blames REPUBLICANS for the GRIDLOCK IN CONGRESS!
Gridlock in Congress? Blame the GOP
By Julian Zelizer, CNN Contributor
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Mon May 21, 2012
Editor’s note: Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of “Jimmy Carter” (Times Books) and of the new book “Governing America” (Princeton University Press).
(CNN) — Congress is reaching a point where it will no longer be able to function at all. Over the past two years, some members of the Republican Party have ramped up the partisan wars on Capitol Hill. They are threatening to bring the legislative process to a standstill.
For many years, journalists and scholars have lamented the rise of partisan polarization on Capitol Hill. The number of moderates has vastly declined and the number of bills that receive bipartisan support has greatly diminished. The usual culprits range from the advent of the 24-hour news cycle to changing demographics.
But now observers are starting to note that both parties are not equally to blame, especially in recent years.
In their new book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein — two of the most prominent talking heads in Washington, known for their balanced view and proclivity toward moderation — say that the Republican Party is to blame.
“The GOP,” they wrote in a Washington Post op-ed based on the book, “has become an insurgent outlier in American politics.” Mann and Ornstein trace the partisan style back to the emergence of Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist in the 1970s, when the two men promoted a style of slash-and-burn, take-no-prisoners politics that has remained integral to the strategy of congressional Republicans.
There is always a certain amount of nostalgia in American politics. The notion that Congress used to be a better place is one of the staple arguments in public rhetoric. But there are times when things are worse than usual.
While both parties have played roles in the growth of polarization since the 1970s, since 2007 congressional Republicans have been taking the partisan wars to new extremes in several areas.
The first is with the kind of brinksmanship budgetary politics that has now become normative. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner once again threatened that Republicans would not vote to increase the debt ceiling unless Democrats agreed to certain tax and spending policies sought by the GOP. Republicans have used this tactic repeatedly in the past few years, each time bringing the nation closer to the brink of default.
This is no way to decide on a budget or to handle the nation’s debt. Holding the debt-ceiling hostage to win political battles has undermined international confidence in the U.S. political system. It has also created an unhealthy atmosphere where politicians are willing to take great risks with the goal of winning certain legislative battles. There need to be some limits to what legislators are willing to do in the pursuit of victory.
The second way Republicans push the envelope of partisanship is with the filibuster. As political junkies know, use of the filibuster has greatly increased since the 1970s. Both parties have been guilty. A tool once reserved for high-profile legislation such as civil rights became a normalized tool of combat making the Senate a supermajoritarian body on almost every decision.
Senators don’t even have to filibuster anymore. They can simply raise the threat and that brings the discussion to an end. Senators have also employed additional tactics such as anonymous holds, whereby senators can secretly prevent action on a bill and nobody can know who was responsible.
But the number of filibusters by Republicans has escalated, and they have been far more willing to use the tactic than their opponents. Since 2007, the Senate Historical Office has shown, Democrats have had to end Republican filibusters more than 360 times, a historic record.
Finally, there has been a much sharper shift to the right within the Republican Party than there has been to the left in the Democratic Party. Here, too, the data is rather clear.
In January, political scientists Kenneth Poole and Christopher Hare concluded, based on their close analysis of the roll call vote, that “in the last few Congresses, the overlap has vanished; that is, the most liberal Republican is to the right of the most conservative Democrat.”
Last week, the political-science blog The Monkey Cage pointed out that Sen. Richard Lugar’s political positions have changed little since he entered the Senate in 1977, and yet: “In his first term in Congress, Sen. Lugar was the 23rd most moderate Republican in the Senate; in the most recent term (through 2011), he was the fifth most moderate.”
As Lugar’s recent primary loss shows, Republican activists are now targeting any member of the party who can be tagged as centrists, and they are pushing their caucus farther to the right, making compromise almost impossible.
The current hardening of these procedural wars has some resemblance to the 1950s, when Southern committee chairmen, who were then the kings of Capitol Hill, used their power in the House and Senate to prevent any kind of progress on issues such as civil rights or health care.
Although a series of events allowed for a huge legislative breakthrough in 1964 and 1965, the Southern committee chairs regained power after the 1966-midterm elections and continued to assert their power in the closed rooms of Capitol Hill. The situation reached a boiling point in the 1970s, when in the aftermath of Watergate, reformers transformed the system by weakening committee chairs, empowering party leaders and opening up the legislative process through sunshine rules and more.
It could be that Republicans will take things so far that we may reach one of those rare moments when congressional reform happens. If reform does not happen, and these trends continue, the nation will be left with an inoperative legislative process that can’t handle the problems we face with the economy, social problems and foreign policy.
This is a situation that should be of equal concern to the right, left and center. Without a functional Congress, the nation’s government will not be able to live up to the challenges of the day.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Julian Zelizer.
TABACCO: GOP OBSTRUCTS OBAMA NOMINEES – BUT IT AIN’T JUST JUCIAL OBSTRUCTIONS!
Obama accuses GOP of ‘unprecedented’ obstruction to judicial nominees
11:46 AM on 06/04/2013
President Obama nominated three candidates to fill vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday morning in a tough Rose Garden speech that sets the stage for a confrontation with Republicans.
In his nomination of law professor Cornelia Pillard, appellate lawyer Patricia Ann Millett, and federal district judge Robert Wilkins, the president called Republicans out for using Senate rules to block many of his previous judicial appointees.
Because of those maneuvers, the president said, his nominees “have taken three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my Republican predecessor.”
“This is not about principled opposition; this is about political obstruction,” Obama said. “I recognize that neither party has a perfect track record here. You know, Democrats weren’t completely blameless when I was in the Senate. But what’s happening now is unprecedented.”
“For the good of the American people, it has to stop. Too much of the people’s business is at stake. Our legal framework depends on timely confirmations of judicial nominees,” he said.
Republicans have accused the president of “packing the court” with his nominations to fill the court vacancies.
“It’s hard to imagine the rationale for nominating three judges at once for this court given the many vacant emergency seats across the country, unless your goal is to pack the court to advance a certain policy agenda,” Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley said Monday night.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the president of trying to “pack the D.C. Circuit so it can rubberstamp the president’s big government agenda” last week. Senator Mike Lee of Utah echoed those claims as well, accusing Democrats of supporting Obama’s attempts “to pack the D.C. Circuit with unneeded judges simply in order to advance a partisan agenda.”
The president refuted that claim directly Tuesday.
“Some Republicans recently have suggested that by nominating these three individuals, I’m somehow engaging in—and I’m quoting here—’court packing’”, he said to some laughter. “People laugh, but this is an argument I’ve made, that—for those of you who are familiar with the history of court packing, that involved Franklin Delano Roosevelt trying to add additional seats to the Supreme Court in order to water down and get more support for his political agenda. We’re not adding seats here. We’re trying to fill seats that are already existing.”
Obama also criticized Grassley for a plan he’s proposed to cut the size of the court down—effectively eliminating the vacancies the president is trying to fill. His argument is that the court doesn’t have enough work to do right now.
Obama insisted it’s “obviously a blatant political move.”
“The fact that Republican senators are now pushing a proposal to reduce the number of judges on this independent federal court also makes no sense. When a Republican was president, 11 judges on the D.C. Circuit Court made complete sense,” he said. “Now that a Democrat is president, it apparently doesn’t. Eight is suddenly enough.”
The D.C. Circuit Court is considered one of the most powerful in the country—second to the Supreme Court—because it often takes major cases. Four current Supreme Court Justices served on the D.C. Circuit Court first—Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
The Senate unanimously confirmed Sri Srinivasan to the D.C. Circuit Court last month. In March, another Obama nominee, Caitlin Halligan, withdrew her nomination after Republicans filibustered her for the second time.
HOUSE GOP GOING-
House GOP Votes To Repeal ObamaCare
For 40th Time
Posted: 08/02/2013 12:27 pm EDT | Updated: 08/02/2013 12:49 pm EDT
WASHINGTON — In one of their final votes before heading home for a five-week summer recess, House Republicans voted on Friday to repeal ObamaCare. It was their 40th such vote, and like their 39 previous attempts, it will not go any further with the Democratic-controlled Senate or the Democratic president.
The Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013, sponsored by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), would block the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing or implementing any portion of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law.
Democrats railed against their Republican colleagues on the House floor for spending valuable time on the vote.
“I suspect we don’t want to call them the Republicans anymore, but I think we ought to call them the Repeal-icans. Or perhaps the Repeal-ican’ts, because they’ve never been able to repeal anything”, said Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.).
“They have one alternative to ObamaCare. It’s called NothingCare“, added Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) chimed in that the American public has “seen this movie before”.
Price’s bill doesn’t explicitly repeal ObamaCare, but it would effectively cripple the law. The IRS is responsible for implementing crucial elements of ObamaCare, such as distributing the tax credits that individuals and small businesses will use to defray the cost of health insurance.
Republicans have gone after the IRS in recent weeks after revelations that it targeted tea party groups applying for nonprofit status with extra scrutiny.
“We care about the health and well-being of the American people, which is why this bill is coming to the floor”, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said on the floor.
“Now, recently, Mr. Speaker, we’ve learned that the IRS has been abusing its power by targeting and punishing American citizens for their political beliefs. And then recklessly spending taxpayer dollars on lavish conferences and bonuses for its employees. This kind of government abuse must stop. The last thing we should do now is to allow the IRS to play such a central role in our health care.”
Boehner recently said that the House GOP would continue pushing legislation to repeal ObamaCare — even though it has no chance of clearing the president’s desk.
“The program isn’t ready”, Boehner told CBS. “This is not ready for prime time. This is not good for the country, and we’re going to stay at it.”
TABACCO: Boehner means 40 more House Bills to repeal, obstruct, deny and obliterate ObamaCare!
There is MUCH that is WRONG with ObamaCare, but it was put there to placate the Republicans and secure a few necessary GOP VOTES! So now we all know who is really to blame!
As the Washington Post noted, the Republican-controlled House has largely spent the last week before recess “voting on a collection of legislative proposals aimed mostly at embarrassing the Obama administration and scoring some political points.”
Not surprisingly, the Senate has no plans to take up the latest ObamaCare repeal bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried late Thursday to unanimously pass two other bills aimed at repealing the law, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) objected.
“We will not bring it up”, Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said of Friday’s repeal bill. “Republicans can try and force a vote on it if they want to keep tilting at windmills, but it’s just be a further waste of everyone’s time and energy.”
Jennifer Bendery contributed reporting.
SYRIA 2013 VS. IRAQ 2003
‘THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER’, August 30, 2013
BERMAN: And they have had a number of days at this point to prepare. Frederik Pleitgen in Beirut, thank you so much.
While the president still insists he has not made a decision on what action to take in Syria, some members of Congress would like to answer for him and avoid military action at all. The Obama administration spent the afternoon consulting with members of Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees in both chambers.
Earlier, I spoke to one of the skeptical members, Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma. And he still has a lot of questions for the president.
BERMAN: Senator Inhofe, thank you so much for joining us.
Based on what you have heard from the Obama administration and seen for yourself as a key senator, what do you think really happened on the ground in Syria?
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, I think on the ground in Syria that they assume it’s Assad responsible for the gassing of a lot of people, very similar to what we went through with Saddam way back in Iraq, when they did the same thing to the Kurds in the north.
BERMAN: So based on the fact that you believe it happened, that there was some kind of gas or chemical attack there, do you support the kind of limited action that seems to be on the table right now?
INHOFE: No, I don’t.
And the reason I don’t, John, is I am the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee. I have watched what’s happened in the last four-and-a-half years with the president downgrading our military. And it’s to the point where we’re in a position right now where we don’t have the assets to get involved in another intervention.
BERMAN: So your opposition, it’s really just based on funding? You don’t think that a chemical weapons attack is a dire enough event to demand a response?
INHOFE: I said yesterday at that hearing, I said, if you guys sell this idea, even though I’m opposed to it, I said to John Kerry, make sure — and to Secretary Hagel — make sure that you tell us how you’re going to pay for it, what resources you’re going to use, what assets you’re going to use and that they’re there. I’m still opposed to it because I know that we don’t have the assets to do it.
BERMAN: And, to be clear, there would be a price tag on this. A Tomahawk missile can cost up to $1.5 million. So, any kind of effort, however limited, would be expensive.
But also to be clear, you did seem to feel differently about the threat of chemical weapons in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2002, 2003. You did support that effort, which turned out to be incredibly expensive. You said at the time, if you needed a smoking gun, we have got it in the chemical warheads that the intelligence community at that point said that Saddam Hussein had.
So why is the situation now different? You’re — go ahead.
INHOFE: John, you’re exactly right.
The difference is, we were a very healthy military at that time. We had the assets. We had the resources to go anywhere that we wanted to go to do the things that we felt in our mind were right. That’s not the situation today.
Yes, it would be very nice, it would be clean, you go in, you strike once, you send a cruise missile in, all the problems are over, you wash your hands and it’s over. That’s not the way it happens. I think we all understand that.
We really need to hear from the president what his broad perspective is, his plan for the Middle East, and how his military intervention will be a part of it.
BERMAN: Do you think the U.S. takes a hit in terms of credibility if it doesn’t act now?
INHOFE: You know, I don’t really — I don’t know. Apparently, Great Britain didn’t think that.
And, by the way, that announcement came during the hour-and-a-half of persuasion of John Kerry. That happened right in the middle of that hour-and-a-half phone call. And so I think that people are looking at it and saying there are — there’s a serious problem. Everyone feels the same way about the tragedy that takes place, the same as we did about gassing the Kurds in the north in Iraq.
And it was a bad — you know, these are horrible things that are going on right now.
BERMAN: Senator Inhofe, thanks so much for your time. Have a terrific holiday weekend. Appreciate it, sir.
INHOFE: Thank you, John.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BERMAN: And coming up here: John Kerry told the world today that the U.S. has high confidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria. But remember that slam-dunk from 2003? Our guests say the media could stand to ask a few more questions this time around.
And there is an elephant in the room the size of a Tomahawk missile. How will the world’s most public military planning session impact Syria? That’s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In no event are we considering any kind of military action that would involve boots on the ground, that would involve a long-term campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TABACCO: Let me get this straight! Republican Inhofe approved of the Iraq War, which did NOT pay for itself as the Bush guys said it would and cost Trillion$, and that War was predicated on Lies that the Bush Administration knew were Lies.
But Republican Inhofe disapproves of a “limited” no-boots-on-the-ground Intervention by President Obama in a Valid Scenario because America does NOT have the “Assets” now because they’ve been used up by Bush’s PHONY IRAQ WAR – is that the Basis of his Objections?
I have 2 Comments:
1 – This Republican, Inhofe, is stating that his Primary Concern today is our Finances, not the deaths of innocent Syrians. That is a totally different Tact than he and other GOPers took in 2003 about Iraq when they lied and tied Hussein to bin Laden and 9/11, and it is completely incompatible with ETHICAL HIGHGROUND Republicans always seek to stake out hypocritically – that is now very obvious.
2 – George W. Bush was a Republican President, while Barack Obama is a Democratic President. Isn’t it strange how Republican Politicians always seem to support Republicans and always seem to oppose Democrats even when the Situations favor the Democrat and disfavor the Republican!
In both points, Hypocrisy seems to be the Primary and Relevant Motivation – although I’m positive no Republican Politician would ever admit it.
Do you see why Tabacco abhors and distrusts Republican Politicians? They all claim to be honest and moral, but they practice dishonesty, immorality and OBSTRUCTIONISM perpetually.
TABACCO: So now you know the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.