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Lies, stupidity and Republicans

Tweedle Dumb or Tweedle Dumber?
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

You want to believe the R’s are simply inveterate liars, that they can’t possibly believe what they’re saying. Because the other possibility is unacceptable…the leaders and rank and file of one of the two major political parties in this country are simply stupid.

This past week, the House of Representatives passed a debt limit increase. It did so with 193 Democrats…and a miraculous total of 28 Republicans voting for it. With the vote safely past, Speaker John Boehner said that he had decided that, if Democrats wanted to take responsibility for “the President’s debt”, Republicans would let them do so.

The President’s debt.

Now, it first must be understood that raising the debt limit does not in and of itself increase the debt. It gives the Treasury authorization to pay the bills that Congress has already approved. As for the debt being “the President’s”, it is nothing of the sort…and Speaker Boehner knows it. President Obama has reduced the deficit by more than half of the one he inherited from the previous Administration. It was, Republican leadership to the contrary, Republican administrations that ran up our national debt to the heights it has now reached, Republicans who passed tax cuts for the wealthy on the national credit card, fought two wars on the national credit card, handed Medicare prescription drug benefits to the pharmaceutical companies, again on the national credit card. This doesn’t even take into account the debts run up under the Reagan and the first Bush administration. Truth to tell, the only administrations to actually balance the nation’s books have been Democratic.

One is fairly certain that Speaker Boehner knows all this. But one is not certain if those following him do. It seems that, when rank and file Republican Congressmen and even Senators speak of the national debt and the debt limit increase, they truly believe that it is President Obama who ran up the debt, that the bills rung up since the President came into office in 2009 are the only ones we need concern ourselves with. And, since Republicans haven’t voted for a single measure President Obama’s proposed, they can’t possibly be responsible for any of the spending that’s taken place on his watch. What went before? Well, most of them weren’t in Congress then, so who cares?

This could be simple ignorance. It might even be willful…and extremely convenient…ignorance. But at a certain point, one is forced to assume it is indeed stupidity. These poor saps really don’t know any better. Worse, they don’t know how to find out any better.

So we truly are in the hands of Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber. And it’s only going to get worse.

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