Yesterday, John Boehner announced that the 2012 federal election will be held (again) next week. Still unable to distinguish between thinking they should have won last November and actually losing by 3.5 million votes – and buoyed by Obama’s poll numbers, which are falling nearly as fast as their own – House Republicans apparently believe they deserve a do-over. So in exchange for supporting a temporary increase in the debt ceiling to prevent America from defaulting on its current obligations and spurring a global economic crisis, they are demanding the immediate construction of the Keystone pipeline, increased energy drilling both offshore and on federal lands, an end to EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and coal production, Medicare cuts, and a delay to Obamacare (which they have voted 43 times in vain to defund). Having previously cut food stamps and extended the Bush tax inequities, Boehner has now produced a list of proposals that brought people like me to the polls last fall. And we won. Didn’t we?
“That’s why we’re paid the big bucks – right? – to figure these problems out,” said Blake Farenthold, an overfed Texas congressman who abhors food stamps, loves his health benefits and remains skeptical about the “legitimacy” of Obama’s presidency. Actually, Congressman, that’s why we have elections. In the meantime, this doesn’t seem like a very good time to shut down the government.
In other news, Ted Cruz voted in favor of the motion he had spent 21 hours trashing, which then passed the Senate, 100-0.