The Problem. I don’t need to tell you what the problem is. I know that you’ve seen it or read about it. Pompous Republican legislators opining drearily about how to undo what they did to us over the past eight years. They offer ideologically-based assertions about the so-called problems with the Obama recovery plan, lots of misinformation and few real facts. Hard to believe, but they also persist in calling for just the types of tax cuts that are sure to guarantee that there is either no recovery or a much weaker recovery.
According to figures cited by Chuck Loveless, AFSCME Political Director, in a blogger’s conference call today, all of the “wasteful” programs Republicans gas about come to only about one seven hundredth of 1% of the entire spending package. Alternatively, Josh Marshall of TPM counted 5.01 Billion in spending — out of $819 Billion — that forms the basis for the right-wing attack.
To wax biblical: “how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?” I’d say that many of the Republican claims about wastefulness have to be the result of the log in the collective Republican eye. Either that or they just want to mislead the gullible. So what if 600 million is spent to replace federal vehicles with hybrids? The result is automotive industry jobs as far as I can figure. Same for 125 million for Washington D.C. sewers — how doesn’t that kind of infrastructure project make jobs?
Worst of all, we are bleeding jobs while Republicans in congress tie up a good job creation package qibbling about peripheral details. Without the stimulus plan, it is almost a sure thing that the unemployment rate will top 11% by 2010. Economists agree that the stimulus plan as it is now configured will create millions of jobs, jobs that are desperately needed. Given what is happening right now, how can these fools play their obstructionist games?
Why do Republicans Want the Recovery Plan to Fail? AFSCME’s Loveless and Brad Woodhouse, President of Americans United for Change, offered a quick and concise answer to that question during the conference call: If the Obama Recovery Plan can be defeated or watered down so that it is ineffective, then the entire Obama agenda, healthcare, climate change initiatives, the whole ball of wax, will also fail.
Republicans may have lost the election in November, but they have not given up the war. They may not take direction from Rush Limbaugh, who is unequivocal that he wants Obama to fail, but there can be no doubt that the “America First” bunch are really “party first.”
What Can be Done to Stop The Blow-Hards? Clark had it right in his earlier post. Loveless and Woodhouse, though, suggest some further actions. They note several crucial senators who might be susceptible to pressure. They suggest that, if you are so inclined, you contact these folks toll-free via this webpage. Of course, our own Kit Bond is prominent on this list. If you are curious, check below the fold for the list of targeted senators, but be sure to contact both Bond and McCaskill (even though McCaskill is not on the list).
Senators who have been targeted by Afscme and Americans United for Change. You will notice that there are some Democrats on this list as well. Given the furror of calls that the right-wing talk hosts have stirred up in support of the obstructionists, these moderate souls may waver if progressives don’t step up and help them maintain a stiff spine.
Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Richard G. Lugar (R-Indiana)
Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)
Mel Martinez (R-Florida)
Christopher Bond (R-Missouri)
Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin)
Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska)
Arlan Specter (R-Pennsylvania)
George Voinovich (R-Ohio)
Charles (Chuck) Grassley (R-Iowa)
In addition to phoning, you can contact Senators via email by going going to this site and selecting the relevant Webpages. Telephone numbers are also available from these Webpages, if you don’t wish to use the MakeAmericaHappen site noted aboe.