Can I call ’em or what?

The new Pentagon budget has filled the air with phony outrage and indignation as bottomless money-pits for pet projects that either don’t work or are obsolete face the budget axe.   This has republicans on the House Armed Services Committee positively verklempt.  

The committee’s ranking member, John McHugh, said, “[i]f implemented, this proposal will be tantamount to an $8 billion cut in defense spending,” though he seems to be using a peculiar definition of “tantamount”.

He is joined by Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), who tied the supposed cuts to the financial sector bailout and the stimulus. “Today’s announcement of defense cuts is a reaction to the fiscal strain caused by trillions in bailout and stimulus spending, rather than a result of regular strategic review and overall threat analysis,” Forbes said.

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) joined in the fun, arguing that “[w]hile President Obama is pushing for mind-boggling increases in domestic spending, the one place he wants to cut spending is defense”

“This makes no sense,” Akin went on, “not only because the world is not becoming safer, but because these cuts will eliminate thousands of well-paying jobs across America.”

And Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) released a peculiar statement diffusing responsibility for the budget’s authorship–“Secretary Gates, acting on behalf of the Obama administration, has recommended some serious changes to the FY2010 defense budget”–and then lambasting it: “I strongly urge the administration to reconsider these drastic defense spending cuts that will weaken our national security,” Lamborn said.

Ye Gods and little fishes!  Someone fetch me a second grade math primer and a ticket to Washington – these idiots are in need of intense remediation…And we haven’t even gotten to the moronic main$tream media and their mindless repetition of reich-wing talking points, evidencing once more just how thoroughly unencumbered by the thought process they truly are.  

Let’s flash back to what I said Monday for a moment, shall we?  

I fully expect all hell to break loose this afternoon when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announces significant changes to several dozen Pentagon programs that will shift military spending from massive Cold War type weapons systems to counter-insurgency programs that are geared toward fighting the ‘small wars’ that will dominate our conflicts in coming decades.   The plan Gates will unveil tomorrow will boost spending in less-expensive programs while slashing huge amounts of money from big, expensive (and increasingly obsolete) programs.

And that is why all hell is going to break loose.

Congressmen absolutely love their big, shiny, expensive weapons jobs programs that keep the funds coming in to their districts and their asses firmly affixed to their congressional seats.  

Defense contractors are going to be bringing tremendous pressure on congressmen, and those congresscritters are going to protest mightily.

Defense contracts are at stake, people! Don’t you get it?  And defense contracts keep asses in congressional seats!  No craven congresscritter wants to run on their record and the issues!  They would much rather wrap themselves in the flag and run on the one-two punch of “you keep America safe, and I keep the money flowing so you can.”  

Why do you think Inhofe was yammering on in Afghanistan yesterday about “cuts” when the defense budget is going up instead of down?  It’s because that boondoggle known as FCS (Future Combat Systems) is facing the budget axe in favor of spending those dollars more effectively elsewhere, and FCS is, in large part, Inhofe’s baby, a jobs program he has used his seat on the Armed Services Committee to protect jealously for the last six years by inserting language into the Defense Authorization Bills that protect Oklahoma’s piece of the pie.  

Oklahoma’s delegation isn’t worried about military readiness or national defense nearly so much as they are worried about defending their seats in the federal legislature.  

Don’t let their plaintive wails convince you otherwise.