, , , ,

The posting guidelines for SMP caution posters about unnecessary invective, noting quite correctly that:

If you’re a good writer it’s relatively easy to show everyone else that someone is a stupid troglodyte without actually using those two words – and it’s much more fun to watch them slink away in silence after it finally dawns on them that they’ve been mocked into oblivion.

I, however, imperfect being that I am, struggle with that provision. There are certain epithets, usually having to do with intelligence, that, crude though they may be, seem to have been tailor made for certain Missouri politicos and it’s frustrating in the extreme to refrain calling it the way you see it. It seems, though, that I have company and the White House has been having the same problem. Today, on the topic of the Ryan Budget, Jay Carney finally let loose and socked its GOP cheering section with the observation that:  

… that Republicans who support the Paul Ryan budget’s cuts to education and clean energy have a “severely diminished capacity” and are “aggressively and deliberately ignorant” of the global economy.

I’ve got to admit that labels like “severely diminished capacity,” and even blunter designations – like “dim bulb” or plain, old, unvarnished “stupid” – have long been paired in my mind with the image of Rep. Todd Akin (R-2). And guess what? Todd has come out slugging for the Ryan Budget. Is that evidence of “severely diminished capacity” or what?

Not that Akin’s position is surprising. Nor is his basic complaint new, just hilarious. His nose has been perpetually out of joint because:

Under Republican leadership in the House, we have passed budgets which have died in the Democratic-controlled Senate which has not passed a budget in over 1,000 days. I am pleased with the product that Chairman Ryan and the House Budget Committee have produced to maintain our obligations to our constituents.

Even a sweet, naive creature such as myself can figure out that the budgets emanating from the House are not really meant seriously. That would require thinking about how to reach agreement with the Democratic Senate, which is to say, figuring out how to craft a balanced approach. The House’s budgets make no such concessions to the realities of governing in a two-party system, but are nothing so much as the caterwauling of unruly Tea Party Tomcats who want to mark their territory. And you know what that means – House budgets are going to stink  until somebody takes care of those Toms.

According to Akin:

Our fiscally responsible common sense FY2013 budget improves upon last year’s Path to Prosperity by saving another $20 billion in American taxpayer funds. Our House Republican budget cuts federal spending, makes responsible cuts to the real drivers of our national debt, ends special interest favoritism and corporate welfare, embraces an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and gives American taxpayers more control over their healthcare decisions.

Come again? According to most analysts, Ryan’s budget will decimate safety-net programs, give big tax breaks to the wealthy and, despite all the misery it causes, still manage to deepen the deficit. Oh, and did I fail to note that the fiscal assumptions upon which Ryan bases this masterpiece have been called out as pure fantasy?

But the best part of Akin’s endorsement is when he declares with a straight face:

This budget also protects the Medicare benefits of near-retirees and helps ensure the long-term solvency of the program.

Let’s see – as has been readily apparent to almost everyone, it’s clear that Ryan 2012 guts Medicare, turning it into an inadequately funded voucher program within ten years, a program that would essentially cut seniors’ access to care and double their costs, effectively “ending Medicare as we know it.” But it also, and this is amusing,  retains the cuts to Medicare that would have been made under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). These are the same cuts that the GOP have been screaming about in ads directed at Claire McCaskill – cuts to the subsidies that are paid to inefficient Medicare Advantage suppliers.

Of course, on this point, Akin isn’t being totally obtuse, just honest. He’s wanted to end Medicare for a long time and recently observed that, “I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care.” Of course, abandoning programs that work because of ideology is one of those positions that are located far out there in the land of “severely diminished capacity.”

Slightly edited for clarity.