Let's get serious about Mitch McConnell. Doesn't he always look like he knows he's just been caught?
Miss Mitch and the look that says, "Rats, they caught me!"
Not that I normally feel any need to defend my practice of steering clear of all the Sunday TV gabfests, but on a day like today it seems like the merest common sense. I mean "Miss Mitch" McConnell on CBS, NBC, and ABC? Aren't there laws about that sort of thing?
Even before the rat opens his mouth, you know he wouldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it. And then he opens his mouth . . .
G.O.P. Senate Leader Says No to More Tax Revenue
January 6, 2013
By BRIAN KNOWLTON
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, made clear on Sunday that he would oppose any effort by the Obama administration to raise more tax revenue and that he remained focused on finding ways to cut spending as the government grapples with its debt.
"The tax issue is finished," Mr. McConnell said on the ABC News program "This Week." "Over. Completed. That's behind us."
Mr. McConnell's interviews on three Sunday morning programs came just days after he and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. helped broker a resolution to the latest fiscal crisis and as Washington braced for a series of confrontations over debt and spending.
Mr. McConnell's stance on taxes countered calls from Democrats, and even some House Republicans, to revamp the tax code to close some provisions and raise new revenue. But Mr. McConnell did say he would favor changes if they were "revenue neutral," meaning that lower rates would be paid for by limiting deductions and closing loopholes.
Mr. McConnell's focus on the need for spending cuts was relentless in his interviews on ABC, NBC and CBS. He was equally insistent that President Obama must take the lead on fiscal plans.
His remarks stood in contrast to comments from the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, who said on the CNN program "State of the Union" that there was plenty of room to increase revenue by examining "deductions, credits, special treatments under the tax code."
Mr. McConnell's position also contrasted with remarks on Saturday by Mr. Obama, who said in his weekly address that he remained open to both spending cuts and further tax increases. The fiscal agreement last week made tax cuts permanent for most households and put off big spending cuts. . . .
NOW, JUST TWO POINTS . . .
(1) As someone who has been watching and listening to the Miss for what feels like centuries, I suddenly realized recently what it is that his whole demeanor says to me, independent of the actual words and grimaces. It says, "Cripes, they caught me!" Mind you, I don't know what he thinks we caught him at. The point is, his demeanor says that he knows. It may be an inescapable result of living a life so saturated in secrets, duplicity, and out-and-out lies, or maybe he's just that terrible at concealing his corruption and dishonesty.
I don't mean this necessarily as a criticism. I mean, isn't it an amazing thing to have carved out such a prestigious career in public "service" for someone so transparently and hopelessly vile and corrupt?
Five myths about the 112th Congress" by Thomas E. Mann (of the Brookings Institution) and Norman J. Ornstein (of the American Enterprise Institute), authors of It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.
Since it's the authors' fifth myth I want to get to, we're going to sprint through the first four, though I encourage you to check out the full arguments onsite.
1. The 112th Congress was as bad as the 80th "do-nothing" Congress during the Truman era.
(No, say the authors, this is "completely unfair" to the 80th Congress, which was by comparison a whirlwind of activity, enacting 906 laws, including creation of the Marshall Plan ["one of the most consequential initiatives of the 20th century"], the Defense Department, and the National Security Council. "What was the 112th's equivalent of the Marshall Plan?")
2. President Obama wasn't adept at working with Congress.
(Unfair, say the authors. "Throughout his first term, Obama faced uncompromising opposition. Bold public pronouncements and sweet private talk had no chance of winning GOP votes in 2011 and 2012. Republicans acted like radical insurgents determined to make the president a one-termer.")
3. Boehner was the big loser.
(Uh-uh, Chris Cillizza -- who's the above-contained link. "Boehner’s problem was a lack of followership, not leadership," and getting the fiscal-cliff deal to a vote "was an example of effective leadership in the face of severe adversity.")
4. Debt-limit debacles will become business as usual in Congress.
(Actually, contrary to much recent misstatement, debt-limit raises have frequently been highly politicized, and "many of the votes were close and done at the eleventh hour." It's true, though, say the authors, that "the 2011 faceoff was the first time the minority party used the debt limit as a hostage.")
Now we come to Myth No. 5.
5. The 113th Congress will be as unproductive as the 112th.
There was not much in the 2012 election to suggest that the deep pathologies in the American political system have been ameliorated. Republicans retained their majority in the House, and the conference moved further to the right. Moreover, the GOP demand for major spending cuts -- with the sequestration, continuing spending resolution and debt-limit deadlines looming in the next two months -- suggests that this will be another contentious "do-nothing" Congress.
But there are reasons to believe otherwise. Electoral prospects for Republicans have dimmed considerably, removing some of the incentives for opposing the president. The election brought a startling opening for a comprehensive immigration bill. New natural gas reserves provide an opportunity to craft a bipartisan approach to energy production and conservation. Gun-control legislation is suddenly more feasible. One more round of spending cuts and revenue increases totaling about $1 trillion over the next decade, with tax reform a major source of the latter, would at least stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio for the medium term and free policymakers to focus on economic growth, and health-care delivery and financing reforms.
Not all of these things are likely to happen. But if even a few do, it would mean a productive record for the 113th Congress compared with its dismal predecessor.
Interesting, gents! Say, did you happen to catch Miss Mitch on the tube today? Is there any reason to believe that the Miss has gotten any of those messages?
Labels: Mitch McConnell