By Aaron M. Rodriguez
In the Capital Times newspaper, columnist Bill Berry wrote a drive-by piece on the partisan politics of state and congressional republicans. It’s difficult to ascertain the exact purpose of the piece. Mr. Berry meanders through it much like a diary of private thoughts stimulated by attending some boring seminar lecture at an accounting convention. The title of his piece is “Nobody wins the conflict-mongers’ game”, and of course, republicans happen to star as the leading character of this conflict.
There were a few problems with the piece other than its leftist spin, the most bothersome were observations stripped from all recognizable context. For instance, Berry mentioned Rush Limbaugh’s comments about hoping Obama’s presidency fails. Following in Eugene Kane’s steps, Berry isn’t interested in providing the full context of the Limbaugh quote. But rather, he embarrasses his journalistic credibility by calling Limbaugh “big and fat”.
Here is what Limbaugh said about Obama:
Now if he turns out to be a Reagan, if he adds Reagan to his recipe of FDR and Lincoln, and if he does cut some taxes . . . if he does not eliminate the Bush tax cuts, I would call that success. So yes, I would hope he would succeed if he acts like Reagan, but if he's going to do FDR, if he's going to do the new, new deal all over which we will call here the raw deal, why would I want him to succeed?
It’s clear what Limbaugh meant. If Obama is intent on growing government and increasing taxes, then Limbaugh hopes Obama fails precisely because his success would be a detriment to the well being of America. If Obama does not grow government and preserves the Bush tax cuts, then Limbaugh hopes he succeeds. Most would not have problems understanding Limbaugh’s position here, but reading with a liberal lens affords columnists like Berry and Kane the luxury of adding unspoken motives without missing a beat.
In his article, Berry goes on to criticize House republicans for their refusal to jump on board with a stimulus package they weren’t invited to participate in. He says,
It seemed fitting that this routine was played out on the same day that President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package got zero votes from Republicans as it passed the House. Never mind that the big financial institution bailout of 2008 received bipartisan support. That was a different story. The truckloads of money in that case went to bankers and financial institutions rather than lowly unemployed people and busted states and cities.
What is fitting is that “zero votes from Republicans” was backed by 11 democrats. What is fitting is that Berry fails to mention that House republicans drafted their own stimulus package that would create twice as many jobs at half the cost, but democrats rejected it because it was pork-less. And what is fitting is Berry’s failure to mention that the democrat stimulus bill would spend more on arts and culture, renovating federal buildings, and on green cars for federal employees than on small businesses that actually turn the giant wheel of our economy.
I have a question for Berry. How is $7.7 billion for federal buildings, $650 million for digital TV coupons, and $600 million for green cars supposed to stimulate the economy? How is spending $54 billion on 19 programs already deemed ineffective by the Office of Management and Budget supposed to stimulate our economy?
What liberal spin masters like Berry won’t tell you is that democrats like Pelosi are trying to exploit an economic crisis in order to push their spending on liberal programs they weren’t able to for the last 8 years. We hear Pelosi’s double talk about a new era of change and bipartisanship, and yet they calculatedly forced a stimulus bill through the House without the input of a single House republican. Yes, change is certainly on the way, and it looks a lot like one party rule.