Monday, October 16, 2006

Bass Makes Stuff Up, part I(a)

On Thursday, I noted the ridiculousness of Charlie Bass' YouTubed claim that
If the Dems had control of the budget of this country, they’d raise it by a trillion dollars in two years!
Sunday's Valley News has an editorial making much the same point, and doing so in such a frankly caustic way that I feel a little shamed - I've clearly been being much too nice.

Noting that Bass didn't have "the courage to stand by his slurs," the editorial asks
And what about the predictions from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that the decline in the size of the deficit is temporary -- that it will begin growing again next year, and that the national debt will expand by about $1.8 trillion over the next decade? A fair amount, but not all, of that borrowed money has been sucked up by the ill-advised war in Iraq and the ineffectual rebuilding effort along the Gulf Coast. A significant amount of the gap between spending and revenue also can be attributed to the Bush administration's tax cuts, which flowed overwhelmingly to those who least needed the help. Bass, perhaps to erase any doubts that he can be counted on to be a loyal supporter of this fiscal folly, also warned that Democratic victories would mean reversing the tax cuts.
Wow. That sure puts the "Republicans are the party of fiscal restraint; Democrats will bankrupt the country" line into context, doesn't it? But that's the line Bass was enthusiastically trying to sell on that video. Maybe it's what he believes. Maybe he knows better but also knows that it's in his self-interest to pretend - not just because he's a Republican in Congress and that's one of the claims on which Republicans campaign, but because he's actually the 81st richest person in Congress, with a personal net worth of well over $2 million. But we can't know what he believes, because what he says varies so radically according to who he's talking to.

In fact, the Valley News ran an editorial back on June 4 that concluded exactly this. The editorial is no longer online, but I excerpted it in a diary at Daily Kos:
Over the years, Bass has taken enough contradictory positions to give virtually everyone a reason to both like and dislike him. It's hard to pin a label on someone who won't stand still. Maybe the more persuasive case to make against his continued service in the 2nd District is not that he's this or that but rather that he's whatever is politically expedient at the moment.


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