Apr. 29th, 2009

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I think it was ten minutes after I first heard about Arlen Specter that I saw the first joke about this being good for the Republican party (it's an article of faith among liberal bloggers who followed the eight years of George W. Bush that there is no disaster that will not be spun by our journalist friends in the gang of Heathers as good for the Republican party).

It took a few hours for the actual article to appear
DeMint: 60 Dems 'best thing' for GOP

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) insisted Tuesday that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter’s decision to switch parties and give the Democrats their likely 60th seat could be the “best thing” for Republicans.

“If [Democrats] begin to expand spending and government programs because they have a couple more votes, I think there's going to be a lot of backlash from the American people,” DeMint explained during an interview on CNN.

“That may be the best thing that could happen to the Republican Party right now,” he added, “because people know those checks and balances are very important and they've seen the Democrat Party overreach already.”

DeMint disagreed with Specter’s statement that the GOP has moved too far to the right, adding that best thing Republicans can do is “stand up for what they say they do.”
Actually, Senator, it's called the Democratic - oh, never mind.

Sos anyway, as this is Politico, it's actually a report on what happened earlier on CNN, where they're apparently starting to include some context in this kind of story
“I don't think many Americans are going to agree that the Republican Party has become too conservative,” DeMint said. “We're seeing across the country right now that the biggest tent of all is the tent of freedom.”

“What the hell does that mean?” asked CNN host Rick Sanchez.

“I mean, the biggest tent is freedom? Freedom?” he asked. “I mean, you gotta do better than that.”

“What it means is what has worked in America are free people, free markets for years,” DeMint responded. “I think what we've seen is both parties have pushed the envelope too far and now America is pushing back. I think you'll see this next election to be totally different.”
Presumably we're pushing back on stuff like this
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) led the GOP’s unanimous opposition to the $787 billion stimulus, blasting the inclusion of $8 billion for mass transit projects.

At the time, he took aim at the possible use of some cash for a Vegas-to-Disneyland mag-lev light rail project.

During a March 15 appearance on “Meet the Press,” Cantor said: “Over the last 50 days, we have passed the stimulus bill ... you’ve got that train from Disneyland to Las Vegas, you have, you know, you have other things like the, the money that goes to remove pig, pig odor.”

Alas, the Richmond Times-Dispatch is now reporting that Cantor joined a group of local officials lobbying to direct greater federal funding toward a planned Richmond-to-Washington 110-mph train that would cut the travel time between the two capitals to 45 minutes.
The pig odor thing? Was to pay for research to deal with problems created by the feces lagoons at factory farms
Smithfield Foods actually faces a more difficult task than transmogrifying the populations of America's thirty-two largest cities into edible packages of meat. Hogs produce three times more excrement than human beings do. The 500,000 pigs at a single Smithfield subsidiary in Utah generate more fecal matter each year than the 1.5 million inhabitants of Manhattan. The best estimates put Smithfield's total waste discharge at 26 million tons a year. That would fill four Yankee Stadiums. Even when divided among the many small pig production units that surround the company's slaughterhouses, that is not a containable amount.

Smithfield estimates that its total sales will reach $11.4 billion this year. So prodigious is its fecal waste, however, that if the company treated its effluvia as big-city governments do -- even if it came marginally close to that standard -- it would lose money. So many of its contractors allow great volumes of waste to run out of their slope-floored barns and sit blithely in the open, untreated, where the elements break it down and gravity pulls it into groundwater and river systems. Although the company proclaims a culture of environmental responsibility, ostentatious pollution is a linchpin of Smithfield's business model.

How silly of us. I'm sure not dealing with that isn't going to cost a thing.

Obviously, I'm a DFH, so take it for what it's worth, but I suspect that americans don't so much have a problem with paying for government services. I think they have a problem with legislators who are ideologically opposed to giving us government services unless we have friends in high places in the GOP. Outside the beltway, that's not what most people took away from the Reagan revolution.

I'm just not convinced that it's really a natural rallying cry for the new non-RINO GOP. FWIW.

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