Driving in to work this morning I inadvertently tuned to some sort of testimony before Congress. A guy was talking about the very large number of women in his family, and how much he loved them all. He would not always be there for them, (now his voice grew quavery), and wondered how they would manage to access blood pressure screenings, mammograms, and routine cholesterol tests – tests that could save their lives! He believed that every woman should have all of those tests that she might need and, getting hold of himself, he declared firmly, “This is not controversial!” Then, in a louder voice: “THIS IS NOT CONTROVERSIAL!”
Well gracious sakes no, I thought. But what could he be talking about? I found out when I got to my desk and turned on the computer. There I read the news that “Republicans want to shut down the government because they think there’s nothing more important than keeping women from getting cancer screenings.” This from Harry Reid, U.S. Senate Democratic Leader, as quoted by Reuters. “This is indefensible and everyone should be outraged,” he went on.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had equally shocking news. She was quoted in Politico: “There is actually a war on women.” She also concluded that the Republican budget will force seniors into starvation, according to Fox nation; “In one of the bills before us, six million seniors are deprived of meals – homebound seniors are deprived of meals.” Louise Slaughter, Democratic Congresswoman from New York, was not so circumspect. She declared that “In ‘94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. Now they’re here to kill women.” And the indefatigable Jesse Jackson declared the nation to be at “civil war.”
Thank goodness a new rule of civility in political discourse was introduced by the New York Times and various left-wing pundits after the Tucson shootings.
This rhetoric has been generated by the budget fight now raging (Fri. PM) in Washington over whether a measly $33 or $40 billion in federal spending should be eliminated for the fiscal year ending this September 30. It should be noted that last year’s federal budget deficit was something near $1.4 trillion, and the national debt has exceeded $14 trillion.
House Majority Leader John Boehner, meanwhile, has asked when the White House and Democrats will get serious about cutting spending. That’s a good, sensible question, and I fear the answer is never.