Why the House Should Just Pass the Health Care Bill, Part CCXIV
Clintonfest 2010!

Department of "Huh?"

The best that can be said of the Republicans of '81 is that they did not understand what they were doing, that as David Stockman said "none of us really underst[ood] what's going on with all these numbers." The best that can be said of the Republicans of '01 and '03--well, nothing good can be said of their casual, cynical, hypocritical, and senseless trashing of the state of the federal budget.

The smart and hard-working Ed Andrews agrees with this. Andrews writes:

Bipartisan partisans: I agree that Bush and the Republican congress bear a huge responsibility  -- the bulk of the responsibility -- for today's deficits...

And he writes of how Republicans sacrifice their commitment to the truth to stay on their partisan message:

Douglas Holtz-Eakin... former CBO director... McCain's top economic adviser during the presidential campaign... pointedly insisted that spending was the main problem and that "we cannot tax our way" out of this. This was a subtle re-framing of what he often said back when he was CBO director: that we couldn't simply "grow our way" out of the long-term budget mess. Back then, Holtz-Eakin  would also say that the surpluses achieved under Clinton had been the result of multiple factors -- economic growth, but also  pay-go rules and tax increases (including the Social Security hikes that were still kicking in tons of extra cash at the time time).... Holtz-Eakin was already echoing Mitch McConnell's support' for a "bipartisan "spending commission.'' In other words: tax increases aren't really on the table.

And he writes that we shouldn't be surprised at Holtz-Eakin's allegiance to the party line:

[W]e shouldn't be surprised: Holtz-Eakin has recently been tapped by prominent GOP types to start a Republican-oriented think tank to help counter Democratic-leaning shops like John Podesta's Center for American Progress...

And he says John Podesta was there too:

I dropped by a forum of the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform yesterday, the  earnest group of budget mavens that's been pushing  for a bipartisan deficit commission and is itself a dress rehearsal for such a commission.... [John] Podesta was on the stage as well. He was polite too, but he made a point in his opening remarks of blaming the deficits almost entirely on George W. Bush -- the tax cuts, the  two unfunded wars, the unfunded prescription drug program for Medicare...

saying things that Ed Andrews agrees with.

But, somehow, it was wrong for Podesta to say this:

It was pretty much a straight recital of White House talking points.... [I]f a bipartisan group of self-proclaimed budget wonks... is already parroting party lines...

So Republicans are at fault for misleading the American people, and Democrats are at fault for... not misleading the American people?