Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!

Fitting in nicely with the overall theme of this pre-sequester Stupidity Week, a lot of vocal conservatives are furious that anyone is concerned about the impact of ham-handed budget cuts. The furloughed federal employees? The drag on GDP? Lies, all lies! we’re told by Rush Limbaugh:

[H]ere they come, sucking us in, roping us in. Panic here, fear there: Crisis, destruction, no meat inspection, no cops, no teachers, no firefighters, no air traffic control. I’m sorry, my days of getting roped into all this are over. We have the media playing along with all this. The ruling class of both parties play along with all this. It’s insulting. I don’t know how else to describe it.

I’m into my 25th year.

I can’t tell you the number of times this has happened. This hit me yesterday. I’ve said the same things over and over for 25 years. Whether the Clinton presidency or the Obama presidency, whether it’s a Pelosi speakership or Tom Foley (who was speaker when I started), it’s the same stuff. It’s the same threats. It’s the same arguments over and over. Nothing ever changes! We just keep spending more money. We create more dependency, we get more and more irresponsible from one crisis to the next, all of them manufactured.

Except for the real crisis, which nobody ever addresses, and that is: We can’t afford any of this.

We are presumably to think that every estimate of the real-life impact of the sequester (or the Ryan Budget, I suppose) is just a smokescreen for more waste, fraud and abuse, and more welfare money for those people to spend on their rap music and purple drank.

The Washington Examiner‘s Charlie Spiering thinks this don’t-confuse-me-with-facts tirade from Limbaugh could be remembered as the second coming of Santelli’s Rant, reviving the Tea Party Movement for another, and this time all-consuming bout of rage.

Limbaugh’s comments reflect a common Tea Party frustration not only with Democrats but also with Republicans. Stop spending all the money. Stop creating false panics every time someone proposes cuts in government spending. And stop spending more money than you did the year before.

A similar frustration boiled over was when Rick Santelli gave his speech heard around the world calling for a new Tea Party.

That rant was almost exactly four years ago, on February 19, 2009.


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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.