“Controversy equalizes fools and wise men
– and the fools know it.”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Interesting piece by Dana Milbank on Republican’s priorities now that the economy is on the rebound.
Now, after a long economic winter, green shoots are everywhere: The stock market is booming, housing prices are rebounding and mortgage providers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, long demonized by Republicans, are returning profits to the Treasury. Job growth has accelerated and consumer confidence has reached its highest level in almost six years. Health-care cost increases are slowing, Medicare’s prospects are improving — in part because of President Obama’s health-care reforms — and gasoline prices are forecast to decline. Long-term fiscal problems remain, but the federal deficit is shrinking, putting off Washington’s debt-ceiling standoff until late fall.
Yet House Republicans have shelved a serious legislative agenda this year in favor of 24/7 investigations.
Just yesterday, here’s what Republicans were up to:
- 2 separate hearings on alleged wrongdoing by the Obama administration
- a Ways and Means Committee heard complaints from various tea party groups about the IRS messing with their rights
Other than the Ways and Means hearing,
- there will be two other House committee hearings this week on alleged abuses by the IRS
And all of this is happening while,
- 5 (read it, FIVE!!) distinct committees investigate the make-believe BENGHAZI SCANDAL
A good indication of House Republicans’ mind-set came last week, when Rep. John Boehner’s spokesman wrote on the House speaker’s official blog that a speech by Obama on student loans was an attempt “to change the subject from its growing list of scandals.” It’s telling that the GOP leadership would view a student loan event as a distraction from scandals but wouldn’t see the obsession with scandals as a distraction from pocketbook issues.
As The Post’s Paul Kane reported Tuesday, House Republicans haven’t passed much ambitious legislation this year after they “disintegrated into squabbling factions, no longer able to agree on — much less execute — some of the most basic government functions.” One of the few things that unite them is the investigation of scandals. A few weeks ago, Heritage Action for America, an influential conservative group, suggested that House Republicans focus on investigations and avoid legislation that could divide them.
All of which takes us back to the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote on fools needing controversy to equalize their standing with wise men…and nothing equalizes better than being dragged into a mud pit by a fool and his friends.