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Someone should hoist Republicans on their own judgmental petard

gyroscope If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times, in House and Senate floor speeches, Republican campaign speeches, TV interviews and on talk radio — and Thursday night, there it was again.

The setting was a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup session for its health reform legislation, carried on C-SPAN. We think ranking member Joe Barton, R-Texas, said it, but we were busy doing PC housekeeping, so it could’ve been another Republican.

In this instance, it was used as an indictment of President Obama, for wanting a public-option plan and thereby interfering with business, with the sacrosanct private sector.

This is a paraphrase, albeit a close one, of remarks delivered using the Republicans’ patented formula for arrogant, dismissive resentfulness.

” . . . from someone who has never operated a business and has never had to meet a payroll!”

We ached to hear a Democrat on that committee come back with the riposte that just might put this inane meme away for good.

Mr. Chairman, I always find it interesting when our Republican colleagues question someone’s leadership, condemn their decisions, because they never ran a business or had to meet a payroll.

If I’m not mistaken, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan never operated a business or met a payroll. If that is to be the benchmark for sound leadership, would our Republican friends want to include those presidents in their condemnation?

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back the balance of my time.

That comeback could include a reminder that one-term President George H.W. Bush and his son, George W., did run businesses and meet payrolls. And so, would Republicans care to hold them up as models of superior leadership and results?


  1. Holte Ender says:

    S.W. – Joe Barton (R) Texas has vast experience in business and the meeting of payrolls?  His job before being elected to congress was a natural gas decontrol  consultant  for Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas Company. Whatever the hell that means, before that he was an aide to somebody, and before that an assistant to somebody else. He knows squat about payrolls or operating a business.

  2. Now, Holte, never underestimate Republicans’ willingness to engage in freestyle hypocrisy. As for ability to do that, I suspect it’s in the genes.

  3. Holte Ender says:

    S.W. – “freestyle hypocrisy” lovely phrase, just about sums them up.

  4. Bee says:

    Never met a payroll? Never operated a business? Oh, for dog’s sake, who gives a rip?

    I’ll say it again: I don’t know what school is churning out these moron repubes, but I would just love the chance to engage in some practice with molotov cocktails.

  5. Thanks, Holte, it just seemed fitting.

    Bee, you’re something else. Wanting to hurl Molotov cocktails one moment, then taking care not to step on others’ toes the next — whew! 🙂

  6. Demeur says:

    Let me see Shrub the Jr. ran an oil company into the ground then a baseball team then proceeded to do the same with a state and a nation. Damn he’s batting 1000!

    1. S.W. Anderson says:

      Demeur, George W.’s record is even worse when you dig into it a little. I highly recommend the late Molly Ivin’s book, Bushwhacked. Among the things you’ll find in it is how our future president behaved when he was a trustee at Harken Oil, the one who was supposed to watch out for his fellow shareholder’s interest.

      The short of it is, Bush used his position to keep an eye on the books. When he saw the company was about to tank, he quietly pulled nearly all his money out. Then he stood by quietly while his fellow shareholders lost millions. What a guy!

  7. Tom Harper says:

    I guess that’s their biggest talking point of the past few days (not that it’s anything new).  Just today I got an anonymous comment at a 3-week-old post (about health care reform of course).  It started off with “I can tell none of you people own your own business!”

  8. Bee says:

    Well, SW, it all depends on whose toes, doesn’t it? 🙂


  9. Tom, that figures. I guess if you own your own business, you’re supposed to automatically oppose health care reform because, well, it might cost you a few bucks.

    True enought, Bee.


  10. Snave says:

    This is just as dumb as dismissing someone as unqualified because they never served in the military.  That kind of meme was running around when McCain was running for president…  “What does Obama know about foreign policy?  He never served in the military!”

    So, if someone has a lack of experience in a particular area it means that person’s opinion is automatically invalid, or that the person is not qualified to lead others in that area.  Oh well.  I guess that means our country can only be run by white, Christian businessmen with military connections or background.

    Hey, wait a minute… 

  11. Yes, Snave, the no-military-service  rap is just as dumb. Just looking at some very capable wartime leaders — Lincoln, Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt — lets the hot air out of that one.