What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 14, 2007

Boehner's "Small Price" - A Follow-up

If you need to refresh your memory, go here.

Yesterday, Congressman Boehner tried to weasel out of things - by spinning and misleading, of course. Here's what can be found in The Politico's Crypt (h/t to Think Progress) where they got a comment from Kevin Smith, Boehner's Communications Director:

Wolf asked about the money spent in Iraq, and that’s what Mr. Boehner was referring to when he said our troops’ efforts are critical for the safety and security of our country. To attempt to put a dollar figure on what we are doing in Iraq does a disservice to the work our troops are doing to make our children and theirs safer.

Smith added: There isn’t a Member of Congress who appreciates the sacrifices of our troops more than Mr. Boehner. In fact, the reason he visited Iraq was to thank our troops for their service on behalf of our country and take a firsthand look at the progress on the ground that Democrats are so desperate to ignore. He had lunch with troops from Ohio today. Mr. Boehner is doing everything he can to ensure our troops come home after victory, not defeat, and General Petraeus has outlined a responsible strategy to do just that.

But we need to take a look at exactly what Wolf Blitzer asked the Congressman. Here it is again:
Mr. Leader, here is the question. How much longer will U.S. taxpayers have to shell out $2 billion a week or $3 billion a week as some now are suggesting the cost is going to endure, the loss and blood the Americans who are killed every month, how much longer do you think this commitment, this military commitment, is going to require?" [emphasis added]
Blitzer, at the very least, was not asking about just the money spent, but also about the number of American servicemen killed or wounded. The fact that Boehner is now trying to ignore that part of the question qualifies as a major spin.

So far there's been little coverage from the MSM (even CNN). At least it's not a botched joke from John Kerry - now that would have been news! Karen Tumulty at Time, after quoting Senator John McCain excusing Boehner's comment as a "he misspoke" moment, says:
Meanwhile, over at Think Progress, they have Boehner's response to the criticism he is getting, as well as the full question he was asked. Looking at the transcript, it appears this is one where it's going to be hard to take a mulligan.
For those who don't play golf, a "mulligan" is a "do-over."

Some other reactions.

DNC Chair Howard Dean:
House Republican Leader John Boehner’s comments yesterday are deplorable and he should apologize immediately. Our brave men and women who have given their lives in service to our country and their families have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to say anything less is insulting to their memories and service. Republicans stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that their Iraq policy is a failure, our troops are mired in a civil war and we’re not making the necessary political progress on the ground. Bohener’s comments show how truly out of touch the Republicans are. The loss of a son or daughter is never a small price to pay, especially for a policy which was initiated by Republicans who misled the nation about why we are there. The war in Iraq must end. We need to bring our troops home.
Senator John Kerry:

What a stunningly cavalier statement about the lives of the young men and women who serve our country.

Whether you support or oppose the Bush escalation, no American should ever for even a moment think the cost of war is small.

A single life is a large price to pay for any endeavor. Sometimes, in our national interest, we choose to pay that awful price, but we must always make sure that the policy is worthy of it.

Visit our wounded warriors at Walter Reed hospital and ask whether the price they paid was small. Talk to the mothers, fathers, husbands and wives of those who have been killed and ask them to measure the price of war. Young lives stopped short, children who won't have a mother or father there as they grow up, when they graduate, when they get married -- that loss is many things, but it is not small.
Where is Representative Boehner's apology? And where is an Iraq policy equal to our soldiers' tremedous sacrifice?

We already have a reaction from Boehner's office. No apology is necessary because he's trying the best he can to spin his way out from under his reprehensible statement. Why take responsibility (and apologise) when you can just spin it away? That's how things work for Washington DC Republicans.

Any other reactions from any other Democrats?

Perhaps they should grow a spine and speak up.


Schmuck Shitrock said...

Heeeeey, Chickenhawk John. This post has been up for over 20 minutes. Don't you have some LOLing to do?

You must be so proud that another Chickenhawk (also named John, also a "Boner") is also willing to throw away the lives of thousand of American kids to "support" them.


Anonymous said...

Folks, I'm a Democrat and have been against this war from the beginning. I want our troops home and safe as quickly as possible and am frustrated with the Bush team's ineptitude with the prosecution of the war and unwillingness to change course.

But this is a total over reaction. The way the question was emphasized and Blitzer presented it made it seem like the money was the focus of it. Boehner was reacting to that.

This type of sniping is what's wrong with the entire discussion of these issues. And the Rs do plenty of it if not more. So bit your tongue John K.

Let's stop trying to run down each other pointing out how unpatriotic the Ds or the Rs are and try to figure some way out of this freakin' mess that a completely incompetent President got us into.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

I'm afraid I can't agree, Ms./Mr. Anonymous Democrat. Reaction to Boner's comment has been decidedly understated. The MSM has been deafeningly silent about this incident. Can you imagine the uproar that would have ensued if anyone but a Republican had used the words "small price" -- even accidentally, even in the same paragraph, the same page -- to describe 4,000 American deaths and 30,000 official American wounded? That person would be exiled!

The relatively mild MoveOn ad generated more noise from the press and the blogosphere than Boehner's boner.

There IS no way to get us out of the Mess in Mesopotamia until we have either a less dictatorial "leader" or a Congress with a backbone. Jan '09 is the very earliest we can hope for some relief.

By the way: Why do you hate democracy? (:^}

Whigsboy said...

Agree with Senor Shitrock. This sort of sniping may be what's wrong with our current political discourse, but the wingnuts are the ones who have taken it to a high art form - e.g, using botched jokes by presidential candidates to distract our esteemed MSM for days on end - and the Democrats must learn to do the same.

And, let's face it, these guys DO NOT care about the troops. They continually vote against legislation that would provide real support for the troops - pay raises, improved health care (both mental and physical), funds to get the best equipment into the battlefield quickly, etc. - and the Democrats should use comments like Boehner's to bring up all of those votes over and over and over again.

LOL, John K., LOL.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Thanks for teaming up with me, Whigs, but I'm not sure you caught my point completely.

What I was disagreeing about with AnonDem was his point that this thing is being blown out of proportion. My point was that the reaction is NOT disproportional to the size of the gaffe, but in fact rather muted. That condition is to be attributed to the MSM, and is still another indicator -- number 37,367,940,211 if my count is correct -- that the myth of the liberal press has it bass ackwards.

Of course, it is ALSO true, as you say, that the Right practices the craft of distortion at Mozartian levels, and that the Left must re-acquire that skill set.

WRT whether the Reps care about converting brave young men to cannon fodder, obviously I couldn't possibly agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Just remembr lefties, Osama Bin laden (Dem-Pakistan) and the lefties in the Democrat party want the exact same thing.

Anonymous said...

that has to to be the silliest argument I've ever read.

Osama Bin Laden thinks our tax-debt is "insane" and so do most (if not all) fiscal conservatives.


Osama Bin Laden speaks for Pat Toomey and the Club for Growth.


Anonymous said...

John K. says: OBL (D-Paki) directed his comments at the Democrats. His comment on taxes was a lame attempt to lure conservatives. Needless to say it did not work. But none the less, he did chastise you Democrats for failure to impeach and withdraw from Iraq and even for allowing Bush to be re-elected. He also endorsed the NY Times ad. Yepper, try again. Osama is in your camp. Is he going to be guest speaker at the DNC convention in Denver. LOL LOL sometimes I am so funny I crack myself up LOL

Schmuck Shitrock said...

I am so funny I crack myself up
We knew crack was involved somehow.

Seriously, John, you're actually a lefty, aren't you? Just having fun with us, right? If you were actually a Wingnut, Cheney would have had you killed by now for embarrasing the Republicans so egregiously.

Just a warning: If you really are a Righty, find a cave of your own. Better yet, OBL will be happy to share his with you in return for all the good PR you're giving him.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: LOL LOL! You lefties are more fun than my nightly wacking off to videos of Joe Scarborough!

Anonymous said...

John K. says: So now you have to resort to making up stuff that I said?
Anyway, face it lefties, you lost the PR battle. The Cowboy from Texas took it to you again. You expected at this point in the week to have Republicans deserting the President and running to the arms of Sen. Reid. Both Sen. Reid and Rep. Pelosi were going to introduce legislation calling for immediate troops pull-out, etc. And not a peep from Sen. Schumer after he called the troops incompetent. Even Murtha is running for cover.
And so the troops will see the NY Times and the Chucky Schumer speech and the Frau Hillary refusal to disavow the Moveon.org ad. And those troops will know who is suporting them. And not one piece of legislation will even see the light of day calling for troop pull-out. Bush is the one who decided to downsize, LOL Bush outflanked you. And he did it without Rove.
So who do you blame now? Once again this Texas Cowboy branded you lefties for what you are. We won the PR battle just like we ae winning the war.
And all you got left is this lame blog. So blog away lefties, we own you. LMAO.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

We won the PR battle just like we ae winning the war.
Ahh, Weed Whacker, you much humor!

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Breaking news! Before leaving the White House for the last time today, Alberto "Fredo" Gonzalez was asked to characterize the environment there under the current Dysadministration. Here is a direct quote from Bush's Attorney General: "Over the past two and a half years, I have seen tyranny, dishonesty, corruption and depravity of types I never thought possible. I've seen things I didn't know man was capable of."

Anonymous said...

Just so that we're all clear - the lie about Schumer calling the troops "incompetent" comes straight from a drug addict.

You all do remember that Rush Limbaugh is a drug addict, don't you?

Oxycotin, I believe.

And since he ADMITTED IT ON THE AIR, I think it's safe to say that he's an addict.

So The Addict said that Schumer called the troops "incompetent."

Actually Schumer never used that word. What he DID say (and this is from THE ADDICT'S own website) is this:

The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from Al-Qaeda said to these tribes, "We have to fight Al-Qaeda ourselves." It wasn't that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords took peace here, created a temporary peace here.

Just to be fair, the troops can't do a number of basically impossible tasks, like flying without an airplane, breathing underwater without scuba equipment, or travelling at the speed of light.

Does that mean they're INCOMPETENT?

Of course not.

Just another in a long line of lies from Rush (THE ADDICT) Limbaugh and the rest of the inhabitants of Wingnuttia.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Of course Rush lies to his listeners every day. He IS a Big Fat Liar, you know.

Wouldn't it be great if we could get Master Lie out of the ward to which he was committed and back on 2PJ? Then maybe Mein Heir would also come back and we could combine the two of them with the Ultimate Chickenhawk and become the world's only blog with all three stooges?

I guess we'll never get that level of entertainment.

However, the quality of John's work is already slipping, don't you think? The level of panic seems to rise a tad with each post. He'll probably leave us soon, I fear.

XRanger, you're not quite as much fun, but couldn't you step in a bit more often, put on the fake nose and mustache, and do a little dance with hour hand in your pants?

xranger said...

Well, I wouldn't look like Curly.

More like Groucho Marx.

But, I can do a mean wingnut shuffle...

Sherry said...

now THAT i'd pay to see! ; )

John Schmuck said...

Sell tickets, X. I'll buy one.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: The Democrats are in full spin mode. Just listening to some of them today clearly indicates this a group in a state of confusion. They had clearly thought they would be introducing troop withdrawal bills into congress starting on Monday and now they are wondering if they can do anything. And we are building a huge base in Western Iraq to confront the Iranians. All without any help from the Democrats. Anyone see Rep. Murtha? Is he still in shock. Are Olberman and Matthews still on suicide watch? How did Bush do it again? And this time you lefties can't blame Rumsfield and Rove. LOL LOL and a hearty LMAO.

jaywillie said...

Hrm...John K., methinks you are a twit.

Why would we build a base in "western" Iraq to confront the Irananians, whose country borders "eastern" Iraq?

And if you think your side is winning the PR battle, well...actually, that's not surprising because only the most delusional among us could still support this President, the Republican Party and the failure that is conservatism.

Do you honestly think the President has improved his positions? No one with any sense of intellectual objectivity could make that argument or would bother trying.

And you can't say Osama has more in common with Dems when your supporting the party that let the murderer of 3000 Americans walk the fuck away. Truthfully, his brand of Islam is very similar to the Christian Right - they both want to impose their religious beliefs on other people; they both trumpet the death and destruction of non-believers; they both have no respect for women or civil liberties.

I hope you're right, John K. I hope the Republicans wholeheartedly support this stupid war through the 2008 elections, because they will, just as in 2006, pay a huge electoral price for contriving with this President to pursue the worst foreign policy decision in our history.

Being American is so easy for people like you - thump your chests, wave your flags and support war no matter what the circumstances. In fact, it is a mindset that is diametrically opposed to the very principles that founded this nation. It is one of the most outright unAmerican idealogies and political formulations in our history.

But...it goes with this time in our history when up is down, black is white and war is peace. It makes perfect sense that those who propagate themselves as the "most" American among us are, not surprisingly, the "least" American among us.

Think back. Remember how we were told they hated us for our "freedoms." And who were the first ones to go after our "freedoms"? The very people who thump their chests, wave their flags and shout louder than anyone that they are "true" patriots.

The party of "small government" oversaw the largest and most intrusive expansion of our government's powers. They sold out America along time ago, so it only makes sense they have to scream louder than anyone about how patriotic they are, lest we rightly assign them the blame they have so deserving earned as the most traitorous, contemptous and derivisve political movement in modern American history.

But modern conservatism is dead and John K. sounds like so many forgotten Birchers and segregationists and fearmongers of our past.

When they write the history books, they will say that George W. Bush was the best thing that ever happened for liberalism and the progressive movement.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Today was supposed to be a day of triumph for the left. They were going to make the Sunday talk shows and talk about their troops withdrawal legislation all morning. Coupled with their massive demonstration in the Captial against the war, this was the day.
Instead all you had was some left over hippies saying, Protest, yah, that's cool, what are we protesting and is the food free. So what does the lefty press do? Bring out some lame book Greenspan wrote two days earlier than scheduled so they can use that to trash the President. LMAO this is just too easy. Bush and America win again.

Anonymous said...

No more mention of Senator Schumer from "John K" I see.


When faced with the facts he and the addict at EIB (that would be Rush "get me more oxycotin" Limbaugh) just change the subject.

Typical republicans.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Uh, note to left wing kooks. Limbaugh is no longer an addict. However, Cullen still has ratings below that of KQV. Meanwhile Sen. Kennedy is still a drunk driver and of course Sen. Clinton is still taking illegal campaign contributions from the Chinese. Snmartest woman in America has no idea of who Norman Hsu is. And she wants to be President. Wonder if she can find the State of New York on a map?
OMG, John K. can insult us as well we can insult him. It's not fair, (insert lefty whine in here) LMAO. Make it harder lefties.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

John, you're getting boring. At first you were fun to mock, but since you started mocking yourself, it's just not as much fun. Come on, give us some NEW Chickenhawk stupidity to make fun of, not just the same stuff over and over.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: I'm sorry Schmuck, sometimes the VD related insanity is worse. Damn you Toilet Paper Tommy! You said you would never hurt me and that our love would never leave the mens room. I carry the scars of your betrayal with me and yet I still miss you. Please forgive me lefties. I am lonely.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Now that's mean. Funny. But mean.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Well some left wing kook in here can't deal with reality. Did not post the last comment about 'VD'. Even you shitrock can see the difference in my posts and the person imitating me. Or perhaps you can't. After all you support Democrats.

Wavy Gravy said...

Cullen has lost most of her audience the last couple years. I hope they put a progressive talk show host on to take her place. Their promo on her being the lone liberal, gimme a break. If you ask her that she'll tell you she's no liberal. I did and she did.

Anonymous said...

John K.say: I absolutely understand dealing with reality. I have my own blog. I speak my republican thoughts out loud, in public. Oops! I'm an amonymous troll on someone else's blog. Gee. that makes me a hypocrite.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

John K. says: Well some left wing kook in here can't deal with reality.
Bwaaaaaaaaahahahahaha-a-a-a-a. Next thing you know, some Republican Senator will be accusing me of being gay!