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On MSNBC this morning, Norah O’Donnell had GOoPer Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) on the ropes before turning his own words against him, very effectively, I might add.  The topic was President Obama’s stimulus package.  McCarthy, not much of an original thinker himself, was parroting the usual GOP talking points about tax cuts, and their presumed value for stimulating the economy, vs. spending on infrastructure and other long-neglected initiatives.

McCarthy, perhaps as a result of selective memory, failed to recall or acknowledge that the Bush tax cuts, that benefited the most-well-endowed among us, did little, if anything, to stimulate our economy or create jobs.  In retrospect, it would appear that the Bush tax cuts may have indeed, had the opposite effect. Kevin McCarthy is no intellect, but then again, that is not a principal qualification for elected office in California’s 22nd Congressional District.  It’s all about God, Guns, and Gays.  This is the community that once banned (and burned) copies of John Steinbeck’s "The Grapes of Wrath."  But I digress....

McCarthy is heir to the seat held by former, disgraced Ways and Means Committee Chair, Bill Thomas. Not widely known, even to most of his adoring constituents, Thomas admitted to an extra-marital affair with a lobbyist from Big Pharma.  The affair took place roughly during the time that Thomas was feverishly "drafting" portions of the now-discredited Medicare prescription drug bill.  It has been alleged that the gal-pal may have been the actual author.  Meanwhile, in the background, young Kevin McCarthy was being groomed for great things and finds himself easily elected to the California State Assembly, where Republicans often go to die.  Just as the Abramoff scandal begins to gain momentum, Thomas suddenly announces his retirement, at the peak of his power no less, and McCarthy is a shoe-in for the seat in this ultra-conservative district.  Mr. McCarthy, like our former president, woke up on third base believing that he hit a triple.

So McCarthy was holding forth on MSNBC this morning and attempting to discredit Obama’s approach to stimulating our economy.  He tried, but failed, to imply that the Dems were proposing spending on family planning as a pillar of their strategy.  But it was during his insistence on more and bigger tax cuts that he dug a hole for himself.  Norah O’Donnell was right there to call him on it.  McCarthy looked like a deer in the headlights as he made a futile attempt to respond to O’Donnell’s claim that similar cuts during the Bush administration, aimed specifically at small businesses, failed to create sustainable jobs.  Without appearing mean or aggressive (in a Katie Couric way), O’Donnell exposed McCarthy and his GOoPer colleagues for what they are really about – obstruction.

Originally posted to mojave mike on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:04 AM PST.

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