When Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled his 2010 Pentagon budget, he asked that politicians:
... rise above parochial interests and consider what is in the best interests of the nation as a whole.
Fat chance. With Gates' announcement that some programs would either be cut back or eliminated, the response hasn't been to explain why a particular program is important - instead, we get garbage like this:
- I am extremely disappointed in this decision by the Obama administration ... giving that advantage up and is willing to sacrifice the lives of American military men and women for the sake of domestic programs favored by President Obama. - Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
- I cannot believe what I heard today. ... President Obama is disarming America. Never before has a president so ravaged the military at a time of war. - Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
- While President Obama's short changing of America's Armed Forces is deeply disappointing, it is - unfortunately - not a surprise. Throughout his campaign and during his short tenure as President, he has made it clear that he believes his charm and eloquence are adequate substitutes for a strong military. - Tom Cole (R-OK)
- The administration’s announcement today of sweeping changes to key defense programs is a significant concern. Even in tough economic times, providing a strong national defense for the American people should remain a top priority of the federal government. - Dan Boren (D-OK)
The standard Republican talking point: Democrats are weak on defense and can't be trusted on national security. And yes, that's
Democrat Blue Dog Dan Boren regurgitating that GOP crap.
To be fair, there are some lawmakers who objected to the announcement for other reasons:
Isakson accused the administration of wanting to "eliminate 2,000 jobs in Marietta" at a time when unemployment is rising. [...]
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., complained that an end to production of the C-17, built mainly in Long Beach, would cost 5,000 jobs. [...]
Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., on Monday also said the end of C-17 production, and well as a recommendation to build fewer F/A-18 jets than he says are needed, would have a "severe impact" on the St. Louis job market.
Of course, I'm not sure if they should be given credit for making a rationale argument against the cuts or drummed out of the Republican Party for admitting that the government can help create jobs.