Tuesday, January 16, 2007

You Crack Me Up, Senator Craig

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) released an editorial last week on his web site -- though I can't seem to find any newspapers actually running it -- in which he is already whining about being in the Senate's minority party.

Or maybe he's making a joke…

Are you ready for this? He, as a Republican, is complaining about what little bipartisanship the Democrats are showing after being kicked in the groin on a daily basis by the GOP when Bill Frist was Majority Leader and Republicans ruled the roost.

"'Bipartisanship' is defined as something 'marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties' - at least, that's what Merriam-Webster tells us," writes Craig in a hilarious editorial called Bipartisanship is a Two-Way Street. "To many Democrats in the new Congress, however, bipartisanship means a one-way street, where conservatives should vote for liberal policies."

It's pretty raw hypocrisy for Craig to even open his mouth about this -- much less just days after the new Congress commenced -- considering that he's long been a part of a Republican majority that killed almost every piece of legislation brought to the Senate floor by Democrats. (And don’t even get me started on the Democratic bills that didn’t even make it out of committee.)

But what's even more amazing is what Craig is sniffling about -- or, again, maybe I just don’t give him credit for being the class cut-up of the new minority party.

"In the first days of the 110th Congress, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives already passed new pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules that will restrain tax relief and make tax increases easier to approve," he wrote.

In other words, those big, nasty fiscal watchdogs in the Democratic party are going to stop all the tax breaks for wealthy Republican donors until the United States isn’t up to its eyeballs in hock to China -- wow, that's gotta be rough.

Now get ready for the real side-splitter: Craig then goes on to talk about how Democrats should be prepared to load up the minimum wage bill that passed the House last week with a bunch of tax cuts because "President Bush agreed to a minimum wage hike in the name of bipartisanship."

Oh, good heavens, I almost wet myself on that one. That "in the name of bipartisanship" part is what really got me.

And let's not forget that Bush has no choice but to "agree" to a minimum wage increase because it's going to happen no matter what he says, he won't veto it and, even if he did, not many Republicans would hang with such an unpopular president on legislation that almost all Americans want passed.

But Craig saves the best for last. Now remember, this is one of the Republicans who helped snuff most Democratic initiatives over the last four years and who would have easily voted to kill the filibuster as the minority party's only vestige of procedural control in the 109th Congress.

"I want to make clear that Republicans' new status in the minority does not mean a blank check for liberal policies," says the Idaho Republican. "Real bipartisanship means give-and-take on both sides of an issue, not one side giving and the other side taking. Real bipartisanship is a two-way street."

Let's have a big hand for Larry Craig, ladies and gentlemen. Tip your waitresses.