First a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.
Many of us worry that some Republicans in the Senate and the House don't have the public interest at heart - that they put special interests ahead of our common well-being. We worry that these Republicans are too influenced by greed or fear or hatred. However, some Republicans are just mind-numbingly stupid. Here are three such cases from the last 24-hours or so:
Louisiana: How amazingly stupid is Hookerlover David Vitter?
A Louisiana senator is stalling Florida emergency management director Craig Fugate's nomination as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Fugate had sailed through his nomination hearing and Monday cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by a unanimous voice vote. Republican Sen. David Vitter said, however, that he'd blocked Fugate because of concerns he has with FEMA.
"I have a hold on the FEMA nomination because I sent a list of hurricane recovery questions and projects to FEMA, many of which have not been adequately addressed," Vitter said in a statement. "I'm eager to get full responses and meet with the nominee immediately."
The hold -- which comes a month before the start of hurricane season -- was reported in CQ Today, a Capitol Hill newspaper, which noted that Vitter's home state "bore the brunt of the botched agency response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005."
At that time, FEMA was led by Michael Brown, who had little emergency management experience. Fugate, however, garnered widespread praise for deft handling of back-to-back hurricanes in Florida and won bipartisan support at his confirmation hearing and was expected to be confirmed swiftly.
Vitter, who represents Katrina-ravaged Louisiana, is delaying a qualified FEMA director one month before the start of hurricane season. And he's delaying the widely-acclaimed pick because he is awaiting answers from FEMA. Well, Hookerlover, maybe you'd get those answers more quickly if FEMA had a director who could respond to you, dolt.
North Carolina: Freshman Republican backbencher Richard "Bank Run" Burr really doesn't get it. Typically a guy who receives little to no press coverage for anything, he received a mountain of terrible press coverage when it spread that he told his wife to rush the ATMs when the fiscal crisis was brewing - behavior that would have crippled the economy had too many Americans done what "Bank Run" Burr did. And what did "Bank Run" Burr learn from the experience?
Burr's comments spread across the blogosphere and were slammed as irresponsible. Some suggested he was encouraging a bank run. Now, Burr says he has no regrets and would do the same thing again.
"Absolutely I'd do it [again]," Burr told WFAE, a public radio station in North Carolina. "The exact situation we were faced with was a freeze bank to bank. And as I stated, my attempt was to make sure my wife had enough cash at home to make it through the next week."
But Burr added that the bank in question was never in trouble, which raises questions about why he feared it would run out of cash.
"It was not an attempt to run a bank," Burr said. "Nor was it a bank that was even considered then or now to be in trouble."
So not only is "Bank Run" Burr too dense to get why people might have been disquieted by his behavior, but he also doesn't even realize his own lack of logic - if the bank wasn't in trouble, why did he need to rush the ATMs?! Keep on digging, "Bank Run" Burr.
Missouri: Yes, Republican Congresscritter Roy Blunt said the following:
"Just because we're in a situation now where we vote no doesn't mean we are the 'party of no' or have no ideas."
Dumbfounded? Awestruck? Contribute to Missouri Secretary of State and likely 2010 Democratic Senate nominee Robin Carnahan.