If you haven't seen Fark.com, you should take a look. It's a kind of one-line news aggregator with one-word commentary: e.g., dumbass: Man insures his honeybees. Often the observations on the events are hilarious. But you wouldn't or shouldn't at least consider them serious news commentary. But when it comes to the stimulus bill, worth something like a trillion dollars, this is the kind of discourse one is treated to. Thus, Charles Krauthammer:
It's not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It's not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.
It's the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus — and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress's own budget office says won't be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.
Not just to abolish but to create something new — a new politics where the moneyed pork-barreling and corrupt logrolling of the past would give way to a bottom-up, grass-roots participatory democracy. That is what made Obama so dazzling and new. Turns out the "fierce urgency of now" includes $150 million for livestock (and honeybee and farm-raised fish) insurance.
Most of Krauthammer's piece is an argumentum ad Obamam–anything short of Jesus spells failure for the politics of hope, etc. But the evidence for the old-school hope-crushing ways of Obama (with respect to the stimulus) from (a now suspicious of a fear-mongering government) Krauthammer is a couple of miniscule farkish examples: Honeybee insurance!
It seems self-evident that there are philosophical differences between the two parties on the nature of the stimulus package–after all, ipse dixit!–and perhaps the readers of the Post could be favored with a discussion of those differences, rather than a series of childish and context-free examples of government waste and feigned disappointment at Obama's not being Jesus.