TheDC Morning: Tom Coburn caught between a rock and a Norquist

Mike Riggs Contributor
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1.) Democrats ditch civility, deploy d-d-d-dangerous rhetoric to describe Paul Ryan’s budget plan — Democrats have apparently forgotten about the harsh rhetoric that they claim sparked the Tucson shooting in January during which Rep. Gabrielle Gifford and more than a dozen others were shot. What else could explain Democrats’ efforts to enrage sensitive walker-reliant and wheelchair-bound Americans with the following “harsh” and “vitriolic” rhetoric: “Make no mistake about it, the Ryan budget is a war on seniors”; “Republicans are literally trying to kill Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid”; “This Republican path to poverty passes like a tornado through seniors’ nursing homes.” That’s called “new tone,” folks. How it differs from “old tone,” we haven’t the slightest.

2.) Lefty organizers just know they can get rowdy, if given the chance — “If video of angry constituents haranguing members of Congress over healthcare reform captured the tone of that policy debate, Democrats and their allies hope that similar clips will emerge in 2011 to define the coming battle over Medicare and entitlement reform,” reports The Hill. “On Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee published a roundup of town-hall events titled ‘Town Hall Meeting Alert: House Republicans Under Fire For Voting to End Medicare.’ The roundup described town halls around the country as ones where Republicans faced ‘tough questions’ about their support for the Ryan budget.” When asked if he voted to “end” Medicare by agreeing to vote for Ryan’s budget, Freshman Pat Meehan responded, “No ma’am, I did not vote to abolish Medicare. And that is factually untrue.” Meehan is able to say that confidently because he is not waiting to pass Ryan’s bill to find out what’s in it.

3.) Washington’s electric car owners to lose privileged status — The government of Washington state recently realized that if an electric car driver never has to stop for gas, he/she will never pay gas taxes, meaning an increasing number of Washington cars aren’t paying for the wear and tear they cause with their tiny hybrid tires. “Electric vehicles put just as much wear and tear on our roads as gas vehicles,” a Washington pol told the AP. But a consumer advocacy group that bitches and moans on behalf of electric car owners said that the flat tax was unfair, and that it would be more reasonable to allow car owners to voluntarily submit their odometer readings once a year, and calculate the fee based on that. Said the pro-electric car lobbyists, without a hint of irony, “The danger you get into is if you treat electric vehicles in some radically different way than you treat the rest.”

4.) First Amendment suspended in order to ‘keep the peace’ — “A judge late Friday sent two Florida pastors to jail for refusing to post a $1 bond and barred them from visiting a Dearborn mosque or its adjacent property for three years unless the mosque’s leadership says otherwise. After a short time in jail they left on $1 bond each,” reports the Detroit Free Press. Free speech advocates and constitutional experts are up in arms over the decision, none so loud as the ACLU: “The prosecutor’s office and the Dearborn court turned the First Amendment on its head. What happened today should never have happened.”

5.) Coburn tries to talk Gang of Six into putting boomers on the cat food diet — “You can’t have Medicare out of the equation,” Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “You can’t have Medicaid out of the equation. To lead on this issue and create a false predicate that says we can solve our problems without addressing our entitlements hurts the country.” While Coburn may win some accolades for staying firm on entitlement reform, he’s getting nothing but the Bronx cheer from arch-nemesis Grover Norquist, who recently said of Coburn’s budget cutting goals, “Coburn said on national TV today that he lied his way into office and will vote to raise taxes if he damn well feels like it, never mind what he promised the citizens of Oklahoma.” Not to mention what he promised Grover Norquist, assuming he promised him anything!

6.) Crazy pillheads may decide future of the Republic — “Florida Republicans are taking advantage of the state’s size and swing-voting status to try to make this the decisive state in the 2012 Republican primary contest. If they’re successful, Republicans in Florida, more than any other state, could pick the nominee to run against President Barack Obama in 2012,” reports Tampa Bay Online. “In 2008, Florida’s January primary made John McCain the clear frontrunner in the race, effectively ending Rudy Giuliani’s campaign and leaving Mitt Romney as McCain’s only significant competitor.” Can you imagine what it’s going to take to get Florida ready for primary season? It will be like cleaning Bejing before the olympics, except instead of smog and trash, they will have to sweep Oxycontin right off the sidewalk.

VIDEO: Hume: ‘If the election were held today in my view, Barack Obama would lose. He might lose big’

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