Our break down of the biggest political fails of the week:
1. Surrender Bob
That’s what an enterprising radio station in San Diego paid a sky writer to put over San Diego to get Mayor Bob Filner to resign. After harassing at least 18 women, it looks like a deal has been struck to get him to do what he should have several weeks ago (if not months or years). First of all, the deal will mean San Diego will be responsible for his legal bills, which is ridiculous. Secondly, local San Diego Democrats, who are clearly desperate to have a Democratic mayor -- something akin to a Blue Moon for the conservative area, rallied in Filner’s defense.
Stay classy, San Diego Democrats.
2. “Ted Cruz is doing a whole lot of fear mongering and is lying to the voters.” -- Nicole Wallace, GOP strategist
Ted Cruz could get multiple entries this week for his failures. First, he had to release his birth certificate, showing he was born in Canada. It's unclear whether that disqualifies him to be president but justifying his citizenship by saying his mother is American completely negates the birther movement if that’s the standard. That’s not his major fail of the week, however.
Cruz failed this week because of the inflammatory and deceitful rhetoric on closing the government over Obamacare and impeachment. When asked at a rally if he supports impeachment, Cruz answered that they 'don't have enough votes in the Senate'. Actually, Obama cannot be impeached because he has not committed the “high crimes and misdemeanors” required to start such proceedings.
3. It’s August 2013, Do You Know what Your Budget Is?
The last time Congress passed a full budget was in 2009. Since then, the US government has been operating the federal government on a series of continuing resolutions (CR), which keep funding levels at what they were last year but only are effective for finite periods of time (they can last anywhere from a day to a year). The reality is that they do not allow agencies to effectively plan for the year. Congress passed a “No Budget, No Pay” bill last year that required both houses to pass respective budgets by April 15 or lawmakers would forfeit their pay (read about that here) so both houses did. The next step in that process is to set up a conference committee to hammer out the differences so final bills could be voted on by the chambers and the president would have something to sign. As of today, August 22, that step has yet to happen.
To make matters worse, we have a House of Representatives hell bent on repealing Obamacare (they vote to defund it every five minutes). They are threatening to use a number of tactics to get this done. They want to refuse to raise the debt ceiling (again), and they are threatening to not pass another CR, which would shut down the government.
In other words, another major political fail.
4. You Need to Be Able to Spell it to Serve in it
Senator Lamar Alexander may be no liberal but he voted for the immigration reform bill so he’s got a primary contender. State Senator Joe Carr announced this week he would challenge Alexander and put up a web site for the new campaign. Not exactly the best start to his run at the Senate:
5. I Was For it Before I Was Against it
New Jersey Governon Chris Christie (R) vetoed gun legislation that he had previously lobbied for -- transparent pandering aimed at propelling his 2016 presidential campaign hopes. This was something that outraged the National Review:
“Those searching for tangible signs that Chris Christie is preparing himself for something bigger than Drumthwacket need look no further than to the comical events of last Friday, on which day Christie vetoed his own gun-control bill. Why else would a man who has one of the worst Second Amendment records in the country choose to go against New Jersey’s political grain in order to kill a measure that he himself had argued for?
Christie used his conditional veto to water down to the vanishing point two proposals that had passed the state’s legislature by comfortable margins. The first of these would have linked gun purchases with legal records on a digital “smart card” available to a number of state agencies, required all New Jerseyans to undergo training before they could own a firearm, and banned all private sales of firearms. Effectively gutting the bill, Christie argued that the requisite technology for smart cards did not exist and that the training and sales provisions were too draconian. A second bill would have banned all future sales of .50-caliber rifles and confiscated those already owned in the state. This one Christie vetoed outright.”
Moves like this may make some on the right like him more, but the long term effect cannot be good. Christie has credibility because he supposedly doesn't pander to anyone. Apparently now he does.
Here is Christie talk about guns before he was for them: