Dedicated to David Brooks, Christopher Buckley, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, and the rest of the right-wing intelligentsia who knew a solution-minded centrist when they saw one. The occasion for this reminiscence is the news that this year’s deficit has now hit $1.4 trillion — a drop in the bucket compared to what we’re in for over the next decade, and rest assured, every last cent of it will be blamed on George Bush and the recession. But pay attention: The point of the clip isn’t simply to beat up on The One for his profligacy but to tie it to his warnings about military decline, a timely point given our new “arrangement” in Afghanistan. One would think that a guy who was planning a major escalation of a war if elected would be extra careful not to go passing any new budget-busting domestic programs in the meantime. And yet, somehow, we’ve arrived at the opposite outcome, with an almost trillion-dollar health-care bill on the table and the escalation on the brink of being canceled now that we’ve re-classified the enemy out of existence. Looking back, it almost seems as though he was deliberately lying on the trail about Afghanistan and fiscal responsibility to get elected, doesn’t it?
Oh, in case you missed it in the update to Ed’s post earlier: The Cato Institute says that Baucus’s supposed deficit-reducing bill is going to cost a bit more than expected.