Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cap'n Mike versus the Porkulus

Cap'n Mike Caldwell, the possibly mythical Middletown corporate jet pilot and spewer of right-wing talking points, is back in the pages of the Newport Daily News. The fact that he was discovered to be using fake quotes culled from right-wing chain emails to attack House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then-Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama hasn't kept him from vomiting forth more of his worthless opinions, nor has it kept the NDN from printing them.

Tuesday saw another warm, steaming pile of wingnuttery deposited on the paper's op-ed page under the title "Stimulus bill avoids hard choices." I won't bother with a line-by-line rebuttal this time, because Cap'n Mike drivel just isn't worth it. Instead, I'll provide the text of my emailed response to the paper. I'll let you know if they print it.

In his Guest View piece on March 3, "Stimulus bill avoids hard choices," Captain Mike Caldwell spends a lot of time worrying that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan (which he refers to simply as "the $787 billion spending package") has "no clear direction, no feedback mechanism, no system and no means to determine or measure success or failure" of its "ostensible objectives." As such, says Capt. Caldwell, "no hard choices need be made regarding either cuts in government spending or distinguishing among key economic determinants or programs."

If I were a cynical man, I might think that Capt. Caldwell was engaging in mere partisan sniping, since his worries about hard choices being left unmade would have been more timely a few years ago, when President George W. Bush and his Republican allies in Congress were spending money like drunken sailors. But I am a stranger to cynicism, so I will assume that Capt. Caldwell actually wrote this piece in 2004 or so, and mislaid it, and only recently found it again, and decided to have it published after updating the names.

If that is the case, then I salute Capt. Caldwell for his wise words. President Bush did indeed defer hard choices, and the result has indeed been, as Capt. Caldwell presciently says, "a recipe for disaster." I only wish Capt. Caldwell hadn't mislaid his wise words, so he could have delivered them five years ago when they actually needed to be said.

UPDATE: Well, they printed it in the weekend edition, but it was overshadowed by a longer, better letter by Thomas R. Beall of Middletown.

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