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Monday, October 21, 2013

Tea Party's Concern for Veterans is Short-Lived

During the shutdown, Rep. Blake Farenthold was one of the 'bagger reps exploiting veterans for political gain. When veterans learned that the WWII Memorial was closed, Farenthold was right there, making sure the barricades were pulled away. See, during a government shutdown, the real important thing is not making sure that families have food assistance, that homeless shelters remain open, or that the families of soldiers killed in action received death benefits. No, what was really important was to get plenty of photos of Rep. Blake Farenthold and other Republicans gladhanding vets, blackslapping each other, and generally acting like moving a temporary fence was pretty much equal to landing at Normandy themselves.

"Today, I was proud to join some of my fellow Texas members in welcoming WWII veterans from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area 'Honor Flight' to the World War II Memorial in D.C.," Farenthold said in a Facebook statement at the time. "These heroes made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our nation - and no barricade should prevent them from visiting their memorial."

Strictly speaking, the "ultimate sacrifice" would be dying, since "ultimate" means "last." So they haven't actually made that sacrifice for Blake Farenthold's freedom quite yet -- but Blake's working on that.

Burnt Orange Report: Farenthold sat down with Kristv news to discuss what exactly the shutdown did to the country and his motives for supporting it.

Kristv news quickly pointed out that many of Farenthold's constituents have said they will not vote for him again. Kristv asked Farenthold about the people who say he's lost their vote; people like retired veterans who were on the verge of losing their disability checks next month.

"I feel like my mandate when I was elected was to go reduce the size of government, lower taxes, and increase freedom, and freedom isn't free, and sometimes you have to make a small sacrifice to move forward with what you're after," Congressman Farenthold said.


So visiting a pile of marble in Washington, DC? Farenthold will move heaven and earth to make sure vets can do that.  Paying those same vets their disability benefits? Well, sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Freedom isn't free. Blake knows this because of his sacrifice in... Well OK, he's never actually served anywhere other than as a talk radio blowhard.

If you get the feeling that Farenthold is scum, you're not alone. And he's hardly unique. The government shutdown caused tremendous damage to the country, while accomplishing absolutely nothing other than getting this people's faces on the news. That was it. That was the whole freakin' point. Everyone else had to make sacrficies for them, because they think they're the only people in the world who matter.

Joe Conason: ...We probably will not know the full cost of the shutdown and the near-default for several months, if ever, but fresh estimates are now arriving daily. According to Standard and Poor’s, the financial ratings agency, the shutdown alone reduced economic activity in the United States by at least $24 billion and cut growth in the current quarter by as much as 0.6 percent. That means a loss of thousands of jobs and billions in household income just when the economy would traditionally surge upward for the holiday season.

But that is just the beginning of a much grimmer inventory of suffering, which can be traced back more than two years to the first episode of tea party debt-ceiling bluster. For that assessment, we can look to none other than the Peter G. Peterson Foundation—named for its creator, a former Republican commerce secretary and fanatical fiscal hawk whose latest contribution to public discourse is a thorough study, with charts, of “the cost of crisis-driven fiscal policy.” Peterson’s full study is worth reading, but its essential points are simple enough.
That's on top of the sequester. None of this histrionic grandstanding actually did the country any good, much the same way that forcing open the WWII Memorial alleviated no suffering nor improved anyone's lives. When it comes to fulfilling our promises to veterans, to making sure that the American taxpayer receives the services those taxes pay for, to seeing to it that people have the bare minimum it takes to survive, Republican are more than ready so sadly inform you freedom isn't free. But when it comes to empty gestures that guarantee face time with news cameras, freedom is totally free -- just like it is at tax time, when paying for freedom isn't so metaphorical and everyone has to do it. The people who, like Blake Farenthold, remind us of the cost of freedom are the same ones who work overtime to make sure they never have to pay their fair share for it. Freedom isn't free when it's your ass on the line, but when it's Farenthold's wallet?

Yeah, it's free as sunshine.

When some 'bagger rep tells you how much they love America. Go ahead and laugh. They love it not. If they did, they wouldn't spend so much time slapping it and the American citizen around.


[photo via]

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