Minor – Barbour talks ‘pure hog wash’ on Fox

Does Haley tell Sean anything about how the Obama stimulus money plugged gaping holes in the Mississippi budget? He does not.

No, he tears into the stimulus package with all the pat phrases from the Republican Party playbook. “Too much spending on social policy and not enough on infrastructure,” Barbour repeats, followed by the old GOP standby: “not enough tax cuts.”

Adding, of course, “It would make a lot more sense if they’d given states more discretion over how to spend the money.” Translation: give me say-so on where to put the money (we all remember how Barbour shifted $600 million in Katrina money intended to rebuild housing on the devastated Gulf Coast to the Port of Gulfport’s 10-year old expansion plan that includes creating casino/hotel sites.)

What were the “social policy” programs Barbour told Fox viewers were wrongly included in Obama’s recovery package?

Did that apply to the $160 million stimulus money that made it possible to fully fund Mississippi’s K-12 education program, saving 4500 teachers’ jobs; or $133 million ARRA money for Title 1 to aid poverty students or another $122.3 million for school children with disabilities? Or the $164 million ARRA money that saved the fiscally troubled Medicaid program and its 600,000 vulnerable clients? Or the $177 million to the Department of Transportation for shovel-ready projects that will put hundreds of Mississippians to work?

On the Hannity show, Barbour sounded more like a hopeful to be on the GOP’s 2112 ticket, veering off into water over his head on foreign policy and military preparedness. He roundly criticized President Obama’s recent meetings with Russia’s two top leaders, and his agreement that both U.S. and Russia would reduce to 1600 their nuclear warheads. The Mississippi governor charged “it is no time to dismantle our nuclear arsenal to have a charm offensive with the Russians.”

Barbour said that his hero, Ronald Reagan, would never have done such a thing, insisting that Ronnie “showed the world the Russians couldn’t compete with us” in nuclear weaponry.

Obviously Barbour didn’t know or conveniently forgot that Reagan, meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986, stunned NATO allies and his aides by proposing both the U. S. and the Soviet Union scrap all of their nuclear weapons.

Reagan aides quickly went into damage control, attributing Reagan’s off-handed nuclear giveaway to a brief lapse of memory, and assured the Russian team just to forget what he said. Makes Obama’s nuclear agreement with the Russian leaders small potatoes by comparison.

Barbour’s Fox News sortie into the foreign policy minefield brings to mind his unmemorable 1982 Senate race against aging Sen. John Stennis when he tried to portray Stennis, then one of the hawkish of war hawks in Congress, as soft on standing up to the Soviets in the Cold War.

Mississippians then saw that Barbour was talking pure hogwash and soundly defeated him.

Bill Minor
The Neshoba Democrat
7/15/9