Republican Senator Embarrasses Self, Senate
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It's hardly surprising that members of Congress would be reluctant to accept Defense Secretary Robert Gates' efforts to restructure military spending. Gates' proposal is a rather dramatic effort at reform, and for lawmakers who've grown attached to Pentagon-related pork, the administration's proposal shakes up the status quo.
But while some resistance was inevitable, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a constant embarrassment to himself and the Senate, is once again breaking new grounds of indecency.
In a YouTube video that is getting linked around the conservative blogosphere, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) attacked Defense Secretary Robert Gates' 2010 defense budget recommendations, though he aimed his criticism at President Obama instead of Gates. Speaking from Afghanistan, Inhofe declared that "President Obama is disarming America. Never before has a president so ravaged the military at a time of war."
Specifically, Inhofe charges Obama with cutting funding for "our troops in the field during an ongoing war."
In the video, Inhofe adds, "Here in Afghanistan, while the war is intensifying and the number of U.S. forces increases at the direction of President Obama, he undercuts those he sends into harm's way. It is not just unbelievable ... it is unconscionable."
Of course, Inhofe is either lying or he's a fool. (It's so hard to tell.) Following the recommendations of its Republican defense secretary, the Obama administration is increasing military spending from $513 billion under Bush to $534 billion in 2010. Inhofe, who's never been accused of being the sharpest crayon in the box, is making a series of ridiculous war-related accusations that don't make any sense at all. "Disarming America"? "Ravaging the military at a time of war"? "Undercutting" the troops? Even by Inhofe standards, this is blisteringly stupid.
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."