There's stupid and then there is teh stupid. Rep. Phil Gingrey has never been known to be the brightest bulb in the bag, but still...this was really fu&*ing stupid:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) lamented in a closed-door meeting Wednesday that his staff can get rich as lobbyists while he is "stuck here making $172,000," according to the National Review Online. NRO's Jonathan Strong reports that Gingrey said that staff may not make a lot of money on Capitol Hill, “but in a few years they can just go to K Street and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000.”
During the meeting, Republicans discussed a proposal to exempt lawmakers and their staff from a new law requiring them to participate in federal health-care exchanges.
Now there are many.any, many, many politicians as stupid as Gingrey, but just for the day he wears the title.
By the way, Gingrey isn't wrong about staffers and lobbyists, but to cry about only making $172,000 is especially insulting in the economic world that we live in. He's also probably tired of seeing the rich underbelly of the GOP reap all the rewards that he works so hard to give them.
Digby explains how it works:
Here's how that works: A lobbyist says to a staff member that he likes the cut of her jib, thinks she's very smart and has a big future in DC. He tells her to "stay in touch" and when she's ready to change jobs, give him a call. From that time on, she's thinking about his offer and that 500k a year. How do you suppose that affects her analysis and advice for the Representative or Senator she works for?
They don't have to bribe them outright. They just have to tell them they like them. Easy as pie.
You may have forgotten that at one time Phil Gingrey had the audacity to criticize Rush Limbaugh and before you could spell Mississippi, he apologized to the all-powerful RushBo.
MSNBC's David Shuster had a segment this morning examining whether or Rush Limbaugh has become thede facto leader of the Republican Party. He and commentator Lawrence O'Donnell largely came to the conclusion that he had, despite the protests from such congressional Republicans as Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.
Of course, Limbaugh has been the acknowledged leader of the Conservative movement for quite some time. And ever since Reagan, the GOP has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the same movement. So it seems like kind of a silly question, like asking whether Steve Jobs is the de facto leader of Apple.
Still, as O'Donnell adroitly observes, this is a huge gift for Democrats. Go, Rush, go!
If there were any lingering questions about this, only a little while later, Andrea Mitchell brought us the news that Gingrey had caved and even called up Limbaugh's show to abjectly apologize.
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) apologized Wednesday to “my fellow conservatives” for comments critical of talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh – saying he sees “eye-to-eye” with Limbaugh and that his remarks defending House Republican leadership came across more harshly than intended.
He also took issue with a headline on a Politico story about his comments, saying he never told Limbaugh to “back off,” as the headline read.
“I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives—that was not my intent,” Gingrey said in a statement. “I am also sorry to see that my comments in defense of our Republican Leadership read much harsher than they actually were intended, but I recognize it is my responsibility to clarify my own comments.”
Gingrey said he issued the statement because of a high volume of calls and correspondence to his office after the Politico article and wanted to speak directly to “grassroots conservatives. Let me assure you, I am one of you. I believe I was sent to Washington to fight for and defend our traditional values of smaller government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, and the lives of the unborn.”