I know what tender feelings our elected officials have, but there's no friendly way to point out that someone is a coward -- and yes, that's what Sen. Claire McCaskill is. Rather than make the case for the many, many unemployed people of her district, rather than rub the Republicans' noses in the fact that they have all the money in the world for tax cuts but none for the single most useful stimulus available, Claire simply throws up her hands and says, "But the Republicans won't let us!"
What kind of Democrat isn't even going to try to help her constituents unless the Republicans first give her permission? Is this a game of Mother May I? And is this what passes for leadership in the political class?
I have one thing to say to Sen. McCaskill: Shame on you.
During a Tuesday visit to a factory in St. Charles, Mo., Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said she opposed extending federal unemployment benefits."I'm not for extending the unemployment benefits any further," McCaskill said in response to a question from local TV station KMOV before saying she would support a continued payroll tax cut.It's not clear from McCaskill's statement whether she is opposed to giving the unemployed additional weeks of benefits or if she opposes renewing the existing extra weeks of aid.
Members of Congress have frequently been confused on unemployment legislation. McCaskill's office did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.[
UPDATE: McCaskill's office says additional context omitted from KMOV's report would show that she was responding to a question about giving the unemployed extra weeks of benefits. Her office said she supports preserving the existing extended benefits.
"Claire continues to fully support unemployment benefits for people who have lost their jobs by no fault of their own as a result of the struggling economy. This includes up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, expanding benefits beyond 99 weeks -- as some suggest -- is unaffordable and unrealistic because of staunch opposition in the House."]
Oh well! There you go! Wouldn't want to upset anybody...
Further extensions of unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless will need all the congressional support they can get. The federal benefits, which can last up to 73 weeks for workers who exhaust the standard 26 weeks of state benefits, are scheduled to expire at the beginning of 2012. Republicans oppose keeping the benefits because of their significant cost to the government -- as much as $60 billion a year.
I mean, you wouldn't want anyone to do anything like add up the costs of the war and Republican tax cuts and compare it to the actual human suffering of your constituents. Because that would be rude, and we wouldn't want to upset the comity of the Senate.