From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said on the House floor today that by passing health care reform, Democrats “will finally lay the cornerstone of their Socialist utopia on the backs of the American people.”
Earlier today, Nunes brushed off reports of protesters shouting racial epithets at Congressmen, ascribing them at least in part to Democratic “totalitarianism” that makes people “act crazy.”
Today on the House floor, Nunes railed against the Democrats’ plan, saying “this debate is not about the uninsured, it’s about socialized medicine.”
He continued: “For most of the 20th century people fled the ghosts of communist dictators. And now you are bringing the ghosts back into this chamber.”
(Video at TPM link)
But what are they saying in Little Devie Nu-nu’s district? From Bill McEwen at The Fresno Bee:
I want the old Devin Nunes back — the one who was conservative, smart and knew how to get things done for his Congressional district and the Central Valley.
Of late, he’s sounding more like flame-throwers Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck than someone seriously attempting to bring more water to farms and jump-starting our region’s economy.
While Nunes’ cartoon act might play well in the far-right echo chamber, he is undercutting his credibility and his ability to help the Valley.
In a segment on Beck’s television show, Nunes likened the Obama administration’s water policy to Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror in Iraq and Robert Mugabe’s brutal 30-year destruction of Zimbabwe.
The Obama administration deserves criticism for its ignorance of California water issues and its indifference to rural America. But Nunes’ comments were inflammatory and over the top.
Nunes appeared on Beck’s show before House Democrats passed their health-care reform bill. Beck queried Nunes, a Republican, about Democratic wheeling and dealing — in particular the possibility that Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza voted yes in return for increased water deliveries to Valley farmers.
“Are they getting water for their votes?” Beck wanted to know.
Answered Nunes: “Well, I think it’s kind of worse than that. What you have to look at is, we’re only getting 25% of our water [allocation] for 100% of their health-care bill.
“When you look throughout history, Glenn, it’s important to note out that there are a couple of examples — current, recent examples — one being Saddam Hussein, who starved his people of water, and Robert Mugabe, who currently starves his people of water. We have 129% rainfall this year, and what the Obama administration did, they upped the ante from 5% to 25%.”
Later in the show, Beck asked Nunes what he meant “by saying Mugabe and Hussein are the ones who did this? Are you comparing this kind of activity in the United States government now to those guys?”
“Yes,” Nunes said. “It’s a direct comparison because it’s true.”
Such is the state of the Republican Party — marching to the drumbeat of right-wing radio and Fox News commentary. Maybe in Nunes’ case, he is following the orders of his ally and mentor, House Minority Leader John Boehner.
Maybe if the Republicans return to power, Nunes will regain a grasp on reality and show his old form. For now, it’s disappointing to see him hanging out on the fringe.
Oy vey! There’s only one solution that I can think of. Beer summit!!!