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Friday, October 18, 2013

And now the blame game -- By Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times

Senator Mitch McConnell       Associated Press photoThe blame game begins, and the usual suspects are shooting into their own ranks. If you think you can't hit your own feet, you aim at the toes of someone else.

The Democrats have put their nasties on hold, better to celebrate their victory. Only yesterday, the Democrats in Congress were elbowing each other away from the microphones to see whose fangs could squirt the most poisonous venom. Barbara Boxer called the Republicans "domestic abusers." Nancy Pelosi, having misplaced her meds, shouted "anarchist" and "bomb throwers" and "hijackers" at the likes of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Harry Reid said the Republicans were guilty of "economic treason," whatever that is. He had to add the modifier lest he be called as a witness if Mr. Cruz is to now be put on trial for his life, "treason" being a serious crime. This morning, the Democrats are laying sloppy wet kisses on John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. They'll learn later that love you pay for is expensive at any price.

John McCain, who has never recovered from the memory of how nice the boys on the bus treated him when he was trying to take down George W. in his first race for the White House. He has been trying to recover the love since, like a man trying to rekindle the romance with an ex-wife, couldn't wait to say "I told you so."

He told CNN that the public has been so traumatized by the Republican mischief that "we may still have some gridlock, maybe we'll have continuing resolutions, [but] we're not going to shut down the government again. I guarantee it." Lindsey Graham, his reliable echo, is thought to still be working on his own gloat.

Recriminations are what congressmen do best, and the inspection of the entrails in the wake of the vote will go on for days and weeks, but the real fun will be discovering all the bribes and grease — sometimes called "earmarks" — in the Senate bill, adopted by the House. At first glance, it looks like the usual Christmas tree for congressmen, with more than a little sugar to make the medicine go down. But why not? It's not their money, after all. Mr. McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, got $3 billion for a dam in Kentucky. This is supposed to make Mr. McConnell stand a little taller in the bluegrass, where his re-election campaign is sputtering toward a stall.

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