Saturday, November 10, 2012

Johnson, Baldwin trade barbs on understanding the budget

Sen.-elect Baldwin has more Congressional experience than "senior" Sen. Johnson

With the election of Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate, Wisconsin now sees an ideological split in their delegation to the upper chamber. Baldwin, a liberal Democrat, joins Ron Johnson, a conservative Republican, who now serves as the Senior Senator from the Badger state.

Johnson has taken the role quite seriously -- in fact, a little TOO seriously. In an interview with the Associated Press, Johnson has stated that he hopes Baldwin will take the opportunity to learn a thing-or-two from him:
Hopefully I can sit down and lay out for her my best understanding of the federal budget because they’re simply the facts,” he said. “Hopefully she’ll agree with what the facts are and work toward common sense solutions.”
Johnson also added that he felt the only reason Obama won was because people were apparently just too stupid:
Johnson attributed Obama’s win on the heels of those Republican gains in Wisconsin to an uninformed electorate who voted in this election but not in the Walker recall.
“If you aren’t properly informed, if you don’t understand the problems facing this nation, you are that much more prone to falling prey to demagoguing solutions. And the problem with demagoguing solutions is they don’t work,’ Johnson said. “I am concerned about people who don’t fully understand the very ugly math we are facing in this country.”
Wasting no time, Sen.-elect Baldwin responded, explaining she doesn't need any help with mathematics, thank-you-very-much:
I was a double major in college in mathematics and political science, and I served for six years on the House Budget Committee in my first six years in the House,” Baldwin responded in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday.

“And I am very confident that when proposals come before the U.S. Senate, I will be able to evaluate them as to how they benefit or harm middle-class Wisconsinites. A yardstick of ‘does it create jobs,’ ‘does it lower the deficit’ and ‘does it help grow the middle class’ is an important one. I’m quite confident that I have those abilities,” she added.
Johnson’s assertion that he has to “lay out the facts” to Baldwin is laughable. Besides having served on the House Budget Committee, Baldwin was first elected to Congress in 1998 -- a full twelve years before Johnson even ran for the Senate against Russ Feingold.

What’s more, Baldwin’s career in governance -- she served in the state Assembly from 1993 to 1998 before serving in the U.S. Congress -- demonstrates that she knows the ins and outs of how to work in a legislative setting.

It’s absurd that Johnson believes he has to teach Baldwin something about the budget. If anything, Johnson could benefit from learning a thing or two from Baldwin, who has nearly 20 years of legislative experience, compared to Johnson’s two.

Johnson’s ignorance on Baldwin’s breadth of experience is telling of who the man really is. We’re fortunate to have a figure like Tammy take the second-half of our Senate delegation, if only to cancel out the arrogance and ignorance of our so-called “senior” Senator Ron Johnson.

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