Remember those Netflix radio ads featuring contestants on a fictional quiz show with absurd questions and nonsensical answers that are always correct?
Q: If Jack and Jill went up the hill, then where is Fred?
Q: If a triangle is happy and a square is sad, what is a rectangle?
It’s mildly funny in the Netflix ads. It’s disturbing when a candidate for Congress actually answers questions this way.
This is what Tea-Publican candidate for Congress in CD 2 Martha McSally did in response to the Arizona Republic’s question to House candidates in the state’s swing Districts 1, 2 and 9 whether they support or oppose Rep. Paul Ryan’s GOP budget, and to explain their positions. Arizona U.S. Congress candidates weigh in on budget:
Martha McSally, Republican:
“Washington has a spending problem and I am glad to see a conversation about finally balancing our budget and actually getting our debt under control. We need to work to squeeze efficiency out of each and every department and put an end to egregious duplication and irresponsible oversight.
“However, I will not support any budget that does not include specific language funding the A-10. If I was currently representing southern Arizona, I would be fighting for that language in any budget passed by Congress since Congressman Ron Barber was clearly asleep at the switch when we needed someone fighting for our community and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.”
Q: Do you support or oppose Rep. Paul Ryan’s GOP budget, and explain your position.
I have never seen a candidate so controlled by handlers and so afraid of answering substantive questions from the media. I have speculated previously “it is painfully obvious that Martha McSally is a vacuous candidate who does not know enough about any subject to offer a thoughtful and detailed explanation of her positions. So she continues to hide in the bunker and refuses to offer any detailed explanations of her positions.”
Her response to this question about the Paul Ryan GOP budget only confirms my belief that McSally knows little about the job which she seeks, and is too intellectually incurious and lazy to learn anything about it. The budget is a spending outline — or in the case of the Paul Ryan GOP budget, a political manifesto that is not even a budget.
The A-10 funding that McSally uses like a cudgel is an expenditure that would appear in the Defense appropriations bill, not in the budget. Two separate and distinct measures. After running for Congress for three years, McSally should be expected to know this.
One would think that McSally would try to learn something about the job she seeks. Instead, she demonstrates a lack of intellectual curiosity and lazily parrots the silly talking points provided her by her GOP handlers, which only makes her come off as ignorant and ridiculous as her handlers.
McSally’s GOP primary opponents provided responses to this question from the Arizona Republic that substantively responded to the question.
Chuck Wooten, Republican:
“I have been an outspoken critic of Congressman Ryan’s approach…. Most notably, the provision in the Ryan-Murray budget which reduced (cost-of-living) payments to our nation’s military retirees. While … it is a better alternative to the President’s proposal, it still misses the mark. This budget actually increases spending another $1.116trillion with a ‘promise’ to balance the budget within 10 years.
“This is not the approach America needs at this time. We need to reduce spending now, and cut wasteful programs …and map out a clear path to a balanced budget…. Democrats have an insatiable appetite for increasing spending, which we Republicans hold as reckless and destructive.”
Jim Brown, Republican:
“Coming from the business world, I propose lowering corporate tax rates, overhauling our regulations policies and eliminating the profit-choking, non-productive ones that kill jobs and stifle growth. However, I oppose tax loopholes for giant corporations. As I read it, the budget does nothing to close these loopholes. The answer is ‘no.’ As badly as we need a budget agreement, it’s just as important to get it right. I would not support the bill as is.”
And then there is Shelley Kais, who was a supporter of Martha McSally in 2012, probably because they share the same intellectual incuriosity and lazy reliance on GOP talking points:
Shelley Kais, Republican:
“I support the ‘Ryan budget’ because America is at a tipping point and it provides a blueprint to move forward. Its proposals to put people back to work, reduce excessive spending and duplication by federal agencies, simplify the tax code and lead to a balanced budget will stimulate the economy.
“It strengthens important priorities like national security and Medicare while repealing Obamacare in favor of health-care reform that is focused on the patient. The Ryan budget … allows states more flexibility to tailor programs such as Medicaid and food stamps to their needs and not Washington’s.”
Yeah, none of that is even remotely true. Here is the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on the latest iteration of the Paul Ryan GOP budget. Ryan Roundup 2014: Everything You Need to Know About Chairman Ryan’s Latest Budget. Study up, ladies.
Is this really the best that the Republican Party has to offer?