Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stage Fright

There I was in the men's room at the Marriott Hotel in Monterey, CA yesterday afternoon, and who should be next to me taking care of business but Alan K. Simpson, the former Republican Senator from Wyoming, and recent co-chair of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility aka The Catfood Commission.  (He is a very tall man, by the way.)

There was so much I could say to him and there was nothing he could do but stand there and take it.

I could call out this unrepentant deficit hawk for his cruel and short-sighted recommendations as co-chair of the commission, which called for "deep cuts in domestic and military spending . . . limiting or eliminating popular tax breaks in return for lower rates, and benefit cuts and an increased retirement age for Social Security."  I could confront him with repeating what Paul Krugman has referred to as a "zombie lie," "that Social Security will be bankrupt as soon as payroll tax revenues fall short of benefit payments, never mind the quarter century of surpluses that came first."  Or I could scold him for his insensitive and sexist remarks, including his latest in which he compared Social Security to "a milk cow with 310 million tits"

I could even reach back and go after his disgraceful performance at Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearings, when he notoriously smeared Anita Hill with innuendo, waiting until she concluded her testimony to announce, without providing any details or substantiation, that "I really am getting stuff over the transom about Professor Hill."

Or I could have just peed on his famous size 15 shoes.

So what did this fierce critic of Alan Simpson and all he stands for do?  Well, when Simpson looked over and said, "hello," I responded with a meek, "hi," and nothing more, as he zipped up, washed up and walked out.


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