by Max Brantley
The blithering hypocrite today is Sen. John "Dr. No" Boozman.
He joined a number of Republicans in the Senate in opposing disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy victims, even though the legislation was stripped of money unrelated to disasters.
Four days earlier, Dr. Boozman joined an Arkansas congressional delegation letter seeking disaster relief money from FEMA for Arkansas to cope with winter storm costs.
But yesterday, he flipped the bird to Northeast disaster victims seeking money for equal or worse damage from the same pot of FEMA money, a pot that couldn't be replenished for Arkansas without yesterday's vote. Compassion is no longer part of Republican dogma, if it ever really was. You want disaster aid? Something else has to be cut. Boozman didn't make any suggestions in his letter seeking a handout for Arkansas.
Future Arkansas flood, tornado, drought, ice and other victims should remember Dr. No and Tom Cotton and the other Arkansas Republicans who've generally adopted the same approach to caring for their fellow Americans. They'll use them as pawns in their cynical game to starve government. Otherwise, screw 'em.
UPDATE: Gov. Beebe has announced Arkansas has gotten its disaster declaration. I'd hope Boozman and Cotton would demand Arkansas not accept the money unless the feds can save an equal amount somewhere else.
UPDATE: Sen. Mark Pryor underscores my point, if gently:
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today released the following statement after the President granted Arkansas’s request for a major disaster declaration for central Arkansas. This declaration will help Arkansas recover from damages caused by a severe December snow storm and widespread power outages.
This announcement is welcome news for Arkansans who are still struggling to recover from this winter’s severe storms. Today’s designation underscores why Congress should support legislation—like the Sandy Supplemental Disaster Assistance Appropriations bill—that provides funding for disaster relief and communities in need.