Where Are the Adults in DC?
Both parties are 'incompetent and cowardly,' says Kristof
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2011 7:50 AM CDT
Congress is acting like a bunch of spoiled children, writes Nicholas Kristof in his latest column.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Both the Democrats and Republicans are acting like squabbling adolescents, slams Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. "It’s unclear where the adults are, but they don’t seem to be in Washington," he says, adding "it’s painful how vapid the discourse is and how incompetent and cowardly our leaders have proved to be." Among his criticisms:

  • The whole shutdown mess is because Democrats, afraid of GOP criticism ahead of midterm elections, didn't pass a budget last year. "So in gross dereliction of duty, the Democrats punted." Great.

  • To cut costs and save our economy, Republicans were willing to shut down the government, even though that would have been "expensive and damaging to our economy."
  • Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which, despite dramatic cuts, the CBO says would raise the deficit over the next 10 years. "In other words, the Republican position is that America faces such a desperate debt crisis that we must throw millions under the bus—yet the result is more debt than if we do nothing."
  • Republicans were grandstanding against abortion through moves that would only increase the number of abortions. Kristof notes that each dollar spent on family planning saves taxpayers $3.74, and that federal funds can't be used for abortion anyway. But cutting Planned Parenthood funding would result in millions more unwanted pregnancies each year. "So when some lawmakers preen their anti-abortion feathers but take steps that would result in more abortions and more women dying in childbirth, that’s not governance, that’s hypocrisy."