On Tuesday, Politico asked Arena participants the following:
Hurricane Irene, which eventually was downgraded to a tropical storm, was less fierce than originally feared. But the wind and rain are believed to have caused billions of dollars in damage. House Republicans contend that any new funds spent because of Hurricane Irene or other disasters should be offset by cuts elsewhere. Democrats call that an unfair and unprecedented approach to emergency management.

Is this conditioning of disaster relief on budget offsets elsewhere fiscally responsible or cold-hearted?
Michael Benjamin replied:

This latest fiscal demand by Rep. Cantor and his House Republican cohorts goes well beyond coldheartedness. It is absolutely absurd of them to suggest spending cuts to pay for disaster relief. But I do by all means encourage then to continue uttering these inanities until they are defeated at the polls in 2012. Maybe, American voters will finally stop electing people who do not have our interests at heart.
This is not a right vs left, liberal vs. conservative fight. This is a fight over the kind of Americans we wish to be and the kind of America we wish to bequeath to our children and grandchildren. A nation that ceases to care about its dispossessed neighbors and stops desiring full employment and happiness for all of its people will not exist for much longer. Those who want a federal government that is capable of doing great things and responding to the needs of its people, will throw bums like Cantor out by the score in November 2012.
Until then, I’ll fantasize about “tasing” Rep. Cantor or sending Mike Tyson to his house each time he makes a stupid policy pronouncement.