A front-page story in today's New York Times tries to explain how a government-issued $100 "rebate" to compensate for high gasoline prices seemed like a good idea at the time to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "The rise and fall of the Republican $100 rebate," write Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Carl Hulse, "offers a window on how Washington sometimes [sometimes?] works in a slapdash way, featuring in this case Congressional aides who misread the political climate and lawmakers desperate to hang onto their jobs [is there another kind?]. It is a story, as well, of how concepts and plans can be reduced to sound bites that make them seem [seem?] absurd."
The problem, apparently, was that writing a $100 check to each of us was, in the words of Sen John Cornyn (R-Texas), "a nonserious response to a serious problem." But isn't that just the sort of response people deserve when they demand that politicians magically take care of whatever happens to irk them at the moment? In addition to high gas prices, I'm annoyed by the mosquitoes in my yard, the pain in my right arm, and the fact that we have not yet received a satisfactory offer for our house. Why aren't the Republicans working on eight-point plans for these serious problems?