Alan Simpson --- mean, rude and ignorant. The old guy hasn't changed a bit.

Mean Mr Mustard

by digby

Former Senator and current Deficit Commissioner Alan Simpson is an ass. He's always been an ass. This article is from 1991:

In recent months Alan Simpson, the 60-year-old Republican Senator from Wyoming, has had friends and foes alike wondering when his temper will next take him—and whether it will prove his political undoing. First, there was the Arnett incident: At the height of the Persian Gulf War, Simpson blasted CNN correspondent Peter Arnett for remaining in Baghdad after other journalists had evacuated, calling him an Iraqi "sympathizer" and saying, without foundation, that Arnett's Vietnamese ex-wife had a brother active in the Vietcong. Next came Simpson's performance on Nightline during the Clarence Thomas hearings, when he angrily needled National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg for breaking the story of Anita Hill's sexual harassment charges, questioning both her judgment and her professionalism.

But it was Simpson's behavior at the Thomas hearings that drew the most flak. He badgered Anita Hill and hinted at, but didn't produce until after the hearings ended, "stuff coming over the transom about Anita Hill, saying watch out for this woman"—tactics for which he was roundly condemned by women's groups and in newspaper editorials, including one in the Wyoming Eagle. Says Charles Graves, chairman of the Democratic Party in Simpson's home state: "It's all too bad, because I think Alan is really a decent human being inside. He just can't stand anybody who disagrees with him."

I remember him in those hearings. Between him and Arlen Specter, it was quite a performance of mean old men. Many people credited that hideous display with being the impetus for 1992s "year of the woman" election. I know I was appalled.

So they've dug this mean old creep out of his cushy retirement to help dismantle social security --- an appropriate legacy for a curmudgeonly elite like him. And he remains as much a creep as ever, as evidenced by this exchange with Alex Lawson of Social Security Works yesterday:

He's alarmingly misinformed or simply lying, which means that this commission is both being run by staff and that its preconceived notions are not going to be challenged in any way. But Simpson's actually done the country a favor by exposing his prejudices and giving us some insight into just how deliberately obtuse they are going to be. It's a useful heads up.