Tuesday, February 3, 2009

To the GOP: Limit Politics, Stand on Principle

Another reminder that passage of the pork stimulus bill in the House last week has its consequences for lawmakers. By unanimously opposing the Democratic pork spending bill GOP members can do the right thing for political reasons. If the legislation becomes law and is a dismal failure it works to their advantage in the next election. Small consolation for the rest of us if that scenario comes to pass. The idealist notions anyone over 30 struggles to suppress would hope these Republicans did this for the ‘right’ reason not politics. And waiting to see if the Senate Republicans follow suit is of prime importance.

issues that matterRepublicans as Democrats
Too often, the GOP seems to think that being “inclusive” means selling out your principles.

By Thomas Sowell

A brief glimmer of sanity among Congressional Republicans has been followed, almost immediately, by a return to the more traditional Washington insanity.

Last week, every single Republican in the House of Representatives voted against the Obama administration’s “stimulus” package—which had stimulated an orgy of runaway spending by Congressional Democrats on everything from sports arenas to sexually transmitted diseases.

The rest of Sowell’s piece is equally compelling. To return to the notions that the housing industry needs saving by government will only lead to more of the same. That which caused the problem in the first place. And if you have sympathy which most do not for those facing foreclosure consider this. By the time Congress does anything related to such matters the foreclosures from and during the subprime mess will largely be done deals. Either the few programs initiated by public and private sector entities will have mitigated mortgage problems or the foreclosure process or any useful remaining options will be concluded. That would render this government help moot at best or assisting future foreclosure candidates for all the wrong reasons.

There is a nice comment on a condition where elections are simply decided on personality and rhetoric. And the remainder of the piece discusses how Republicans past, present and future have principle to guide them if they so choose. We could use more of that.

We don’t need more of the following but it may be more indicative of the difference between what the sometimes smooth talking Obama says and what he does.

Senior White House advisers are quietly beginning to put a system in place to ensure coordination between the White House and outside liberal groups and unions that are ramping up to push the Obama administration’s agenda and target its foes, a senior Dem operative who regularly advises the White House and is involved in these discussions tells me….

According to the operative, the White House was quietly informed in advance about the new ad campaign that several major unions are running with the pro-stimulus group Americans United for Change that pressures Republican Senators to back Obama’s stimulus package. As Ben Smith reports, the size of the ad campaign was just dramatically expanded to target Republican Senators in around 10 states. Obama aides were okay with the ad campaign’s message.
sheep will cave on principle
There has been much talk since the united GOP vote against the pork bill in the House suggesting some POLS may have grown a pair. My apologies to any female legislators in the group but, hey, metaphorically speaking you could use a set too. If Obama’s attack dogs target opposition to the pork bill this would not be a surprise and it is after all politics. The way you defeat that is standing on principle and proving your opposition wrong. But that does not guarantee no casualties and that is why ‘the pair’ is needed. Stand on principle regardless of the potential for personal loss. That is why they call it principle.

Stanford Matthews

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