What Are Republican Principles Again?


By Joe Campbell
February 17th, 2009

[digg-reddit-me]Dan Akroyd joined Saturday Night Live to explain how Republicans were using this crisis to move past business-as-usual while staying in touch with the citizens they represent:

(h/t TPIP for the link. I had already seen the clip, but was fruitlessly looking for it on Hulu until I saw it on his blog.)

I must commend the Republican Party for discovering the value of fiscal responsibility, of Congressional oversight, and of Congress’s proper role as a coequal branch of government and a balance to the executive branch now that they have no elective power except a slender foothold in Congress. A few more losses in Congress and we might see the Republican Party start making the much maligned case for judicial activism – as our federal court system is filled with conservatives, despite protests to the contrary.

It seems to be part of the nature of our oppositional party structure that such ideological shifts make fools of politicians from time to time. Sometimes I think it would be better for them if we just booted them all out so they wouldn’t need to face the embarrassment of changing their opinions on how things should work so obviously based on political calculations. 

Of course, giving the lie to the Republican’s newfound financial responsibility (aside from their continued support for such expensive programs as continuing Bush’s tax cuts and funding the various imperial activities which together cost some trillions of dollars and got us in the financial pickle we are in now) is their response to the Obama stimulus plan – a tax cut plan that would expand the deficit even further:

 

At the end of the clip, that was Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal. In response to her: yes, we all did notice that there are no Republicans in charge of anything in Washington anymore. I wonder how and why that happened?

At the same time, the Republicans are now trying to make a big deal of business-as-usual in Washington – after embracing the same practices while in power. This is, of course, standard fare in itself. As Republican opinion-makers suddenly begin to decry how Congressmen and women did not have time to read the stimulus bill, I think most of us remember that infamous exchange from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 in which a Congressman explains why no one read the PATRIOT Act before it was signed into law:

My purpose is not to defend these practices – but to point out the hypocrisy in suddenly objecting to them. The Republicans, led by Eric Cantor, are acting with the transparent hypocrisy of an Inspector Renault:

In all honesty, I do welcome the Republicans embrace of fiscal responsibility, of Congressional oversight, and of Congress’s proper role as a coequal branch of government and a balance to the executive branch, hypocrisy and all. Their sanctimony on the subject though is hard to stomach.