I watched Obama's speech last night and the Republican response by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, and have to say that I'm just getting more and more fed up with the constant hypocrisy and seeming collective amnesia that comes through in all the Republican rhetoric. These past few weeks they've been continually criticizing Obama for things that they did themselves when their guy was in office. For instance:
1. They stonewalled Obama's stimulus package as profligate government spending, forgetting that they themselves approved similar bills (both the TARP bailout and the stimulus checks that were mailed out earlier last year) under Bush's leadership.
2. More generally, they criticize Obama for "big government" policies, ignoring that it was Republican controlled congress and Presidency that led to a massive expansion of the federal government and turned the surplus of the Clinton years into a trillion dollar deficit during the first six years of the Bush presidency.
3. And even on little things they seem to have amnesia about who is to blame. For instance, McCain tried to criticize Obama for the upgrade of the Presidential helicopter, which he claims cost more than Air Force One, conveniently forgetting that it was Bush who requisitioned this upgrade after 9/11. (Of course, given McCain's age, it may have very well been real amnesia.)
Republicans can go on trying to paint themselves as the party of "limited government" and "fiscal responsibility", but as it turns out, they only believe in those principles when they're not the ones in power. Until their actions match their words, I don't want to hear it anymore.
Labels: Obama, politics
posted by Mike Clawson at 10:37 AM | Permalink
At 2/25/2009 02:45:00 PM, Drew Tatusko
The GOP is now apologizing for the past 8 years or so and telling us now that this stimulus is not the way to go. Yet the bank bailout was apparently the right thing to do. So money that will go to states and smaller projects that includes a tax cut is somehow 'dirty' while money that goes to CEO's who spend it on massages, jets, and bonuses is somehow clean.
I am fine with the criticism of the stimulus, but the only alternative I heard from Jidal and also from Steele and others is to accept their apology and then do nothing.
If you have not seen Maddow's response, she nails it:
At 2/25/2009 05:47:00 PM,
And on the "actions still speak louder than words" front, Jindal's opposition to the stimulus is such that he's turning down 98 million dollars, and accepting 3.7 billion dollars. Now that shows principle!
The scary thing is that after Obama does all of the stuff he's going to do, people aren't going to be in any mood to vote for the Democrats in 2012, and so someone like Jindal might actually end up winning the presidency over his token opposition to the Bush-Obama bailout mess.
At 3/02/2009 10:10:00 AM, John Mahan
The funny thing about your compaint is that any attempt by Republicans to live up to their principles will be further castigated as hypocricy.
At 3/02/2009 10:26:00 AM, Mike Clawson
How so John? Living up to their principles doesn't mean only fighting for them when they're not in power. If they can stick by them when they are in power, then I won't call them hypocritical. I may not agree with most of their principles, but I wouldn't call it hypocrisy.
Of course they aren't in power now, so unfortunately for them they won't have a chance for a while to prove that they're not hypocrites, but hey, them's the breaks. If you spend 8 years saying one thing and doing another, you can't be surprised if no one believes you anymore when you say "If you give us our power back we'll promise to be consistent this time."
At 3/02/2009 01:12:00 PM, John Mahan
I think you answered your own question, "Of course they aren't in power now, so unfortunately for them they won't have a chance for a while to prove that they're not hypocrites". The Republican Party is not monolithic; it only takes a few moderate Republicans (like Bush) to reach across party lines in a "bipartison" way to pass legislation that expands government and increases spending like "no child left behind". While I in general am for smaller government and fiscal responsibility, those values can be trumped by others like national security. And in regard to kicking out dissenters, like Arlan Spector, to purify the GOP, some would so they couldn't be labeled "hypocrites" but many Republicans wan't to keep them to block legislation like FOCA. Does that make Republicans hypocrytes, and any Democratic spending beyond critisism, I don't think so. You are welcome to, but I think it is overly simplistic. While you cannot be convinced, it remains to be seen if others, who actually want fiscal responsibility and small government, can.
At 3/02/2009 02:01:00 PM, John Mahan
By the way, I have changed my mind from my original comment. Republican Governors have the opportunity to show fiscal responsibility and small government.
At 3/02/2009 10:25:00 PM, Mike Clawson
Indeed they can John. We'll see how they do. Personally I hope they can manage the fiscal responsibility part (I'm all for balanced budgets). As for "small government", personally I don't think the size is relevant. Large or small, I just want a government that works.