CONSERVATISM – GREAT WHILE IT LASTED
Posted by Andrew Roman on February 1, 2009
For one inspired moment this past week, conservatism’s vital signs looked strong. Stunned Democrats, who almost certainly expected some sort of Republican rollover in the wake of Earthquake Obama and his leftist aftershocks, saw not a single GOPer vote for the Obama spending bill in the House. The long-awaited, oft-promoted, so-called post-partisan age of government, i.e., the age where everyone thinks liberal, ushered in by Obama didn’t quite happen the way it read in all the Dem brochures. Conservative pensmiths from all over praised House Republicans for unanimously finding their lost tomatoes – including myself.
It was great while it lasted.
The principled dissent of House Republicans that so inspired the conservative base last week may be taking a back burner due to the abundance of states who have ledgers running deep in the red. Governors from across the country are urging that the Obama stimulus package pass the Senate so that their states can get their slice of the enormous pie – including a whole host of Republican Governors, like Florida’s Charlie Crist and Alaska’s Sarah Palin. In fact, Palin is set to meet with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell this weekend to talk about Alaska’s share.
From Fox News:
States are coping with severe budget shortfalls and mounting costs for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor. So governors, including most Republicans, are counting on the spending to help keep their states afloat.
Clyde Frazier, a professor of political science at Meredith College in North Carolina, said it wasn’t politically inconsistent for Republican governors and members of Congress to part ways on the stimulus plan.
“For governors, it’s free money — they get the benefits and they don’t have to pay the costs of raising the revenues,” Frazier said. “Senators and representatives get only some credit for the expenditures, and they have to pay the bill.”
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is one of the very few who has said that he isn’t sure whether or not he would accept the money that his state would receive from the Obama spending bill – around $3 billion. Even Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a rising star in the Republican Party and a favorite of many conservatives, says that while he would have voted against the bill were he back in Congress, he would still accept the stimulus money for his state.
Meanwhile, South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford is not happy.
“It’s incumbent on me as one of the nation’s governors to speak out against what I believe is ultimately incredibly harmful to the economy, to taxpayers and to the worth of the U.S. dollar,” Sanford said in an interview. “This plan is a huge mistake and is going to prolong and deepen this recession.”
Sanford outlined his concerns in December when the then-president-elect met with governors in Philadelphia to discuss the stimulus proposal. Sanford said he had heard nothing from the White House since then.
Associates say Sanford, who recently was elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has been disappointed in how few of his GOP colleagues have joined him in speaking out against the size and scope of Obama’s plan.
Like Barbour, Sanford has yet to decide whether or not to accept the money.
Ultimately, however – even with a huge chunk of GOP governors eagerly sticking their hands out for a piece of trillion-dollar cake – for the recently rediscovered pulse of the elephants to remain steady and strong, Senate Republicans must follow the lead of their House counterparts and vote against the Obama spendulous package, lest a bi-partisan tag be placed on the toe of what all conservatives had better believe will be Obama’s economic cadaver.
The problem is … the following United States Senators are Republicans: Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, George Voinovich and Richard Lugar. (Feel free to insert your own RINO here).
Let’s face it, Democrats can sniff spaghetti-spined Republicrats from miles away. (Think starving sharks when blood hits the water).
If not a unanimous vote in the Senate, how about a nice little filibuster for good measure?
Just a thought.