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Its a strange day, today is, when I agree with Skippy, a Republican Senator and a Baptist.
And no, this is not an April Fool's Day joke.
To watch the Republican philosophy of governance in the last decade, it is as if Ronald Reagan never existed. Under Republican rule, the federal government has grown as it has been starved of the resources it needs. There is now no part of American life that the Republicans want to be free of government influence. And conservative commentators have been rather muted in the face of this. Read any conservative blog or commentary. The most you will get is, "while I don't agree with everything President Bush is doing..."
Of course, I might say that the Republicans were never really serious about some of their core conservative principles. Rank and file members probably were to a large degree, but the party itself used phrases like "small government" and "tax and spend liberals" as levers to use against their opponents until they could get back in power.
"It is almost as if they don't mind a statist big government, so long as it is not a Democratic one" - Skippy.
I'd say that was a true sentiment. Partisanship over principle.
You see this in Oklahoma all the time. Whenever there is a Democrat elected to state or local office all of a sudden the uproar about taxes fires up again. Op-eds and editorials denouncing any project spring up on local papers. Any type of bond issue is derailed with venom. The phrase "tax and spend" seems to just float in the air.
Never mind that it is Republican Mayor Bill LaFortune that is now leveling a block of downtown, seizing property and spending millions of new money building an arena and engaging in many new infrastructure projects. Projects that would have never been approved under a Democratic Mayor.
While a few principled conservatives spoke out about their usual dislike of new taxes, it was quite amazing to see the rest of the city line up behind the new spending proposals. Its not taxes that most are opposed to, its letting the other side get to spend those taxes.
Next up, the Republican Senator: John C. Danforth
During the 18 years I served in the Senate, Republicans often disagreed with each other. But there was much that held us together. We believed in limited government, in keeping light the burden of taxation and regulation. We encouraged the private sector, so that a free economy might thrive. We believed that judges should interpret the law, not legislate. We were internationalists who supported an engaged foreign policy, a strong national defense and free trade. These were principles shared by virtually all Republicans.
Of course that sounds oddly like what I said. But I'm just some guy with a blog that needs to learn to play nice.
If I may propose an alternative hypothesis? Maybe God sent us a vegetative women to reveal the true nature of Tom Delay's hypocrisy and the declining relevancy of the Republican party?
Of course I wouldn't suggest such a thing, because trying to convince people that what I want is also what God wants is the work of a charlatan.
So, some final parting words from the Baptist:
It is good to see that Republican politicians are awakening to the theocratic agenda of the Religious Right. I hope they will be able to help rank-and-file moderate Republicans wake-up. I doubt that they will be any more successful than moderate Baptists were when many of the same people took over the Southern Baptist Convention.
Soon, I'll try to write something about Democrats. But like Skippy says, there's just not much to write about. They are a party in search of a message. Only recently, as people who knew better have died off, have the bad ideas of the past become appealing once again.
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