Sunday, February 15, 2009

Odd Man Out

I can't really tell where the republicans are coming from anymore. They used to be very pro-business, but their fight against the economic stimulus bill makes me think there must be something else motivating them.

It can't be that they're motivated by a desire to balance the budget, because for the last seven years they let military spending throw the budget as far out of balance as it's ever been. It can't be that they desire a smaller government either because the patriot act certainly grew government in some unusual ways.

I think they're just against domestic spending. They think it's bad for us if anyone gets aid from the government. I can't tell if there's anything to that philosophy or not. Certainly there are scenarios where people take advantage of government aid or get used to relying on it to get by rather than their own initiative, but there are also times when people use it as a stepping stone toward moving themselves into the working or middle class.

Another issue might be that after suffering such a huge electoral defeat, the republicans might feel they lack identity and are doing whatever they can to distinguish themselves from Obama's new democrats. The republicans left in Washington come from very solidly republican districts and might fear how any cooperation with the democrats plays to their home constituency.

As the economy improves, the republican point of view might gain relevance, but for the time being they're just going to have to get used to being the odd man out.

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