Friday, March 13, 2009

Republican fiddle players—again

Last month, I wrote about Congressional Republicans putting partisan interests and game playing ahead of the needs of the country. Now it’s the turn of Republican governors.

Some Republican governors have been declaring solemnly how they’re looking after the interests of their states and will reject stimulus money. Most commonly, they’re rejecting money to help the unemployed (even though state legislators may overrule the governors, or that they’re only rejecting a fraction of the stimulus money).

With the nation—the world—in the worst economic situation in decades, the response of Republicans from Congress to statehouses has been to do nothing, just like Herbert Hoover did. Not content with continuing to advocate the failed policies of Bush/Cheney, they’re now reaching back eight decades for another Republican failure. It seems that they don’t care how bad things could get, how much suffering the American people have to endure because failed principles matter most.

But what “principles” are those, exactly? Republicans have a well-earned reputation for promoting the interests of big business to the detriment of workers, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. Instead, it’s just politics.

2012 is a presidential election year with no credible Republican in the lead for the party’s nomination to challenge President Obama. These governors are pandering to the right wing of their party in the hope they may advance their careers in some way. Others just want to keep things bad to help Republican candidates in the 2010 elections. So, it’s not about “principle” unless the principle is pure, bald, partisan politics and self-interest. No wonder so many people think the Republican Party is a joke.

But the current situation is no joke. It’s time the Republicans put the people’s needs first and stopped trying to fool us.

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