Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's all about the Benjamins

On Townhall.com yesterday, in a piece called "Democratic Majority: How to lose your way in 100 hours," Mary Katharine Ham blasted Senate Democrats (rightly so) for trying to kill the effort for earmark reform. But then she moved on to cite Harry Reid's opposition (along with many other Senate Dems) as proof of their contempt for women.

That's where I lost her.

As I began to think about it more, I started to wonder where this chorus of Republican fiscal conservative voices was prior to the Democratic takeover of Congress, when Republicans held the majority.

"In fact, Jonah Goldberg himself criticized Conservative silence here in a post on Townhall.com from June of 2003.

Some excerpts:

"Meanwhile, conservatives are loathe to criticize a popular and good president during a time of national emergency.

"The case that Bush is a big spender is irrefutable. Federal spending on Bush's watch has sky-rocketed. According to the Heritage Foundation, the years 2000 to 2003 marked the biggest spending spree in the history of the United States, except for WWII.
"Total spending has gone up nearly 14 percent in Bush's first three years, and discretionary spending has gone up nearly 20 percent.

"Bush spent a pile not only on guns, but on butter. Non-defense spending has gone up by almost the same amount as defense spending, and defense spending constitutes barely a fifth of the total increase in spending from 2000 to 2003.

"What are we spending it on? ... the biggest expansion of federal spending on education in decades. He agreed to a farm bill that had more pork in it than an all-you-can-eat North Carolina Super Bowl Buffet."
Sure, some conservatives have raised a stink once in a while here and there... but they have clearly let the Republican controlled House, Senate and White House get away with highway robbery for six years.
For the casual observer who may be on the fence about spending, consider the following:
Although there were occasions where some would say Bush saw the light, (Bush to propose spending freeze & more recently Bush calls on Congress to cut back on pet projects) it is far too little, too late. No, the conservatives, Bush included, long ago lost the high ground. They left it to Democrats, the Democrats! to call for a cut in spending. The Democrats will not succeed.
Surely, we've reached a sad state of affairs, when Bush's fellow Republicans are now standing up, rising to put their feet down and finally say, once and for all, that the U.S. must... not send more troops to Iraq?
And Democrats, fiscally responsible souls that they are, have swooped in, waiting in the wings, to take the wheel of this careening jalopy of a bloated government, and steer us in the direction of financial security.
This is the state of American politics today. The liberals are thrifty, and the conservatives are yellow (well, at least as yellow as the liberals). Much of this has been wrought, in part, by Bush's failed policies, inadequate leadership, and inability to compromise, unite or decide.
Now we are paying the price.

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