Finally and at long last, it seems to be true. The many lies and hypocritical positions taken by top Republican politicians over the past several years is catching up to them. What is staggering is the range of issues on which Republicans don't even feel the need to maintain a pretense of principle. If President Obama or the Democrats in congress take a position, even if Republicans have vehemently argued for the same thing a few years ago, they treat that position as if it is evil or "Socialist."
Take the case of the Health Care individual mandates, that portion of the current Democratic Health Care Reform bill that says that individuals will be required to purchase Health Insurance or face a stiff fine. Republicans such as Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) complained that this is a terrible and Unconstitutional idea. However, as reported in places like Time Magazine and on Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow's shows on MSNBC, both McConnell and Hatch supported Republican Health Care reform bills in the early 1990s that contained similar individual mandates.
Hatch's record of being of two minds on healthcare goes much further.
Regarding deficit spending, Hatch says that it would be unacceptable for the current Health Care Reform bill to add to the deficit. The problem with this is that Senator Hatch voted for and enthusiastically supported a Medicare drug entitlement bill that added to the deficit a few years ago.
Why was it ok then and not now and does Orrin Hatch start arguing with himself when he looks in a mirror? (This is beyond the fact that the Congressional Budget Office has scored the various iterations of the Democrats' Health Care Reform plans and none add to the deficit)
Let's look at how we deal with terrorism suspects. Republicans, including Dick Cheney, jumped all over the idea that the Obama administration intends to try the Christmas bomber suspect in a regular court. They seem to have forgotten that the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, was tried by the Bush administration (yes, Dick, that thing you were part of for eight years) in a regular civilian court. No elected Republican said anything negative about the Bush administration's actions at the time.
That hypocrisy is astounding.
How about the Bush campaign in 2000 during the recount protesting the idea of counting hanging chads and pregnant chads as something evil and characterizing it as attempts by the Gore campaign to "steal" the election. However, then Governor George W. Bush had signed into law election rules in Texas that said that hanging chads and pregnant chads should be counted as legitimate indications of a voter's intent.
How does one reconcile those two actions?
What about the fact that Republicans are now trying to preach fiscal responsibility after the three most recent Republican administrations never came close to balancing a budget. Prior to the Obama administration, over the last 28 years, we had 20 years of Republican administrations and eight years of a Democratic administration. The only administration that balanced a budget was the Democratic administration. Republican party insiders and elected officials never called out the Presidents from their own party for their deficit-exploding budgets.
Why do Republicans think they can keep getting away with this?
I have to send some well deserved respect to my friend Neil Cavuto for hammering the point home like few can. We may disagree far more than we agree, but on Fox News' Your World, Cavuto reduced Republican representatives Jean Schmidt of Ohio and Jason Chaffetz of Utah to stammering wrecks with evidence they protested against the stimulus to the national media as being wasteful and ineffective in creating jobs, then bragged to their constituents about how they maneuvered for large chunks of stimulus money to use in the effort to create lots of jobs in their districts. To my readers who might be angry at the idea that I am lauding the actions of someone from Fox News, if you can attack people when they do things you don't like, it's only fair (and balanced?) to note when they do the right thing.
By the way, it was revealed that dozens of Republican congresspeople and senators did and said much the same thing as Schmidt and Chaffetz with regard to the stimulus. When a tv camera was around, they criticized it, but then took credit for using it to help create jobs in the manner intended by the Obama administration in letters to their constituents.
About that Socialism word that Republicans like to throw around so much. Between elected Democrats and Republicans, there is only one elected official at the level of Senator or higher who has called for an entire industry to be nationalized (the very definition of a Socialist act) and that is none other than Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham who in a February 2009 ABC interview said "To me, banking and housing are the root cause of this problem. I'm very much afraid any program to salvage the banks is going to require the government... I would not take off [the table] the idea of nationalizing the banks."
Before Republicans attempt to apply the word to President Obama, shouldn't they deal with Lindsey Graham, a member of their own caucus?