Credit where credit is due, because the Republican Governor of Utah gets it:
The Republican governor of Utah on Monday said his party is blighted by leaders in Congress whose lack of new ideas renders them so “inconsequential” that he doesn’t even bother to talk to them.
“I don’t even know the congressional leadership,” Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, shrugging off questions about top congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “I have not met them. I don’t listen or read whatever it is they say because it is inconsequential – completely.”***
Unlike some of his Republican counterparts in other states, Mr. Huntsman said he will not turn back any of his state’s share of President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus. But he said much of the spending is misdirected and more likely to bloat the government than boost the economy.
He said congressional Republicans failed to score political points for opposing the bill – only three Republican senators supported it – because the public saw them as objecting to being shut out by Democrats from helping write the bill rather than as taking a principled stand.
The governor said congressional Republicans are being frustrated by a lack of credibility on the party’s No. 1 tenet: fiscal responsibility.
“That’s why no one is paying any attention,” he said. “Our moral soapbox was completely taken away from us because of our behavior in the last few years. For us to now criticize analogous behavior is hypocrisy. We’ve got to come at it a different way. We’ve got to prove the point. It can’t be as the Chinese would say, ‘fei hua,’ [or] empty words.”
It still upsets me that this bill of a couple hundred billion in tax cuts (when did Republicans start opposing tax cuts?) and $4-500 billion in spending, mostly as stopgaps for state budgets and infrastructure spending, is characterized as wild spending, when the only reason for it is the horrible economy and there just isn’t a ton of “pork” spending in it. Regardless, it is nice to see that at least some Republicans out there get it- their problem is they simply have no credibility after the past eight years even if this WAS a larded up bill full of pork.
Put another way, it isn’t just dishonest, it is offensive. Having the party of Bush lecture you about out of control spending is like having a heroin addict chide you for putting too much sugar in your coffee.