PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM
by Sam Steiger
“Sam wrote this prescient article on April 29, 1998, 18 years ago. Although the names during that time are different than the names of today, Republican failures are timeless. They continue.”
There is no more Republican Party in the United States. In a remarkable reversal of the 1994 congressional election message, the elected officials in the Republican Party at the state and national level have abandoned any semblance of Republican principles, or really any other sort of principles and are focused on proving that all the stereotypes of political infamy are true. The evidence is not only compelling, it is not refutable. The party has no defense. There is no cadre of principled people holding a fort of constitutional, meager government. There is only capitulation to election year politics all the time.
The bill of particulars range from the minor to the major. It Is not important what comes first, but certainly the false claim parroted by the entire Republican congressional chorus of a “balanced budget” looms as large as any. The budget ls not balanced. The computation that permits the patently false claim is made possible only by failing to compute the obligation to the social security trust fund, that continues to be looted annually and ignored annually, as an obligation. You would think that there would be one voice raised in protest. If there is one it is not heard. The rush to bask ln the approval of the public for having seemed to appear to have balanced the budget is so comforting that none of these pathetic people are willing to risk whatever it is they fear for the sake of the truth.
The pushing and shoving by Republican congressional leaders and Republican presidential wannabes to out shout the Democrats in the “I hate tobacco companies” contest is pitiful. The Republicans, who used to talk of individual responsibility as a basic Republican precept, now insist that by penalizing smokers with the most regressive of truces, we will stop teenagers from smoking, cure the sick, punish the villainous tobacco executives, and most important, ralse a ton of money for new programs. There is not one responsible person outstde of Washington. D.C. who does not understand that the tobacco nonsense is not about health. Not about retribution for past sins of the tobacco Industry. Not about teenage smoking: It is about money. More money for government. More money, unbelievable sums of money, for the tobacco lawyers. There is not even a nod to a shred of Republican stands for less government, free markets, individual responsibility – not a twitch.
At the state level we have a Republican legislature that is supported by a Republican governor all of whom have forsaken reason in an effort to appear caring. We have a House member and a majority of his Republican peers, Mike Gardner by name, who is determined to undermine the right of Arizonans to referendum. We have a majority of people, Republicans, in a desperate attempt to be perceived as caring, telling people that they may not put children in the backs of their pickups. We have a governor who is trying to outdo her Republican legislators who will veto, she says at this writing, legislation that will permit the use of sparklers on the Fourth of July. She will do this so that she will seem more caring, and so much for individual responsibility. We have legislation pending, all by Republicans, that will prescribe by law how low a low-top gown may be, what time establishments that specialize in sexual fantasies may stay open. We have Republican elected officials like Mayor Skip Rimsza who scream for more open space and then roll over for every single developer who requests higher density.
In truth, there is no relief in sight. At one time, to be a Republican elected official meant standing for less government and individual freedom. Now we have a Congress that re-passed legislation that the Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional wtth a rare nod to the 10th Amendment, legislation that prohibited guns within 300 yards of a school. The Supreme Court said this was a matter for local government to decide. The Republican Congress, determined to show they cared, re-passed it with specific nonsense aboul tlhe Commerce Clause of the Constitution that makes everything Congress’ business. The Republican Congress not only could not shut down the Education Department and the Energy Department, they can’t even control the number of White House lawyers on the pubic payroll.
In the early hunt for the Republican nomination, there should be some candidate saying these things – any candidate. There will not be because being elected is far more important than telling the truth. This one is a slam dunk. As easy as putting Republican Grant Woods in jail.