This week the National Review’s Corner Blog featured these quotes from Republican U.S. Senators on the “stimulus” bill – they were posted by David Freddoso:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.): “This is about spending money we don’t have, for things we don’t need. That’s 80 percent of this bill . . . This bill is the generational theft bill. It’s denying wealth to future generations.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.): “There’s very little likelihood of a significant change in this collossal bill. As such, we will rally and point out the failures in it. We’re talking about the largest bill in the history of the Republic.”
Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.): “Ladies and gentlemen, a trillion dollars is a terrible thing to waste.”
Greg Scandlen, a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute and founder and director of Consumers for Health Care Choices, said the following in a couple of recent “Consumer Power Reports“:
“I was in a meeting this week where we were talking about Republican support in the Senate for an individual mandate. Probably a quarter of Senate Republicans support the idea, thinking that is the only way to get “market reforms” (like guaranteed issue and community rating) through. These are all terrible ideas and I said so. But some of the people at the meeting cautioned me against being too public in my criticism of Republicans. We wouldn’t want to embarrass our friends, I was told.
Wrong. This is precisely why the Republicans are in political trouble. People who knew better were too cowardly to tell them when they were wrong. I notice the Democrats have no such qualms. Democrats are not afraid to attack Barack Obama when they think he is wrong. Why should we handle Republicans with kid gloves? If they are that fragile and thin skinned, they need to find another profession.”
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“I’m afraid [there] is something Mr. Obama didn’t get in his mediocre Inaugural Address. There is a huge divide between the elite and the folks in this country. He said, ‘We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.’ And, ‘These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land–a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.’
That’s a lot of hooey. Americans are not despondent and Americans are not childish. This crisis was not caused by irresponsible citizens. This crisis was caused by lousy leadership and arrogant elites, the Barney Franks and Bernie Madoffs, and yes, the well-educated but not-so-bright academics who think it is their job to tell us how to live. Americans are rightfully furious that they have been betrayed by those who think they are better than the rest of us.
Mr. Obama can help us take control of our own resources and our own futures or he can give even more power to those bubbleheads who want to tell everyone else what to do. So far, the prospects are not promising.”
It seems to me the year is off to a good start for those of us who have been waiting for our legislative and policy leaders to start using words appropriate to the moment. It’s time to fight – and that includes using fighting words.
©2009 John F. Biver