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Republicans Should Obstruct Bad Ideas   January 26th, 2009
Republicans have a duty to obstruct bad legislation       


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A curious commentary on CNN today that seems to be part of the recent effort to neuter the Republican party's ideological and substantive opposition to the Obama stimulus package.


But here's the problem: The GOP has to be careful about not being seen as the folks who simply want to obstruct the Obama agenda. Not just because the new president is popular, and not just because 58 percent of the public wants an economic stimulus plan. A majority of independent voters want one, too...

And, by the way, if you're a Republican in a state in which the economy is truly hurting, it's risky to oppose a stimulus package.

I guess that depends on how you define "wants one." 59% of Americans are concerned that President Obama will increase spending too much . So while arguably most of the public wants a stimulus package, that does not mean they want Obama's stimulus package or want as much stimulus.

Further, while it may be politically "risky," there's nothing wrong with obstructing bad legislation. In fact, it's high time conservatives take some risks for what they believe in. Someone is either conservative or he isn't. If a Republican politician is conservative then there really shouldn't be any doubt that Obama's current package is a bad idea. It doesn't become a better idea if it's watered down or includes a few bones for Republicans.

If someone asks me "How about I cut off your arm?" my response is "How about you don't?" If they then counter and say, "In the spirit of compromise and bipartisanship, how about I just cut off your fingers but since I know you like lollipops, I'll give you a lollipop?" In that situation my response would still be, "How about you don't?" There's no compelling reason to compromise with a bad idea that's still bad after the compromise.

President Obama made it pretty clear last Friday that he doesn't need Congressional Republicans. As Obama said, he won . So it would be great if Republicans fought the bad legislation tooth and nail and then voted a very clear "no" in both the House and the Senate. Obama doesn't need the Republicans since Democrats control both chambers of Congress. So let the Democrats take complete ownership of this "solution" to the problem.

The last time legislation was rushed through Congress, it was the financial bailout back in September and October of last year. The public was overwhelmingly against it and Republicans initially stood strong and rejected it, but eventually caved. Within two months the public (and both parties) were complaining about how bad the legislation was.

The Republicans were right when they initially rejected it and very well may have won the presidential election in November had both Congressional Republicans and Senator McCain stood up to bad legislation. Rejecting the bad legislation was in line with conservative ideology, it was right for America, and it's what the citizens wanted. Instead, Republicans caved, we got a $700 billion boondoggle filled with pork, and we lost the election.

Now Congressional Republicans are again being pressured to support bad legislation. Again Republicans and America are being told that it's more important to act quickly rather than act correctly. We're again being told immediate action is required or the economy will collapse.

Republicans need to stick to their conservative guns. If it's not consistent with conservative principles, vote NO.

Democrats have the votes to pass the stimulus by themselves anyway. They don't need Republicans. If Democrats are really sure their package is a good idea then they'll be more than happy to own the legislation all by themselves and take full credit for it.

I'd rather Republicans be obstructionists doing what's right for the country than bipartisan and doing what's wrong.

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