Almost like clockwork, the Republican Grand Poobahs suddenly become deficit hawks once they fall from power. When they are in power, reducing the federal budget is not really a priority, especially in all things defense contractor related.
There’s a major political fraud underway: the GOP is once again donning their libertarian, limited-government masks in order to re-invent itself and, more important, to co-opt the energy and passion of the Ron-Paul-faction that spawned and sustains the “tea party” movement
This is what Republicans always do. When in power, they massively expand the power of the state in every realm. Deficit spending and the national debt skyrocket. The National Security State is bloated beyond description through wars and occupations, while no limits are tolerated on the Surveillance State. Then, when out of power, they suddenly pretend to re-discover their “small government principles.” The very same Republicans who spent the 1990s vehemently opposing Bill Clinton’s Terrorism-justified attempts to expand government surveillance and executive authority then, once in power, presided over the largest expansion in history of those very same powers. The last eight years of Republican rule was characterized by nothing other than endlessly expanded government power, even as they insisted — both before they were empowered and again now — that they are the standard-bearers of government restraint.
What makes this deceit particularly urgent for them now is that their only hope for re-branding and re-empowerment lies in a movement — the tea partiers — that has been (largely though not exclusively) dominated by libertarians, Paul followers, and other assorted idiosyncratic factions who are hostile to the GOP’s actual approach to governing. This is a huge wedge waiting to be exposed — to explode — as the modern GOP establishment and the actual “small-government” libertarians that fuel the tea party are fundamentally incompatible. Right-wing mavens like Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and National Review are suddenly feigning great respect for Ron Paul and like-minded activists because they’re eager that the sham will be maintained: the blatant sham that the modern GOP and its movement conservatives are a coherent vehicle for those who believe in small government principles. The only evidence of a passionate movement urging GOP resurgence is from people whose views are antithetical to that Party. That’s the dirty secret which right-wing polemicists are desperately trying to keep suppressed. Credit to Mike Huckabee for acknowledging this core incompatibility by saying he would not attend CPAC because of its “increasing libertarianism.”
[Click to continue reading Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com]
The whole thing would be amusing, if it wasn’t so likely that the Republicans will use this strategy long enough to get back the levers of power.
And really, both parties have a ridiculous affection for doling out funds to the defense industry. Why aren’t prominent Democrats suggesting that during these times of financial austerity, we cut back on National Defense? Just a little? Like down to under 20% of our total budget, for instance? Nope, Obama’s 2011 budget has increases nearly across the board. Bleh.