Monday, August 15, 2011

Boilerplate Promises

Since 1980 every Republican presidential hopeful has campaigned on shrinking the size of government and exercising greater fiscal responsibility. Each promised to pursue that course. Including Ronald Reagan, it’s difficult to name the Republican president since then who came anywhere close to living up to those boilerplate promises.

For the last three decades Republican propagandists have been good at churning out such promises. They know what the voters like to hear. They also know that if they keep repeating the accusations that evil but spineless Democrats are always for expanding government and pursuing fiscal irresponsibility that some of it will stick.

In 2000 we had a Bible-thumping governor of Texas campaigning on those same useful promises and accusations. Once elected, Pres. George W. Bush reneged by expanding government like nobody’s business and borrowing large money to underwrite two wars.

Remember when the Bush administration told us deficits no longer mattered? Take a look at this eight-year-old prescient piece in the New York Times. When you read it, you'll cringe at remembering how easy it was for Bush to run his scams.

At this point, unless he self-destructs, Gov. Rick Perry looks to be the most likely GOP nominee in 2012. So, we have another Bible-thumping governor of Texas promising the same warmed-over stuff as did his predecessor in Austin.

Perhaps Yogi Berra said it best, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Another evergreen promise that every Republican running for president must repeat is that they will push for a closer adherence to the language of the Constitution and they have promised to nominate conservative Supreme Court justices.

Unlike their ceaseless promises to run a leaner government and balance the books, to the best of their ability the Republican presidents since Reagan have lived up to their promises about appointing justices.

There you have it. Talk about it as they may, living up to promises about money has been difficult for Republican presidents. Maybe impossible is a better word than difficult. But when it comes to packing the Supreme Court with hardcore right-wing ideologues that’s been quite doable. Given the chance, it will be again.

And, so it goes…

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