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Thursday, September 29, 2016

WASHINGTON — When we talk about hypocrisy in politics, we usually highlight personal behavior. The multiply-married politician who proclaims “family values” while also having affairs is now a rather dreary stock figure in our campaign narratives.

But the hypocrisy that matters far more is the gap between ideology and practice that has reached a crisis point in American conservatism. This Republican presidential campaign is demonstrating conclusively that there is an unbridgeable divide between the philosophical commitments conservative candidates make before they are elected and what they will have to do when faced with the day-to-day demands of practical governance. Conservatives in power have never been — and can never be — as anti-government as they are in a campaign.

  • envscience55

    E.J. your article is right on the money. While working in DC during the last administration everything you pointed to is true to the last nut and bolt of the article. I personally have never seen so much spending but there again this was my first tour of duty in DC. My office was always in the field which was removed from DC political machine. My experience during that era was shocking to say the least seeing first hand how contracting federal work and operations seemed to always involve cronyism, a ratio of contractors to civil servants astonomical. Once again a great article that is true but alas the GOP will continue their rhetorical dogma of smaller government, get out of our lives and and we know what is best for the general public which is of course government intrusion into ones life which is counter to their mantras.

  • whereisthetruth

    A poignant truth that makes the republican hardcores look ignorant in backing an agenda that will not be fulfilled. The american people are smarter than that..

  • Howz 1

    Ever since Ronald Reagan the Republicans have had a war with government. Where I differ with you E.J. is that it is really a war against regulations which the government enforces. This is especially true on protecting the enviorment. The last Republican that wanted to protect it was Teddy Roosevelt. The Republicans are the face of corporate America and their philosophy is that what’s good for it is good for the country, so they spend their time and effort weakening any regulation that hinders corporations from making more money. They can’t come right out and say that so they couch it in anti government slogans for the voters. The Tea Party is an excellent example of this. they were origionaly fired up about the bailout of Wall St.but people like Dick Armey(former Rep from Texas)began to lead them away from being angry at corporate greed and focused, with the help and support of Fox news, their anger at the regulations and government intrusion of health care reform. Fox even organized rallys in DC about it. So the attention about corporate greed was pushed to the background and Wall St. was relabeled Job Creators, and the focus became to fight any regulations that once again would hinder them from making money.
    It’s so up side down that Evangelicals, if they really followed the teaching of Jesus, would be advocating for the poor. (Remember the meek will inherit the earth)
    but end up fighting the regulations on the 1%. The greatest victory the Republicans have had is to get groups like the religious right, and Tea party to vote directly against their own self interest.

  • 1olderbutwiser1

    I sometimes wonder why we have the pretense of different parties….republicans are big spenders as are democrats. I think the only reason Ron paul is running right now as a republican is for exposure. He is his own man, never wavering on his beliefs. To see the wavering by the other 3 is to see what their level of honesty is….romney is probably closest to paul than the the other 2 but he wavers a lot on certain issues, and outrightly lies about Romneycare. Paul is the only one who will save social security and medicare in any form, since the others are war hawks…..which will be all-consuming in the years ahead. The way I view the government is that it is filled with wannabee businessman who can’t pay off their current operating bills, but still want to stay in business and pretend to be important in their simpleton lives, and resent those of greater abilities who can actually operate a business and so attempt to regulate them out of business. They have then justified their parasitic existence. Paul will actually deliver on his promise, and cash-starve these low-life shysters, just as today’s credit difficulties abort expansionary capital needs for existing businesses. While one may argue central banking via the fed has made us a nation of wealth, look for any real equity in anything today, and you find the overall debt of the nation is soon going to be less than a fire-sale of all assets would bring….yes, the debt has made us an equity-free nation. It’s really about balancing the budget, not caring for the lazy poor. We have encouraged laziness and complacency through lying sleazy politicians and tolerated this perpetual lying by these characters far too long. Ron Paul has kept his program of sincere desire for a true republic alive for 30 years. His program is not to have an overnight change, but rather a gradual acceptance of the reality that personal responsibility and effort is actually rewarded in the long run unless thievery of effort….which is what the parasitic federal and state governments have become….consumes the fruit of all efforts. A really good comparison is that when weeds over-run the garden, you must wall-off the weeds, lest the garden fail. Only the fruits and vegetables are edible….the weeds have no nutritional (monetary) value. The weeds will continue to live, they will simply parasitize each other rather than consume for themselves what must be shared by all for our survival. LETS WALL-OFF THE WEEDS NOW, WE CAN’T RISK LOSING THE HARVEST TO THE WEEDS. THERE IS NO SURPLUS TO DRAW FROM TO PREVENT STARVATION.

  • likelystory2

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” …Sinclair Lewis

  • likelystory2

    Please look at the vote taken in Congress on the 15th (Feb) for a thorough understanding of the lies and misinformation of the Keystone XL proponents. Congress showed us their BUTT leaving no doubt at all that this is not about energy independence, not about jobs, and above all, not in America’s best interest!!! We have to get the results of this vote out in front of the people by any means possible.

  • henrye

    With all the good things that the Republicans have going for them – Family values, anti illegal immigration,drug tests for welfare recipients, etc., etc., they’re still going to manage to blow it in the next election.
    How? By defending their rich buddies from paying their fair share of taxes when around 80% of the electorate supports Obama’s thinking on at least that one thing.
    They’ll probably help elect Hillary after Obama gets the boot.

  • caylajhc

    They don’t like any of the candidates and can’t find one to like, because there aren’t any republicans that are worthy of the office of President. They’re all shysters and they all know it and they’re realizing that most of the country is finally realizing it. Every single word that comes out of everyone of their mouths is a lie. They lie about things they don’t even need to lie about. They lie so much, they forget it’s a lie and they all start believing it. They all “WANT SMALLER GOVERNMENT” but then government always grows when they get in. Were they lying from the start or were they all just stupid? or both? They only want smaller govermnent for their biases, but really want much bigger government for their opponents. That always equals bigger government overall along with much bigger deficits. Lyers, liers, liars!!!! However it spelt, it’s all the same.

  • special947

    It’s all great that you all bash the Republicans, but all of you give Obama a pass. Look the country is broke and getting broker and all Obama is promise everything to everyone.
    Where is personal responsibity? How people who bought homes could never in their right mind afford them? But they felt entitled and yet continued to run up their credit cards. How many younger people make no move in paying back their school loans, yet take luxurious vacations? And Obama feeds into this.

    No one ever has the guts to put it on the line. But Mr Dionne why don’t you be fair and call it like it is? I never see you bash Obama!!

  • PatrickHenry

    The Democrats, and some Rinos, are the Big Spenders. It is the Republican Party that wants a Balanced-Budget! It is the Republican Party that wants Term Limits! It is the Republican Party that wants to Cut Spending! What makes it hard for Republicans is the Democrats build up Federal Government Programs so large and growing that when they try to cut them, all the Democrats and the people that have become “dependent” on these programs yell & scream how mean-spirited Republicans are. Tell us what happens when the money is completly gone, (like now) and in debt so bad that we can’t even pay the interest on the debt? That sure is compassionate, is’t it?

  • itsadogslife

    Not only do they mis-represent themselves, they are most responsible for the parts of the entilement programs, they want to change, which are the most costly for taxpayers. In the 1960s when the progressives introduced the Medicare bill – all it asked for was 60 days of hospital coverage, that were fully funded through a payroll tax, even today the goverment’s cost for hospital care for Seniors is more than 90% covered by the fund that is a result of the payroll tax. The opponents of medicare, at the time, saw the writing on the wall – the people wanted health coverage for Seniors – so did a knee-jerk reaction at the last minute and added Medicare part b which covers doctor visits and other basic medical needs of Seniors. Here was the result of that: Seniors cover close to 50% of the costs through their premiums, co-pays and deductibles, the rest is from the general fund. Next, President Nixon, thought the idea of HMOs was just great so he added them, at tax payer cost, as an experiment during his presidency. The experiment was expanded and made permanent by Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. These plans are called Medicare Advantage plans today, but inspite of what you call them they are still contracted private insurers who are costing the tax payers billions over what it would cost for the same services if they were recieved directly from Medicare. The 2010 Health care bill will eliminated that bonus gradually over the next several years. Finally Bush II added perscription drug coverage in the form of Medicare Part D, completely unfunded it is a cash-cow for big pharma, which can set its own prices and for insurer who get to charge high premiums to Seniors who may not be mandated to purchase it, but are fined if they do not have “credible” drug coverage and later would like the program. Part d is the most costly part of the Medicare for the taxpayers, evey penny to cover it comes from the general fund. How silly was that? Instead of giving his already rich friends a tax break, he may have served this Country better by adding a small payroll tax to cover the program and allowing Medicare the power to negotiate with the pharma companies on drug costs and we could have had a 100% coverage without a donut hole. But, don’t be silly, it may have saved the tax payer money to do it that way – but look at all the money his rich buddies and the large corporation would have missed getting from tax payer dollars and Senior’s wallets.

  • valszy

    PatrickHenry states “It is the Republican Party that wants a Balanced-Budget!” Yet when handed a surplus budget from the Clinton administration George W. Bush quickly turned it into a huge deficit with tax cuts for the wealthiest and his idiotic invasion of Iraq. The point of the article was look at what they do instead of listening to what they say.

  • marvbehar

    No sense for a long reply, the most sensible article written about the political right I’ve ever read.

  • Quality NOT Quantity

    Should we put our heads in the sand or Stand Up and Fight! Freedom Fighters 2012, US against the FINANCIAL TERRORISTS! Read the book, Throw Them All Out, Peter Schweizer

  • ck in Tampa

    The GOP conservatives seem to always preach “NO!” to “big” government, however, they are continously drumming up new spending for the military (which IS BIG GOVERNMENT), and yet let the poor starve in the street. Some how the military is not considered “Big” government in their book. Reagan had us armed to the teeth with no one to fight (which we are still paying for, I might add)-everybody folded their tents and went home, not to mention, he cut off income tax deductions for most interest accounts-credit cards, car loans, bank loans, etc, which the “little” guys would benefit from. The rich seem to be protected from paying their fair share by skating by with very low income tax rates. They use the government services the most-water, sewer, & electrical systems, the fire & police departments, etc. to protect their BIG “investments”, however they don’t want to pay for the services. Their attitude “…let someone else pay for it…” Now, it appears some one is manipulating oil prices to drive up the price of fuel, just when it seem the economy is begining to recover, and then blame Obama when the economy crashes and burns, or try to push through the controversal Keystone pipeline saying we NEED it!

  • nyc2dfw

    I wouldn’t trade the jelly beans in Reagan’s jar for either of these two. Both are breeders, though each has earned his seminal spurs from a different fundamentalist direction.

  • stsintl

    Republican Party of Presidents Lincoln and Eisenhower has slowly but surely transformed from GOP [Grand Old Party] to GOP [Gang of Pirates]. Once “Social Responsibility” was thrown out the door by GOP, their core principles of “little or no taxes”, “little or no regulations”, “Gun Rights”, and “Each on his own” perfectly matched the core principles of Mafia and criminal enterprises. So, starting with Watergate crimes of Nixon era, the Neo-capitalist gangsters infiltrated the party and took it over. First they put an actor in the White House and wrote the script for him, while they robbed the future generation of Americans by doubling the national debt in just four years with massive tax cuts for themselves, deregulation of airlines, energy producers, and eroding the middle class purchasing power. Then, as the new century began, they put a puppet in the White House and controlled the strings to get more tax cuts which added some 5 trillion dollars to the national debt. Remember, how Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil was fired by Dick Cheney [Bush’s brain] when he did not agree with the tax cuts for the rich? And, how they got Chairman of the Federal Reserve to testify to the Congress that “debts don’t matter”?
    As I have stated earlier, it is not what Rupert Murdoch [Fox News] or Gambling Tycoons do for the Republican Party, it what the Republican Party does for them.

  • Charles Higgins

    It’s funny how the people who vote for Republicans get the most government assistance.These people believe that they aren’t the ones contributing to our debt.How can u vote for a party that wants to take your government assistance away.I believe they vote on social issues and not being educated on the issues.A misinformed public is a politicians best friend.

  • stsintl

    When electorate is equally divided, the side that gets the most idiots on their side wins the elections. Using language that idiots can easily misunderstand such as “Death Taxes”, “Death Panels”, and “Obamacare”, GOP gets them to vote for them.