Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The State / Federal Disconnect

It seems the GOP is behind Obama - at least in the governors' mansions:
Across the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida’s Charlie Crist and New England’s Jim Douglas in Vermont and M. Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Republican governors showed in the stimulus debate that they could be allies with Mr. Obama even as Congressional Republicans spurned him.

Maybe it's all those balanced budget requirements that makes the difference. Maybe it's being closer to the ground - to the populace - that causes the connection. And maybe it's actually running a state and not being able to indulge in pointless posturing that does it. Whatever it is, obviously running a state makes for a more pragmatic - more conservative - approach to such issues than merely sitting in Congress.

As the article indicates, this situation is hardly new. GOP governors have long opposed the excesses of party dogma when Washington tried to enforce political orthodoxy. The Contract With America faced stiff opposition when it came to curtailing domestic programmes, and much of that came from the party's own state leaders. Yet for whatever reason the GOP leadership and its punditry continue to push the same tired mantras of lower domestic spending, reduced taxes and other cure-alls, even in the face of opposition from the people who, without those efforts, might actually be on board with them to accomplish meaningful party objectives. It almost looks like a generational issue: the grown-up state leaders versus the spoiled children sent away to Capitol Hill.

No comments:

Post a Comment