Republicans are acting like the blue-haired lady at a four-star restaurant who spies what's on the table of a minority couple nearby:
“I'll definitely not have what they're having.”
What Republicans once ate up like Charlie Sheen at a Peruvian farmer's market they now reject as wholly un-American because their nemesis, President Barack Obama, has embraced it. Witness our five examples, including today's Supreme Court-upheld health-insurance mandate:
-Health-insurance mandate: The idea that all Americans should purchase health insurance so that the rest of us don't have to pay up when the uninsured get sick has its origins in a 1989 brief (“Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans,”) by the conservative think tank called the Heritage Foundation. In fact, several Republican leaders, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney himself, once embraced the idea. Romney famously spearheaded such a mandate in Massachusetts when he was governor there. Now, of course, the concept is being compared to Stalinist dictate.
-Anti-terrorism efforts: This one was owned by President George W. Bush, who thrived on fear and expanded the nation's law enforcement forces both along the border and in airports across the land. He invaded Iraq, a country that it turned out had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11, and declared victory. As we head to November, party pols are painting the GOP as the leader in aggressive tactics against “radical Islam.” But it's President Obama who has presided over the most successful anti-terror efforts since 9/11, including the continued expansion of American Homeland Security forces and the demise of Osama Bin Laden on his watch. Mitt Romney responded by Bin Laden's demise, ironically, by saying that “it was very disappointing for the president to try and make this a political item.”
-Environmental reform: The “cap-and-trade” concept allows big corporate polluters to pollute some more so long as they trade with other polluters who promise to pollute less, essentially. Of course, you would think that this idea might appeal to pro-business types like Newt Gingrich and John McCain. Turns out it did, in 2007. But now that Obama's president, no leading Republicans in Congress will support cap-and-trade. Because caring about the environment is ultra-leftism at its worst. Right?
-Economic stimulus. Ah, now here's something Republicans can hammer the president with. After all, he gave away billions of dollars to those liberal, socialist Wall Street banks. We should have let them fail, right? Turns out the last Republican president, George W. Bush, agreed with Obama on this one: To let Wall Street fail would have had catastrophic repercussions for the American economy. And, to be fair, a Republican like him had more than a few friends on Wall Street. You know, rich people. Republicans. Anywho, turns out Bush himself, before he left office, realized the economic house of cards was tumbling under his watch. He pushed for the Economic Stimulus Act, a deficit-financed stimulus plan. It was a deal to put $150 billion in red ink on America's books. Of course, any attempt by Obama to to float the economy by printing more money is now called socialism.
-Immigration reform: For decades the very concept of immigration reform was Republican-owned and operated. The Reagan-era Simpson-Rodino Act of 1986 gave amnesty to illegal immigrants. Really. And pro-business George W. Bush was long an advocate of “temporary guest workers” from Mexico, which borders his home state of Texas. Another border Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, sponsored a failed 2007 bill that would have granted illegals a pathway to citizenship. But when Obama announced that thousands of illegals who came here as children would not be deported, the move was hailed by some in the GOP as un-American. Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl suggested that Obama should be impeached for the move.
We're just waiting for Obama to embrace tax-cuts for the ultra-wealthy only to see Republicans turn their backs on that issue too.