The GOP’s Disconnect
While Republicans in Congress are busy bragging that they are the Party of No, Republican governors (Jim Douglas, VT; Jodi Rell, CT; Charlie Crist, FL; Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA, above) are solidly behind the Obama/Democratic stimulus plan. These are people who, unlike legislators and talk show hosts, have executive positions and actually have to run things.
Governors, unlike members of Congress, have to balance their budgets each year. And that requires compromise with state legislators, including Democrats, as well as more openness to the occasional state tax increase and to deficit-spending from Washington.
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.
This is reminiscent of 1994, when Republicans galloped into power, shut down the government, and incurred the wrath of Republican governors, who need the federal government to survive.
Recently, Governors Schwarzenegger, Crist, Douglas and Rell joined 14 Democratic governors in signing a letter to Mr. Obama lauding his economic plan. Other Republicans would have signed on, said a person familiar with the letter’s drafting, but for party pressure in their states.
Meanwhile, California, led by Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is just about broke. Twenty thousand state workers are getting pink slips. If a Democrat were leading the state with such bleak prospects, I wonder what Republicans would do to him. Which reminds me: I wonder how Gray Davis is doing today.Click here for reuse options!
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