I am always amazed at the politicians and ex-politicians, political players, and those who feed at the public trough, who claim to be good Republicans, though they just must support liberal Democrat John Bel Edwards. This failure of commitment seems to be a phenomenon of the Republican Party, Democrats are much more monolithic and loyal to their party. Let’s dig a little deeper into this.
Republicans and Democrats support members of one or another political party because they generally support principles in common with other members of their Party. For instance, I am a Republican not because of a title or a letter behind my name. I am a Republican because I believe in small government, pro-growth economic policies, strong education outcomes, traditional family structures, public safety, and other conservative principles. Those that are Democrats believe in big government, wealth sharing through high taxes, government dependency, and all manner of liberal social policies.
We each have different beliefs and we each stand by those principles by proclaiming ourselves as Republican or Democrat. Most importantly we each support leaders based upon those principles. Simply put it should be no surprise that a liberal Democrat will lead as a liberal Democrat, a genuine Republican would accept that premise without qualification. In order for an ersatz Republican to support a liberal Democrat they have to shed the veneer of conservative principles; there is no other option.
Take for instance the Republicans who supported John Bel Edwards in 2015. Despite defensive cries of anguish by these ersatz Republicans over how important it is to work together, that is just not how the political world works. The claim was that he was the only candidate who could work across party lines, but what was the very first thing that he did? He ignored any concept of working with the majority Republican legislature and unilaterally contracted with President Obama to engage Louisiana in Medicaid expansion.
Not only was this the single largest expense in our history, it also was a significant driver of the fiscal cliff that Edwards loves to blame on Bobby Jindal. Don’t believe me? Just look at the spending and taxation levels necessary to support that spending during Jindal’s last years versus those in Edwards’ first years (especially the Department of Health).
And significant to this discussion, though Edwards’ decision had implications for generations to come, he did not reach out even once to Republican legislators. So the basis upon which these faux Republicans, in seeking that defensible excuse, claimed to support a liberal in Edwards just aren’t valid. I don’t blame Edwards for his actions; he was always clear that he was a liberal and would act as a liberal. I do fault others for misleading their fellow Republicans by widely proclaiming their Republicanism only to abandon it to support Edwards based upon a phony premise.
Obamacare is just one issue. In Louisiana the governor is by law and by tradition granted overwhelming power. When a self-proclaimed Republican abuses the confidence of the people to help liberal Democrats take that power, the circumstance equates to a conspiracy to force liberal policies upon people who would not accept them otherwise. The trust of the people is misplaced because they are entitled to a earnest belief that being a Republican equates to an acceptance of basic Republican principles. It is a great injustice to misuse that trust in order to help a governor overcome the people’s own conservative principles and instead impose his liberal principles.
Why would a trusted Republican take advantage of their friends and followers? There are many reasons, I suppose; a sincere, but naive belief that a liberal won’t act as a liberal (did I say naïve?), a conscious effort to make money as a result of the largesse of the governor (follow the money), or most cynically, because they had lied to the people in the first place, never confirmed in a conservative philosophy (we lovingly call these types RINO’s!). I suppose it doesn’t matter the reason; the outcome is that as a result of the unreciprocated trust of the citizens, they get fooled and end up voting into office a governor whose policies are contrary to their best interests.
There is an old expression “Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The next time you hear someone proclaiming how they are a solid Republican but they have some excuse to support a liberal Democrat, ask yourself if that sounds right. I can assure you that if you do encounter such a person and you hold conservative Republican principles, then you should turn around and run, don’t walk, away!