Imagine this week, if President John McCain spent time meeting with leaders of both parties, business execs, and economists and worked overtime to build a bipartisan consensus on his own stimulus package. Given his theatrics during the election — like when he suspended his campaign to meet with Democrats and Republicans to fix the economy — this scenario is not hard to imagine. If he was president today, McCain the bipartisan bridge-builder would likely be presenting his own billion dollar economic bridge-to-nowhere, much like Obama.
Unlike Obama, McCain would have received significant Republican support. Even though members of the GOP disagreed with former President George W. Bush’s expansion of the government, Congress continued to write endless blank checks, increasing the national debt astronomically. I don’t remember hearing as much criticism from mainstream conservatives in print, TV, or radio about reckless spending under Bush as I do now under Obama. If McCain was president, it’s safe to say House Republicans would not be as unified in opposing a stimulus package.
But House Republicans have put up a united front when it comes to Obama’s stimulus plan. Writes conservative columnist Robert Stacy McCain, “Man, if all it took to get Republicans to vote conservative was to elect a Democratic president, this is a change I can believe in.” Indeed. Yesterday’s “we must support the president” big government economics is rightfully seen today as “socialism.” And whether out of principle or partisanship, it’s refreshing to see Republicans standing on conservative principle once again.