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11.30.2012 0

Congressional Republicans were elected to defend limited government

Reading the ConstitutionBy Rick Manning — Lottery mania swept the country once again as millions of normally rational people voluntarily contribute millions of dollars into state coffers all in the hope of taking home a couple hundred million dollars.

The dichotomy between the scenes of people lined up to buy a one in 171 million chance at being wealthy beyond their imaginations, and an electorate that voted for a President who is desperate to confiscate the income of those they consider to be rich through higher taxes is almost impossible to reconcile.

But it is not as difficult to understand as the majority of women in the electorate who seem to swoon when Bill Clinton, a misogynist of the first order appears in spite of his sexual harassment of an intern while he was president, but reject a man who appears to be as in love with his wife today as when he met her forty years prior.

It is not as difficult to imagine as those who denounce racism, but vote for a candidate because he is of a certain race.

It is not even as difficult to understand as those who claim to be devout in their faith, yet vote for a candidate who specifically attacks their church with the threat of jail.

Perhaps the truth is that voters are irrational, and in the same breath can support limiting government while arguing for keeping or expanding a program that they personally benefit from.

The same voters who elected Barack Obama to a second term, also chose for the House of Representatives to be controlled by Republicans.  Yet, somehow in the national argument on the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the media and others act as if the House majority with their pledges against raising taxes, and in favor of cutting spending, did not exist.

Each member of the majority in the House was elected, and I would bet no more than five of them campaigned in favor of raising taxes on American households.

As pressure mounts on House Republicans from inside the beltway media sources to violate the principles they enumerated in their campaign, it would be wise for them to go back in time a few months and review their campaign websites.

Review the lofty language about their dedication to lower taxes and smaller government, and compare it to what they will be asked to vote on to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

They should imagine what an opponent might say about their support, remembering back to the treatment those who voted for the bank bailout received, or even the ridicule President George H.W. Bush had heaped upon him after he violated his “no new taxes” pledge in 1990.

The last thing any of these Republicans should want is to have to go from “read my lips” to “read my hips” as the former president did on the way to being defeated for a second term.

It is a long two years between this lame duck session and the next election day, but the actions taken by Republicans in the next few weeks are likely to irrevocably set their course for whether they get to return in 2015.

I hope they remember that it is always easier to defend a vote that was made on principle, than to attempt to explain it away later.

Rick Manning is the communications director of Americans for Limited Government.

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