By Sahid Fawaz
Republicans love to preach fiscal responsibility and rugged individualism. That is until their districts experience a natural disaster. When that happens, they become all about government assistance and the "greater good."
Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times points out the hypocrisy happening among Republicans congressmen in Louisiana right now as the state deals with catastrophic floods:
"Call it logrolling or one hand washing the other, a generally recognized fact in Washington is that if you want something for your district, it pays to agree to the same thing for another guy’s district.
That point may have been lost on three Louisiana congressmen when they voted against a $50.5-billion relief package for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. The 2012 storm ravaged coastal communities in New Jersey and New York. Now they’re in the position of needing the same sort of aid for their own state. How will that play out?
The three lawmakers, all Republicans, are Rep. Steve Scalise (currently the House majority whip); Bill Cassidy, who moved up to the Senate last year; and John Fleming. They’re all likely exemplars of another Washington truism: fiscal responsibility is great, until it’s your own district that’s getting fiscally hammered. Then Job One becomes working to 'help the residents of the threatened areas in their time of need.'
At least, that’s what the letter all three signed to President Obama on Aug. 14 said. The letter, which sought a disaster declaration for the state in response to its floods, came from all six Louisiana members of Congress and its two senators. Obama issued the declaration that very day."
When will Republicans get it? No person is an island. We all need help from time to time due to forces beyond out control. When the residents of New York and New Jersey needed it due to Hurricane Sandy, the Louisiana Republicans fought against helping their fellow citizens. Maybe now that their owns constituents need help, they'll be more emphatic towards residents of other states in the future.
For the full Los Angeles Times piece, click here.