I have been slow to realize (and appreciate) this, but it is now clear to me that in the last few years the Republican Party has evolved to a higher plane of existence. And, frankly, I am now embarrassed at many of my previous criticisms. For instance, I have taxed Republican leaders repeatedly with hypocrisy and inconsistency. But now I can see that they were really just exhibiting an admirable ability to embrace the essential duality of existence by simultaneously holding two opposite ideas in their consciousness, and dwelling upon their oneness (which, indeed, reflects the oneness of all things).
The guerrilla theater group formed by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona and Republican leaders from his state has eloquently brought home the point to me, through a play in many acts.
In the first act, Senator Kyl played the agent provocateur, arguing that since the spending under the stimulus bill has been a completely unproductive waste, the government should immediately cease and desist from all further stimulus spending.
And with respect to the stimulus, I think it’s now acknowledged, it hasn’t done what it set out to do.
Only about 6.8 percent of the money has actually been spent. What I proposed is, after you complete the contracts that are already committed, the things that are in the pipeline, stop it.
Hapless Democrats took the bait:
The next day Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer received letters from four Obama administration officials — Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar — pointing out the billions headed for Arizonans. LaHood wrote:
The stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know.
In a coordinated counterthrust, Senator John McCain and Governor Brewer brilliantly brought the Oneness of All Things (henceforth, OATs) to life. Of course, lesser liberal minds predictably criticized them for trying to have their cake and eat it too.
McCain said he “strongly support[s] the comments of Senator Kyl.” Brewer’s spokesperson suggested LaHood may have been “threatening” Arizona, and expressed her gratitude for Kyl’s “leadership.”
It seems like this could use some additional follow-up. On the one hand, we have Kyl arguing that recovery funds should be eliminated entirely. On the other hand, we have Kyl’s Arizona colleagues saying they want the recovery funds and support Kyl for saying there shouldn’t be any more recovery funds.
There, but for the epiphany I have been vouchsafed, go I. But let us strive to feel compassion for those who, not having seen the light, and locked in the prison of their narrowminded thinking, would write words such as these. Perhaps, in time, they too will grow into an appreciation of the essential Oneness of All Things?
Meanwhile, may Republicans continue to feel their OATs!