Americans are inundated by news stories that exhaust and exasperate us, but we should not overlook a truly significant event. While we were distracted, the Republican Party either lost or sold its soul.
In two votes, Republicans abandoned their identity as the party of limited government, balanced budgets, and reducing the debt. In short order, the party legislated a tax cut and a spending bill that may have merit but surely will balloon the deficit and the debt.
Republicans used to be the party of contracting the government, reducing spending, and deficit reduction. That might mean that certain government programs would not get funded.
Democrats were the party of expanding the government and more spending. That might mean higher taxes and larger deficits.
For present purposes, it does not matter who is right. What does matter is to have the debate, to confront the two opposing arguments. We need to be placed at the center of this vital debate. We need to have on both sides what used to be called “the loyal opposition.” Democracy requires serious and strenuous debate.
It is troubling that Republicans have abandoned their traditional role, thus creating a vacuum. We need for the sake of the public debate to have it filled responsibly.
Senator Rand Paul observed, tellingly, "When Democrats control Congress, the Republicans are the conservative party. When Republicans control Congress, there is no conservative party."
I'm Bob Evans, and that is my perspective.