Being a staunch conservative, George Will has never seemed like a big fan of Republicans when they actually wield power. Today’s column explains why:
Just 10 years ago Washington trembled because many Republicans who had won in the cymbal-crash elections of 1994 had vowed to abolish the Education Department. Education, they said, is a quintessentially state and local responsibility. But soon Republicans in Congress and a Republican president were deepening Washington’s reach into education. In 1996 Republican appropriators gave the department a 15.7 percent increase in discretionary spending. And No Child Left Behind increased federal education spending more than any increase requested by President Bill Clinton, who was the teachers unions’ poodle. Some of that money went to Williams.
When conservatives break with their principles, they seem to become casual about breaking the law, too. Last year the then-General Accounting Office accused the Department of Health and Human Services of illegal spending when it distributed fake “news” videos that were used by 40 local stations around the country. In them the many benefits of the new Medicare prescription drug entitlement were “reported” by a fake reporter whose actual status — an employee of an HHS subcontractor — was not revealed. The English version of these “video news releases” concluded, “In Washington, I’m Karen Ryan reporting.”
This scofflaw enterprise was an appropriate coda to the lawless making of this law.
Read the whole thing.