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'Uncompassionate' or fiscally sound?

Weekly Standard: Uncompassionate Conservatives
Fox News, June 20, 2007 - Fred Barnes wrote,

In the good old days when Republicans ruled Congress, their instructions for President Bush were: no vetoes, especially of spending bills. Republican leaders — House Speaker Denny Hastert, for one — made it clear a Bush veto would cause ill will on Capitol Hill. So over a six-year period the president vetoed exactly one bill. And it was a bipartisan bid to increase funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Meanwhile, spending increased, the number of pork barrel expenditures known as earmarks skyrocketed and Republicans lost their reputation as skinflints. "We lost our brand," says a Republican official.

They want it back. And they are willing to be pilloried by Democrats as pitiless, cruel, unfeeling, callous, uncaring, coldhearted and Scrooge-like to get it. That's how important it is to Republicans to be seen again as politicians who can be counted on to restrain or, better yet, slash government spending, even in the case of popular programs. Continued...

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