Our local paper today had a pretty good editorial about John Shadegg's run for the speaker's position. Some of this is just the local paper cheerleading the local boy, but I generally agree with this:
the same party that once hailed the tenets of the "Contract with
America" today judges Shadegg, one of the last remaining advocates of
that contract, an outsider. He is a conservative-minded "underdog" in
the race to lead his party members in the House of Representatives. Can
there be starker evidence than this to explain why Republicans are in
the ethical fix they find themselves in today?
Republican abandonment of smaller-government principles only partially
explains the current mess. Their political road to perdition - the
nasty taint of ties to manipulating lobbyists; the corruption-enhancing
business of "earmarking" billion-dollar goodies to each other - is far
uglier in the pubic eye than the ephemeral consequence of those
scandals: the loss of their cost-cutting spirit.
I would only add that I rank the loss of the cost-cutting spirit as a bigger loss than does the Republic. I do agree that John Shadegg is the best candidate running for the Speaker job.