Cal Thomas: Less than a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats anymore
Terence Jeffrey: The G.O.P.'s Shotgun Wedding
But since when did subsidized drug handouts become a litmus test of good government? When did they become a defining issue for the party of limited government?Doug Bandow: "The largest expansion of the welfare state in 40 years"
The answer: in the wee, small hours last Saturday.
It was 3 a.m. when the leadership called a vote on the drug entitlement. When the voting period expired 15 minutes later, the entitlement seemed doomed. But Republican leaders kept voting open and kept twisting arms. At 5 a.m., President Bush called Republicans who still wouldn’t crawl into bed with AARP.
Feeney recounted an earlier call from the president. "I basically said it was a matter of principle, that I came to Washington not to ratify and to expand Great Society programs," Feeney told the Associated Press. "He wasn't happy to hear that."
Yet, toward dawn, the shotgun wedding was completed. The bill passed 220-215 -- with 25 Republican defectors.