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Polman: Rand Paul is now in favor of big government | Chroniclers

Rand Paul has long been a laughable lightweight – in Senate hearings Dr. Fauci regularly beats him – but now he’s even outperformed himself.

Republicans like him still equate “big government” with “socialism” and consistently condemn it on principle – until disaster strikes their own backyards, then suddenly, without even an ounce of embarrassment, they throw their money away. silly boilerplate and plead for big socialist government money to save them.

Look, the victims of the Kentucky tornado deserve all the help Joe Biden can possibly provide, and he’s already doing it. But we can always take a moment to laugh at the letter Paul sent the President over the weekend, where he asked for federal help and asked Biden to “move quickly to approve the appropriate resources for our. State “.

Isn’t it amazing how all the silly talk about the evils of “socialism” flies away as soon as the deadly weather (the “new normal”, thanks to climate change) arrives?

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If memory serves, Paul is the so-called “libertarian” who voted in 2013 not to send billions in federal aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, who voted in 2017 not to send billions in federal aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, who voted in 2017 not to send billions in federal aid to hurricane victims in Texas. Harvey, who voted in 2017 not to send federal relief money to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and who voted in 2019 not to allocate further billions of relief dollars to several federal agencies .

As he once explained, “this (the relief spending) must stop. We spend too much. We owe too much. We can’t keep spending money that we don’t have.

But now that his condition has been hit hard, he wants to spend as much as he can at full speed. In the past, he has always insisted that if the federal government wanted to increase disaster spending, it should offset those costs by cutting the budget elsewhere. But there you go, you can read the entire letter Paul sent to the president, and not once is there any insistence that Kentucky only get help if the federal budget is cut elsewhere.

No amount of deodorant can wash away the stench of his hypocrisy.

In fact, this is standard Republican behavior. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget manager, was a congressman who voted in 2013 not to send money to New Jersey, insisting that Sandy’s relief should only come if budget cuts were to be made. performed elsewhere. But in 2015, when his state of South Carolina was inundated by a deadly storm, he pleaded for federal money without first insisting on further budget cuts: “There will be a time for a discussion on the issue. help and how to pay for it, but the time is not now.

Senior State Senator Lindsey Graham did the same. He had voted no on the Sandy package, but suddenly after it flooded he said, “Rather than put a price tag on it, let’s get through it, and whatever it costs, it costs. “

There is much more. Tom Cotton, the Arkansas senator, voted no to the Sandy package, but pleaded for quick federal funding a few years later after Arkansas was hit by flooding. Four Colorado House Republicans voted no to the Sandy package, but pleaded for Socialist help a few months later when Colorado was hit by flooding. In 2011, the two Republican senators from Oklahoma voted no on the Sandy package and in 2011 they tried to cut the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency – only to pull off a miracle in 2013 when Oklahoma was hit by tornadoes.

One of those senators, Tom Coburn, told his constituents: “As a leading member of the committee that oversees FEMA, I can assure Oklahomans that all available aid will be delivered without delay.”

Rand Paul is therefore only a rotten egg in the basket of the deplorable. Nonetheless, he was still a hired scooge as recently as last month. When Biden’s infrastructure package hit the Senate floor – with its $ 47 billion in spending to fight climate change; with his $ 6.8 billion for FEMA – Paul again voted no. How lucky for his blind citizens of Kentucky that he was powerless to stop his historic passage.

And how lucky Kentuckians are that Paul’s hypocrisy has been overshadowed by Biden’s sense of responsibility. The president has already approved massive federal emergency aid at deliberate speed – without ranting that the red state electorate voted against him, without ranting that the two red state senators were horrible people or what be it, without offering to throw away paper towels, without telling the Kentuckians that perhaps the tornadoes would never have happened if they had bothered to rake their forests.

This is called governing.

Dick Polman is a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia. Email him at [email protected]