California Republican Tom McClintock isn’t among those who believes that his party has learned their lesson yet:
Speaking at an event last week in Orange County, CA, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he expected big gains for his party at this year’s election, but said he worried that Republicans would squander the victory, as they had in the past, by nominating a slew of “bad candidates” and having a lackluster commitment to conservative principles:
The American people are about to give Republicans a second chance that we know we don’t deserve, that we haven’t earned. … The American people have every right, and every reason, to blame a Republican president and a Republican Congress for the mess that confronted the Obama administration on January 20, 2009 — let us be honest be about this.
McClintock — a tea party favorite with a strong libertarian streak — had particularly hash words for his party’s nominee for governor, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. Asked about Whitman following his remarks, McClintock suggested she is not loyal to the “principles of the American Founders,” and said he agrees with her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown as much as he agrees with Whitman:
My loyalty is to the principles of the American Founders. My loyalty to the Republican party and to its candidates extends only so far as they are loyal to those principles. And I don’t see that in the current ticket. Two of the people on the Republican ticket were singularly responsible for biggest tax increase by any state in American history. These are Whitman’s handpicked running mates. [...]
I look at all of these things and I realize I agree with her maybe 20 percent of the time. I agree with Jerry Brown about 20 percent of the time. I agree with the libertarians about 80 percent of the time. So I’m not making an endorsement, particularly for that!
McClintock is absolutely right, of course. There’s still no reason to believe that the GOP has changed in any appreciable respect, and the extent to which incoming freshman Congressman and Senators will be able to influence the direction of the party is a complete unknown. That is the reason for the wariness about the GOP and the Tea Party that I expressed in my articles on Sunday and yesterday.
Like I said, prove it to me. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I am just going to assume that the GOP’s commitment to limited government is as much of a farce as it was during the Bush years.