Traditional Values, Traditional Responses

NPR’s Morning Edition aired an interview with Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana’s 6th district. Graves, a Republican, describes himself as a fiscal conservative. When it comes to the catastrophe that has befallen his constituents (a “disaster” he calls it), he differentiates it from others that have visited the gulf coast (like the BP oil spill, the Corps of Engineers flooding of New Orleans, and various hurricanes/flooding). He calls these “traditional disasters” accompanied by “traditional responses”. The current “disaster”, according to him, is exceptional warranting exceptional Federal assistance. When reminded that congress has the power of the purse and of the recent fiscal conservative congress’s response to the Sandy disaster (which did not affect his district) he shrugged it off as a “traditional disaster”. Besides, this 6th district’s fiscal conservative advanced a not-so conservative argument for why the Federal government should foot the bill. Graves said it only makes “fiscal sense” as otherwise these folks would become the recipients of various federal poverty programs, costing the taxpayers of the US even more. Indeed, Analysis finds this to be the same line of reasoning used by rabid liberals in their various pleas for universal pre-school, for investment in schools instead of prisons, for addiction related crimes to be reassessed as illness with the emphasis on rehabilitation funding and not anti crime bills, and inclusion of mental health within the nation’s public/private expenditure on medical care. Analysis also finds that Graves must be suffering from an occurrence of “Rob Portman” syndrome. Rob Portman was staunchly anti-same sex marriage until his own son came out. Mr. Graves is a card carrying “fiscal conservative” until catastrophe, “traditional” or not, found its way into his backyard. Then the party of traditional values’ representative decided there was something not very traditional going on here, in the everyday. Analysis finds all this to be very pertinent in light of the current epidemic of opioid addiction devastating Ohio (where all 3 branches of government are dominated by the party of traditional values). Is this a “traditional” epidemic? Is the GOP giving this scourge a “traditional response”?

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