By Steve Parkhurst
The Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Interview features two new United States Senators from Tuesday’s election, Republicans Rand Paul and Roy Blunt. As you can tell from the title The Grand New—and Old—Party, this is supposed to be a contrast between the two men. But, this whole thing borders on the absurd. Senator-elect Paul comes across very well, in my opinion. But, Roy Blunt comes across poorly, and like a complete jerk.
Time will tell if Rand Paul can be effective, especially as he goes to Washington to join with other newcomers like Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee. Roy Blunt sounds like more of the same, more of what got us Obama in the first place.
Case in point:
His first speech on the floor, he promises, will be on “the out-of-control deficit.” But since, “as Mark Twain said about the weather, that everybody is talking about it and nobody is doing anything about it,” Mr. Paul plans in his first legislative act to introduce a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. And, he adds, he’ll force a vote on it, too: “People don’t like to vote against something that’s so incredibly popular.” He also wants to look hard at steep cuts in defense and entitlements, the largest chunks of federal outlays, and in one swoop antagonize many Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
Rand Paul = New Thinking
Relaxed, in a open-collar blue shirt, Mr. Blunt starts off by pointing out that he was a hard budget hawk before it became popular. “I led the only fight we had in 10 years to cut the mandatory spending programs,” he says, referring to the congressional budget debate in late 2005. As whip, he recalls no one ever called to thank him. Republicans only wanted him to save their pet projects. “I think the country’s come a long ways in these five years,” he adds.
And how has he changed in the last five years?
He waves the query away with, “Hey, well, I’ve been a pretty conservative member of congress,” and then he changes the subject.
Roy Blunt = More of the Same