Gillespie: Big Government Has Won?

Earlier today, I stumbled across an article in the National Review entitled, “Has Big Government Won?”  Written in 2003, during the Bush presidency, the author of the piece asks if the Republican Party has cast off all notions of a fiscally responsible, constitutionally limited government and instead embraced the idea of unrestrained federal power.

Now that the Bush era is over, some Republicans feel that they can finally admit that the party strayed tremendously from its supposed principles during this time.  That realization is no great news story, although it is worth repeating and remembering in the wistful hope that it never happens again.  However, I’d like to draw your attention to the man referenced in the beginning of the article, then Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.

IMG_2458Although they aren’t direct quotes from Mr. Gillespie, the article states, “Gillespie basically said that the Republicans’ long-time war against big government has now ended.  Government won.”  Drawing from the Manchester News Leader, it goes on to add, “the party’s new chairman, energetic and full of vigor, said in no uncertain terms that the days of Reaganesque Republican railings against the expansion of federal government are over.”

Some would say that it doesn’t matter as it was ten years in the past and Ed Gillespie no longer heads the RNC.   However, it is relevant to our present times because Ed Gillespie is currently running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in the state of Virginia.  Therefore, what Virginia voters need to know is does he still embrace these opinions?  Has big government won?  On his website, he declares himself to be a conservative, and although conservatives come in a multitude of varieties, one would be hard-pressed to label embracing big government as anything approaching conservative.

A decade is long time and there is no doubt that political positions shift and change.  But does Ed Gillespie still hold his previous opinions?  Does he still believe that the Republicans should not fight against the expansion of federal power?  And if the answer to these two questions is yes, can any voter who considers himself to be either conservative or libertarian support Mr. Gillespie for U.S. Senate?

Goodlatte On Immigration

Photo from Representative Goodlatte’s website

Recently, several news sources have reported that Representative Bob Goodlatte is changing his stance on immigration.  According to these pieces, Goodlatte is considering supporting some form of amnesty for illegal aliens.

For example, Politico says, “House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) says he sees ‘no reason’ why current undocumented immigrants shouldn’t gain legal status as long as Congress enacts tougher border-security and enforcement measures.”  They quote Goodlatte as saying, “‘If we can have a way to get [enforcement] up and operating, I see no reason why we can’t also have an agreement that shows how people who are not lawfully here can be able to be lawfully here – able to live here, work here, travel to and from their home country, be able to own a business, pay their taxes.'”

National Review points out that Representative Goodlatte’s website has recently been modified to remove his opposition to amnesty.  A line on his site from early 2013 which read, “we must not grant amnesty to individuals who have broken our laws” has apparently been removed and now discusses the issue stating, “we can all agree that our nation’s immigration system is broken”.

In response, less than a half an hour ago, the following statement appeared on Representative Goodlatte’s Facebook page.  “A few recent news articles have misrepresented my work and position on immigration reform. The need to reform our immigration laws is clear; however, I am opposed to amnesty and always have been. I do not support a special pathway to citizenship that rewards those who have willfully broken our immigration laws.”

It is curious to read these somewhat contradictory statements regarding Goodlatte’s stance immigration.  Will Representative Goodlatte end up supporting amnesty or some version thereof as the articles state?  Or will he oppose the plan as today’s statement indicates?