Last night, as I mourned the loss of Milton Friedman, I removed a copy of his book, Bright Promises, Dismal Performance, from my bookshelf. Inside the cover, I found clippings of some of his WSJ op-eds that I saved over the years. The subjects covered such issues as the minimum wage, free trade and medical savings accounts–all remain fresh and relevant, of course. But there was one article that I found particularly relevant. Written in the early days of the Republican Majority, when the party was already backing away from some of its pledges to restrain spending, Friedman argued that to expect politicians to match their rhetoric with actions was to expect the impossible. Only he stated it much more eloquently:
“Those of us who are repeatedly frustrated by the failure of elected representatives to fit the deed to the word are asking for a barking cat.”
With the results of this morning’s Minority Leader race now in, it seems that those of us who were hoping Republicans would learn a lesson from defeat and return to their small-government roots, were, in reality, asking for a barking cat.
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