GOP in full retreat from past stands

Republicans were for energy-efficient lightbulbs before they were against them. The 2007 bill phasing in cost- and energy-saving lighting “passed the House with 95 Republican votes and was signed by President George W. Bush,” writes Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson. “There were no riots in the streets. Yet by the time Republicans took over the House in January 2011, this previously uncontroversial legislation had become the basis of an ideological war. Between 2007 and 2011, energy waste and pollution seem to have become inviolable conservative principles.” Republicans “increasingly reject the tissue of their own proposals and their own reasonable history,” she noted, citing similar retreats on the individual health insurance mandate, cap-and-trade and federal loan guarantees. “The problem here isn’t hypocrisy, which abounds at all points on the political spectrum. It’s that Republicans have abandoned market-based solutions in favor of no solutions at all,” she writes. “They’ve traded in their traditional small-government philosophy for anti-government rage, generally doing their level best to look like yahoos whenever cameras are near.”