Even When Republicans Do The Right Thing, It's For The Wrong Reason

December 05, 2011 12:30 pm ET — Jamison Foser

Rep. Peter King

Before President Obama even took office, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) decided the GOP should oppose Democratic initiatives for purely political reasons. Now a senior House Republican reveals that even when Republicans support good policy, they do it for the wrong reasons:

Some Republicans worried about the political fallout for their party if the public holds them responsible for holding up middle-class tax relief.

"If we don't extend the payroll tax (cut), we're giving the Democrats an issue," said Rep. Peter King, R-New York. "There is no need to give it to them. They're the ones who mismanaged the economy. They are the ones who put us in this situation. We shouldn't allow them to get out from under that."

Extending the payroll tax cut would give struggling workers more money to spend, which is what the economy actually needs, and also cut taxes for every small business, which is what Republicans say the economy needs. But Peter King says his party should support it to ensure that Democrats can't "get out from under" the political consequences of a bad economy. That's the modern Republican Party: Occasionally willing to do the right thing, but only if they think it will hurt Democrats.