Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rationality in action redux

A while back when tornadoes did a lot of damage to Mississippi I talked about how Haley Barbour was acting rationally when he criticized Eric Cantor for wanting to offset any relief funding with spending cuts elsewhere. Well, Cantor is saying the same thing about FEMA funding after the hurricane that hit the east coast. This time its Republican governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia that comes out against Cantor:
Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell, breaking with Cantor, on Tuesday suggested that deficit-spending concerns should not be a factor as Congress and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) respond to the hurricane.

“My concern is that we help people in need,” McDonnell said during his monthly radio show. “For the FEMA money that’s going to flow, it’s up to them on how they get it. I don’t think it’s the time to get into that [deficit] debate.”

When its your people and their votes on the line, you are less willing to compromise. In fact, even Cantor has previously asked for relief without offsets when his district needed it. He eventually even voted against offsetting the spending.

I think what this shows is that Cantor is more nationally inclined in his preferences. I've read speculation that he wants to be Speaker of the House. That makes sense given that he is already in a leadership position as current majority leader. Since he has higher goals beyond just being the representative of his district, the way he goes about achieving those goals changes. So even when you get people from the same party who are ideologically similar together on an issue, you can see them coming to different conclusions because its more efficient for them to do so based on their different goals. And that is what acting rationally is about.

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