January 30, 2009 10:23AM

Flowers Aren’t Enough

“Small Government Returns as [Republican] Maxim,” headlines the Washington Post.

The unanimous vote by House Republicans against President Obama’s stimulus plan provided an early indication that the GOP hopes to regain power by becoming the champion of small government, a reputation many felt slipped away during the high‐​spending Bush years.

But small‐​government voters may not be persuaded that the GOP has returned to its principles on the basis of one vote against a bill proposed by the other party, which happens to be, in the words of Republican whip Eric Cantor, likely “the largest spending bill in history.”

Like a wife whose husband has strayed dozens of times over the past eight years, small‐​government voters may not feel that one Valentine’s Day present is enough to restore trust. Especially when some of the prodigal Republicans are even now saying that they might vote for the largest spending bill in history on final passage.