For Republicans, the tea party is over

Senator Rand Paul was right — Republicans can be hypocrites when it comes to spending.

Mr. Paul, the architect of Friday’s one-man shutdown, called out his own party for renewed profligacy after years of penny-pinching during the Obama administration, accusing Republicans of forming “an unholy alliance and spending free-for-all with Democrats at the expense of the American people and our party’s supposed principles.”

But Mr. Paul, a Kentucky Republican, had his own obvious inconsistencies. He was bemoaning a surge in deficit spending after enthusiastically voting in December for a deficit-ballooning $1.5 trillion tax cut. He then forced a brief and avoidable government shutdown that threw federal agencies into confusion, even though he had zero chance of blocking the budget measure.