Needless to say, I was right and they were wrong. The Dems have done next to nothing to rid Congress of earmarks, those nasty little add-ons to bills that members use to butter up constituents, payoff lobbyists, and fatten their own pockets.
Now that the Dems control the purse strings once again, they are not quite so eager to clean up shop, Robert Bluey points out:
So when Murtha faced Republican opposition for a $23-million earmark to fund the National Drug Intelligence Center, an operation in his hometown of Johnstown, Pa., he blew a gasket -- “unleashing a loud, finger-jabbing, spittle-spraying piece of his mind,” according to The Hill.The Dems seem to have a short memory when it comes to their campaign promises. What a shock right? Well, only if you have no idea of how politicians work or if you are just so blindly partisan that you only see problems with the "other" side.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), a fellow appropriator, was the recipient of Murtha’s tirade for voting against the earmark in committee. Murtha threatened to pull a pet project from Tiahrt’s district to exact revenge. Fortunately for both members, the situation was resolved, and they walked away from the squabble with their projects intact.
Such is life in Washington, where members of Congress still don’t get it.
Democrats and Republicans are both quick to point out the problems with the other side, while blatantly ignoring their own party's lapses. As the saying goes, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." The truly disheartening thing is that there is no sign of change on the horizon. Their taste of power has almost completely cleansed the Republican party of all of its beliefs of small government and fiscal sanity, so even if they regain power, expect no changes.
I guess the best that can be hoped for is continued split power between Congress and the President. At least that slows the process down a bit so that not quite as much pork gets through, but both sides have shown they are eager to be "bought off" with pork; principles be damned when there is other people's money to be wasted.