Monday, June 11, 2007

GOP Demagogues -- Our Last, Best Hope

Probably the most significant reason (behind Iraq) for the Democrats return to power was their promise to clean up the "Culture of Corruption" that is created by the way earmarks are handled. I called bullshit at the time, not because I didn't think the process needed to be cleaned up, but because I knew the Dems wouldn't actually keep that promise.

After a just-for-show swat at the earmarks during their 100 hours agenda, it was back to business as usual, or at least it was briefly. Now things have gotten even worse. House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey (D-WI) has decided to take the process completely underground and tack the earmarks on after the passage of bills just before they went into conference. This makes the chance of sunlight reaching these projects virtually nil. Indeed there are already some 30,000 requests (more than under the Republicans even) waiting to get slipped in.

Fortunately, there are a few members of the Grand 'Ol Party that either still hold to small government beliefs or that have found religion on the subject now that the electorate has kicked them firmly in the balls. They are making noise and the Dems don't like it. We've already seen Murtha castigating anyone that would dare challenge his place at the trough and now Obey is trying to get those pesky few Republicans to pipe down:

House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey, D-Wis., today outlined how earmarks will be disclosed before conference, and warned that if Republicans “demagogue” the issue there might be no earmarks in the fiscal 2008 bills.

Now call me crazy, but you have to be one hell of an idiot to threaten these guys in such a manner. If I was a member fighting against earmarks and the guy that controlled all earmarks threatened to put an end to all those earmarks if I didn't pipe down, what do you think I would do?

Update: There may be some progress.

1 comment:

Al said...

Reminds me of Blazing Saddles somehow.