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Opening Arguments

Weak tea

As a commenter on another post noted, eight Republican senators, including Indiana's own Richard Lugar, joined most Democrats in voting down a plan to put a two-year moratorium on earmarks:

Udall, one of the proposal's co-sponsors, expressed disappointment with the vote and vowed to continue to fight earmarking.

"When it comes to budgeting, earmarks are a frustrating -- and ultimately dangerous -- example of the tail wagging the dog," he said in a statement. "Too many lawmakers are so focused on protecting their earmarks, they turn a blind eye to excessive spending bills. Holding government accountable and being good stewards of the public dollar become an afterthought."

Many of the proponents of earmarks gave us a false choice -- either let the earmarks live or more power to set spending priorities must be given to the Obama administration. But that claim misses the point of mostearmark critics, which was not that members of Congress set spending priorities. It was that, istead of having one topic per bill, voted up or down so we knw exactly who voted for what, our elected representatives stuffed hundreds of their favorite projects into giant spending bills so that each one got to take credit back home, but nobody really had to take responsibility.

In the meantime, the president and Republicans had a meeting about extending the Bush tax cuts, and the Republicans sounded absolutely giddy:

On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the meeting was "a useful and a frank discussion." The House's top Republican, Rep. John A. Boehner (Ohio), applauded Obama's outreach and said he looked forward to more talks.

Same old same old.


tim zank
Wed, 12/01/2010 - 10:56am

That vote by Lugar, coupled with his Dream Act support will be the last two nails in his political career coffin.

Talk about tone deaf.