Saturday, November 20, 2010

GOP and establishment politicians face Tea Party patriots

Excellent cartoon, writ large in the immortal words of Mitch McConnell, who reversed his pork-laden position on earmarks in just three days. His high profile defense of earmarks suddenly switched to an agreement with incoming GOP members, who are seeking to ban the practice.

What changed?

The arrival of Tea Party Republicans, that's what.

After rigorously defending earmarks at the Heritage Foundation on Nov. 2, and then on "Face the Nation" Nov. 5, McConnell suddenly waved the white flag. He reversed field. Now he will no longer support earmarks.

“Nearly every day that the Senate’s been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this spot and said that Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people. When it comes to earmarks, I won’t be guilty of the same thing.”

“Make no mistake. I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.”

This is huge. Mitch defended his earmarks as going for essential and good things, but noted that he cannot defend a practice that is most often used in devastating fashion, rife with excess and abuse. Good for Mitch.

Although he is late to the party, at least he now sees the light... with the ghosts of Patriots at the door.

More than can be said for others in Washington.

So drink a cup of tea, and pray! Things can change.



Patrick O'Hannigan said...

Hi Loy!
This new essay is related to your post, in a way:

Loy Mershimer said...

Excellent essay, Patrick. Very fine. Will link.

A most blessed Christmas to you and yours!