Friday, November 21, 2008

House GOP Caucus (Again) Strikes Earmark Moratorium

This is worth pointing out purely as a symbolic red flag.

The vote again exposed fissures among GOP conservatives and could undercut one of the party’s signature themes, limited government.

Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio and Eric Cantor of Virginia had unveiled late Wednesday a moratorium on GOP earmark requests through Feb. 16 while a new panel of Republicans comes up with proposals for permanent restrictions and disclosure requirements for earmarks

But Todd Tiahrt of Kansas, an appropriator, offered an amendment to strip the requirement for an earmark moratorium. And Tiahrt’s moratorium-killing proposal was approved by the full caucus, said several GOP aides. The amended rules package was then adopted.

The earmark moratorium had little teeth, was temporary, and would've restricted a limited range of earmark spending. Also, I'm not one that believes earmarks are in and of themselves evil.

But how many times during the '08 campaigns did we hear Congressional Republican candidates (I'm looking at you Rob Bishop) use spending cuts and limiting the federal government's influence over states as a reason for you to give them your vote?

We need to better understand the difference between something a congressman means, and something a congressman says because it will garner the reactionary low-information vote. Unless we consider this type of "leadership" adequate.

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