Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”     H. L. Mencken

January 28, 2008

Bush, Congressional Republicans Cave On Earmark Reform

by Doug Mataconis

It looks like Republicans in Washington are backing down on the fight against Congressional earmarks, the latest example being the White House’s decision to back away from issuing an Executive Order aimed at stopping earmarks altogether:

The White House is now confirming that President Bush won’t be signing an executive order that could stop the vast majority of earmarks. Instead, he’s going to sign one  “directing agencies to ignore any future earmarks included in report language but not in the legislation, which is traditionally how they end upon the books,” according to White House spokesman Dana Perino.

Bush will also threaten to veto any appropriations bills that don’t cut the number of earmarks in half when they come to him during the remainder of his days in the White House.

Confirmation of Bush’s decision comes hard on the heels of the House GOP’s weekend letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposing a six-month moratorium on earmarks and the appointment of a joint Senate-House committee to study the issue. And last week the Senate GOP Conference Chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, made clear his intent to cooperate with Democrats rather than confront them.

In view of the collapse of the GOP leadership on all three fronts, it is absolutely fitting that Pelosi most accurately explains what it means: “I think Republicans have pulled their punch on earmarks. It looked like a very lukewarm approach. They want to beat a loud drum, but when it comes down to it, they want their earmarks.”

Precisely. With few exceptions, the Republicans in the nation’s capitol are toothless wonders. They talk a good case for conservative reform but they don’t walk it. They want to keep the perks of power and position, even if doing so means betraying the principles they profess to believe and for the defense of which their constituents voted for them.

On all but a few issues, America no longer has a two-party system – It has only the Party of Government with two wings cooperating “to get things done.” We conservatives are a base without a party.

Given how the Republicans governed during the first six years of the Bush Administration, can anyone honestly say that they’re surprised by this ?

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3 Comments

  1. Funny- Bush never had any problems issuing executive orders to get around the clear text of legislation on, say, torture, but he suddenly is morally opposed to issuing an executive order to ignore something that isn’t even in the language of the legislation.

    Comment by Mark — January 28, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
  2. This is much ado about nothing. Earmarks are just like signing statements; they’re the obvious symptom of a deeper problem.

    It doesn’t mean crap if they “cut the number of earmarks in half.” The only thing that matters is the size of the appropriations bill and Paul will probably be the only one talking about that.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — January 28, 2008 @ 3:51 pm
  3. I appreciate your comments Doug. Genuine conservatives must continue to run and repel the corruption endorsed by liberal Republicans such as Mr. Alexander. I support cooperation in government but some issues must be held fast or America will sink.

    Comment by Mark Albertini — January 28, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

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