To piggy-back (no pun intended) on one of Chris’s posts from yesterday, it also bears noting how thoroughly overblown the current debate over Congressional pork is. One: it’s more than a little duplicitous for the GOP to suddenly start stampeding down the earmark warpath after pork-barrel spending tripled under their watch (while since 2006, Democrats have slashed earmarks by 43% and created new earmark disclosure rules). Two: the degree of fanfare the DeMint-McCain proposal has drummed up seems to me a bit ludicrous. While it’s always refreshing to see members demonstrate commitment to reform, the DeMint-McCain proposal is nothing more than a temporary, one-year ban–kind of like the one the Democrats passed after they took over Congress.
With the GOP continuing to gleefully reprove Democrats on the issue, it certainly doesn’t help that McCain has consistently foregone earmarks, while Clinton ranks as one of the Senate’s top 10 earmark-grossing members. But for now, when Sen. DeMint crows, “The jig’s up on earmarks,” remember that he’s only referring to this election year (in which not many spending bills are expected to pass anyway).