Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Grown-ups back in charge in congress?

Once upon a time Republicans liked to characterize themselves as the daddy party, the stern, clear-sighted paterfamilias who could defend our borders and balance our budgets and keep the nasty little kid nations in line.

Democrats where, of course, as belonging to the mommy party, sympathetic and well intentioned, but not hard-nosed enought to DO WHAT MUST BE DONE in this cold, cruel world.

Now I'm not EVEN going to get into a discussion of the sexism underlying those perceptions, except to point out, that like all such dunderheaded mis-characterizations, they are simply not true.

Regardless, the Republicans have clearly abandoned any claim to fiscal responsibility, and so I was very happy to read that Democrats are taking up the slack.

From the Washington Post:

Democratic leaders declared a temporary moratorium on special-interest provisions known as earmarks as they attempt to cope with a budget crisis left by the outgoing Republican-led 109th Congress.

What an incredible move. Seriously.

Not only are the Dems showing that they're serious about addressing the GOP-created budget crisis, they are also curtailing one of the most corruption-prone practices in government.

And, as Kevin Drum points out:
Since most of the earmarks are probably slated for Republican districts, this is both good policy and good politics.


And since the budget crisis was caused by GOPers in a snit about losing the last election, I find it quite appropriate that their pork projects are now off the table.

Ah schadenfreude, sweet, sweet schadenfreude.


Anonymous said...

This whole earmark discussion is interesting. With the Democrats’ promise to pause earmarks, there’s a lot to consider. When it comes to the public’s understanding of the nation’s finances, the American people are surprisingly tuned in, willing to make sacrifices and extremely understanding of fiscal challenges. But when it comes to government spending, there are some trust issues.

Citizen Kang said...

But when it comes to government spending, there are some trust issues.

To say the least.

To my mind the entire earmarking process is among the most egregious practices preventing good government.

Even when not merely quid pro quo for campaign contributions, the earmarking process as recently practiced can only further erode public trust.