John McCain and the Tale of the Earmarks

Tue, March 10, 2009


No, not earwigs. Or ear worms.


Senator John McCain is really rattling the cage this week about “earmarks” — those special requests in the federal budget that allow lawmakers to get a few hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars here or there for pet projects they claim their constituents need. McCain says he is SOOO against them. And to a certain extent, he’s better than many. But he’s not pure as the driven snow when it comes to extra money, no matter what his Twitter stream says.

Getting on his soapbox about earmarks is a great political move in this economic climate. When we’re all trying to make ends meet, who wouldn’t be against federal funds to buy a trolley or to pay for streetscaping? My problem is the whole ‘he who lives in glass houses’ thing.

McCain likes to split hairs over the definition of an earmark — he seems to think the term only applies if you’re trying to put a spending plan in the budget on the down-low. Somehow, if you’re up front about wanting to spend $10 million on some law school facility named for the late Supreme Court Chief Justice (from McCain’s home state) William Rehnquist that’s OK. Or you shouldn’t be painted with the bad brush of federal earmarks if you choose someone like Sarah Palin, a true earmark expert, to be your VP running mate.

It’s easy for Senator McCain to make excuses for why his requests and actions should be OK but not others. McCain (or his staff) is on a Twitter campaign to convince us that he has our budget interests at heart and that the Democrats are going on a wild earmark spree!

Don’t. You. Believe. It.

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5 Responses to “John McCain and the Tale of the Earmarks”

  1. Jen Says:

    You are so right on with this. His newly found twittering abilities are astonishing. He had nothing to say when I tweeted to him my displeasure about his vote against the Lily Ledbetter Act.

    The truth is that while some projects are not worthwhile, no one knows what it’s like to live in another state unless you’ve been there. They all have worthwhile things that need $$. We like to build things, but not maintain them in this country and that is so stupid to me. ie – my local gov’t is fighting about the fact that our War Memorial needs a new roof. This is where our hockey team plays and other venues, etc. Did we really expect that the building would never need repairs?

    Anyhow… good post!! haha

  2. Kelley Irish Says:

    Add to this Jindal’s rhetoric sharpening divisions- and what do you get????

    Spoilsports. That’s why I’m a born again Democrat

  3. judy in ky Says:

    How stupid do they think we are? Some things never change.

  4. PunditMom Says:

    Jen, you make such a great point about maintenance. When I was a TV reporter (MANY moons ago!) one story I broke was about the county bridges and how unsafe they were because no one ever put money aside to maintain them. If that kind of money is an “earmark” then I’m all for it.

  5. PunditMom Says:

    Kelley, I wish many conservatives could see Jindal for what he is — a guy who’s trying to build an opportunity to get into the White House, not someone looking out for the people of the state he’s supposed to be governing.

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