Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tea Party Senators Win First Round … Or Did They?


Tea Party Senators Win First Round … Or Did They?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


In an article by J. Taylor Rushing entitled: “GOP Senate leader McConnell backs down, agrees to earmark ban” at The Hill’s website (HERE) Senator McConnell is quoted as having said: “There is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight.”

Senator McConnell continued: “And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government,”

Oh, it SOUNDS GREAT, right? But, I wonder.

Maybe it is just my natural paranoia, but it seems to me, this Great Victory for the Tea Party could just as easily be a ruse … allow the Tea Partiers to have a few small victories at the beginning of the lame duck session of the Congress and then bring the hammer down later on.

If I have learned anything over the span of my seven decades, it is that one should NEVER trust a politician!

Earmarks are one of the most important tools in buying votes from constituents back home. I’m sorry, folks, but I do not see the Republicans or the democrats giving them up this easily. It’s just TOO easy.

“A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday said it was up to each senator whether to support earmarks. “From delivering $100 million in military projects for Nevada to funding education and public transportation projects in the state, Sen. Reid makes no apologies for delivering for the people of Nevada,” spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement.” Read the entire article (HERE).

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a favorite of Tea Party activists who has pressed his colleagues to agree to the moratorium issued a statement after McConnell’s speech that saluted him for “bold leadership.”

“His statement today and tomorrow’s vote to enact the moratorium will send a clear signal to voters that Republicans heard the message of the last election,” DeMint said. “I am proud that House and Senate Republicans have united to end the earmark favor factory.” (SOURCE)

It would be wrong to think that ALL republican senators are in favor of ending earmarks. Senator James Inhofe, republican of Oklahoma, is not particularly happy about ending earmarks. Inhofe is quoted as having said: “It would be nothing short of criminal to go through the trouble of electing great new anti-establishment conservatives, only to have them cede to President Obama their constitutional power of the purse — which is exactly what would happen with a moratorium on earmarks.” (SOURCE)

Instead Inhofe has introduced a bill of his own that would limit earmarks that are sent to congressional campaign donors, prohibit legislative staffers from participating in fundraising, create a database of congressional earmarks, require random earmark audits by the Government Accountability Office and require earmark recipients to be certified as qualified for the corresponding project. (SOURCE)

To be honest, it is worrisome when Obama agrees with something the republicans are doing, or attempting to do. In this case Obama said: “I welcome Sen. McConnell’s decision to join me and members of both parties who support cracking down on wasteful earmark spending, which we can’t afford during these tough economic times.” The President went on to say: “As a senator, I helped eliminate anonymous earmarks, and as president, I’ve called for new limitations on earmarks and set new, higher standards of transparency and accountability.”

See what I mean? Makes me think that Senator Inhofe has a very important point when he says: “It would be nothing short of criminal to go through the trouble of electing great new anti-establishment conservatives, only to have them cede to President Obama their constitutional power of the purse — which is exactly what would happen with a moratorium on earmarks.”

We understand this moratorium on earmarks is for two years only. What happens in two years? The Presidential Election of 2012.

The conservative assault on the liberal-socialist government in America has secured a beachhead. Now we must press the attack onward toward the mark of controlling both the US House of Representatives and the Senate as well as placing a conservative President in the White House.

As we press the attack we must be mindful of minefields along the way. Our adversaries are “dug-in” and they are not going to give in easily. They are masters at political ju-jitsu. They are not above using our own efforts against us. We must reconnoiter thoroughly, and plan every skirmish and every battle meticulously.
Conservatives must understand that we may not win every battle. But we MUST win the war to save America.
J. D. Longstreet

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