Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pretend Earmark Reform

Via the Examiner (HT: Instapundit):
Young children with active imaginations often invent playtime scenarios in which they pretend to be somebody else, like an astronaut or a firefighter. Everybody, including the adults in the household, knows it is make-believe. Most members of Congress seem to have forgotten that adults know pretending when they see it. And for months, they’ve been seeing way too much pretending on the issue of earmarks and ethics reform.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., epitomized the pretenders when she declared it “historic” that the House, on a 411-8 vote, approved the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (which, by the way, she negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid behind closed doors). The Senate is expected to approve the bill today or Friday. There are a few positive provisions in the bill, but the bottom line is that it is stuffed with cosmetic changes that fail to address the core issues of congressional corruption spawned by earmarks. . . .

Reid and Pelosi are not alone in pretending to advance genuine reforms. As Roll Call predicted last month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is now undercutting Coburn and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and signaling the desire of many GOP establishmentarians to move on from earmarks and ethics issues. Next, McConnell will credit a “bipartisan consensus” as key to victory for reform in the Senate, thereby enabling Democrats to claim they’ve kept their 2006 campaign promise. Then members on both sides of the aisle in Congress can go on pretending they are serious about honest leadership and open government in Washington.


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