Is it really so wonderful that the Republican leadership is trying to win elections “locally” this fall? Well, wait until you see what they mean by “locally.”
In 1994, Republicans snagged an historic majority of both houses of Congress by being national, not local. Their national theme was based on reforming the tax-and-spend culture of the federal government. Like-minded candidates signed a pledge to do so, the Contract With America. But Republicans squandered the political capital they gained in 1994. Except for a few stalwarts (including self-limited representatives like Matt Salmon, Mark Sanford, and Tom Coburn), they’ve caved on issue after issue at the first sign of trouble. They’re behaving like you guessed it career politicians.
And now the National Review reports that the GOP has a grand electoral strategy for 2000 of doling out as much pork as possible in districts where Republicans are at risk. Kate O’Beirne writes, “The House leaders can dispense enough pork and policy, with a dash of pandering, to insulate their members from political trouble. . . . After the appropriators take care of their own districts, 49 percent of what’s left over goes to the ‘vulnerable list.'” Great. And the purpose of gaining political power by handing out slab after fat slab of pork is to do what, exactly? Eliminate pork barrel spending? That’s not something you’ll ever be able to do while “Oink! Oink!” is your rallying cry.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.