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Friday, February 12, 2010

Republican spinelessness

How can it be that so-called conservatives, when presented with an opportunity to show their conservative backbone, crumple and grab the pork, anyway?

SJ-R: Shimkus, Schock defend 'no' votes on earmarks
Republican U.S. Reps. Aaron Schock and John Shimkus were at Lincoln Land Community College to tout a $350,000 grant for a green technologies education program. Both voted against the budget bill that funded the project after pushing for its inclusion as an earmark.
Large budgets in Washington are to blame, they said.
“I believe as elected representatives we have a responsibility to advocate for our districts,” Schock, of Peoria, said after a press conference at the college. “Because I don’t believe that the budget is responsible doesn’t mean that I’m going to abdicate my second responsibility, which is to advocate for our fair share of the funding.”

I remember last year when the 2010 earmarks were made public. I was amazed at the amount of extra spending coming out of the Illinois Republican caucus. Even our newest Central Illinois congressman, Aaron Schock [the monkey], couldn't resist spreading some taxpayer pork around his district to the tune of more than $330 million. (Yeah, I added it up. I didn't add up Shimkus's earmarks, however, because his format wasn't conducive to copying and pasting into a spreadsheet.)

Shimkus, of Collinsville, agreed that, although he’s against excessive spending, there will still be spending on federal grants.
“That money is going to get spent whether I vote yes or I vote no,” he said.

There's a word for that. What is it... thinking. Oh yeah, hypocrisy.

In case there's any doubt, I am not necessarily anti-earmark, and I think this money will be put to very good use. What I am definitely anti is first you get elected on a platform of anti-spending, fiscal conservativeness, then you line up a big bunch of earmarks for your district, then you go around deriding tax and spend policy while letting your Democrat brethren across the aisle carry the weight to get your earmarks passed so you can vote against them (and maybe even show your utter contempt for the president by walking out during his speech on health care reform, but that's another story), then you show up on location to hand out the cash, all the while trying to grab a few votes along the way.

On the other hand, my own congressman, Phil Hare, who I totally adore, is predictably pro-labor, pro-health care reform, pro-tax, big government. And, he's straightforward and honest about it all. Can the people who voted for Shimkus and Schock say that? They should get their votes back.

Posted by Marie at February 12, 2010 8:45 PM