Tuesday, September 30, 2008

McCain Vs. Earmarks

In McCain's tirades about earmarks Friday night, two lines stood out as exceptionally clueless. The first was when he identified earmarks as the cause of corruption--"why we have, as I said, people under federal indictment and charges." The second was when he asked, rhetorically, "Do you know that [earmarks have] tripled in the last five years?"

Earmarks don't cause corruption. Republican ideology causes corruption. As I've said before, as I've been saying since 1994, when you put government in the hands of people who believe it has no useful purpose, those people are going to use it for just two things: to enrich themselves and their campaign contributors, and to increase their own power. Corruption flows inevitably from the anti-government delusions of the Republican party.

And the fact that McCain really doesn't get this was illustrated by his comment about earmarks tripling over the last five years--by his failure to mention that they had tripled under a Republican Congress and a Republican president, or that the Democrats had cut them back significantly in 2007.

Opposing earmarks--that's a tactic. Opposing Republican ideology--that's a strategy. John McCain doesn't understand the difference.