Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rotten to the Core

Prior to 1994, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) was the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Republicans have periodically ridiculed Senator Byrd for two different matters: 1)He was once a member of the Klu Klux Klan; and 2) He wielded his power as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee to make himself into West Virginia's most beneficent industry. He moved countless federal jobs and billions of federal dollars into his home state.

Republicans who dislike Senator Byrd's love of pork must account for our own Trent Lott (R-MS), who lost his position as Majority Leader after suggesting that the country would have been better off had segregationist candidate Strom Thurmond been elected President in 1948. Today, Mr. Lott killed an amendment by Republican Tom Coburn and Democrat Barack Obama that would have required the creation of a data base for tracking private recipients of federal funds. Such public disclosure would have a chilling effect on porkbarrell spending projects. According to Mark Tapscott, Mr. Lott killed the amendment by means of a Senate rule that requires amendments to be related to the content of the bill they are amending. Evidently, he did not consider porkbarrell spending to be germane to the bill's concern with political ethics.

Reportedly, after Bill Frist leaves office Mr. Lott would like to return to his old position of Majority Leader. If Republicans put him in that position, they will demonstrate a disdain for what was once a core principle of the party: limited government.

Hat Tip: Ed Morrissey

No comments: