The Spectacle Blog

Credit to Sen. McConnell

By on 11.15.10 | 1:24PM

Over at the home page today, I was rather tough on Sen. Mitch McConnell for fighting so hard against a ban on local-interest earmarks. It therefore behooves me to give him credit for reversing course. Just a little while ago on the Senate floor, the Republican Leader from Kentucky announced that he now will support an earmark moratorium. The clip I saw of his statement included his explanation that the ban is sybolically important and that Americans will not trust Congress on bigger issues if Congress is unresponsive on smaller sums such as those involved in earmarks.

Good for Sen. McConnell. Sometimes leadership involves listening and, somewhat ironically, following the lead of others. Done right, this isn't weakness; it's the strength of knowing that one need not have ALL the answers in order to do an effective job. Not to sound too Zen-like, but sometimes the subjugation of ego is the best way to assert oneself. And sometimes learning is as important as teaching. Sen. McConnell, wrong as he was for the past few weeks, did not ride his wrongness off a cliff. His change of heart is welcome, and meritorious.

Just over an hour ago, before McConnell switched course, leading earmark opponent Sen. Jim DeMint told a conference call that "If people who voted for it before vote for it again we'll win it easily... I think we've probably got the edge by a vote or two right now..... At this point I think we're gonna have the votes to win it." I trust that with McConnell's switch, the win will be a lot larger. If so, it will mark an excellent first step in conservative reform.

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