Conservatives who are excited about Republican victories in last night’s elections should read this article in the Politico and remember that the GOP has a long way to go before it has any credibility as a small government party. The piece takes a close look at the House select committee on earmark reform, which Republican leaders created among much fanfare after the Nov. 2008 election to combat pork barrel spending projects. Yet the committee still hasn’t delivered a report on earmark spending that was supposed to be completed in February, and more tellingly, eight out of the 10 members of the committee have requested earmarks themselves this year. This is a great example of the futility of Republicans when it comes to reining in government — they talk a big game about cutting spending, take symbolic measures like creating a committee, but don’t deliver anything tangible.
Commenting on the article, David Hogberg asks three questions:
First, does it make much sense to have an earmark reform panel dominated by members who earmark?
Second, is the GOP ready to reach out to the Tea Party movement (which is clearly anxious about the size, scope and honesty of government) or is it a party that is engaged in “business as usual”?
Third, is this what Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, was referring to when he recently said the following about the Tea Party movement on CNN: “It’s going to be a difficult road to walk with these relatively new entrants into the political system and work with them to show them that, by and large, we are the party that represents their interests?”
I would add a fourth: if Republicans can’t kick their spending habit when they have absolutely no power, than how can we expect them to control themselves should they return to power?