Today’s Washington Post has a big feature on how GOP Appropriations Committee folks in the House are fighting tooth and nail against saner voices in the party, against reforms of ethics and of earmarks. One would at least expect the appropriators to offer a principled, or at least principled-sounding, defense of their position. But no. Idaho’s Mike Simpson makes up (partly) in candor what he and all his ilk so obviously lack in philosophical principle: Rep. Simpson told the Post that “we are getting more authoritative…. We are standing up for our turf.”
Bingo! That’s what this all is about, pure and simple: a nasty, petty turf war. Nothing noble, nothing public-service-oriented, nothing even remotely suggesting principle. Just turf. Power for power’s sake.
I write this as somebody who for two years was on the payroll of the Appropriations Committee. But I never drank the kool-aid. The appropriators who are more interested in preserving their own turn than in serving the public interest aren’t worth former VP John Nance Garner’s proverbial bucket of warm, uh, spit. A pox on all their turf, and on their reputations.