Monday, June 25, 2007

Pat's all about transparency, NOT

"We need to lay clear this earmarks. We need to know what they are in the legislation so that the American people can judge for themselves the worthiness of the programs."

Crooks and Liars posted this short video over the weekend:

Yeah, I guess Avery County (among others) would have liked to know that over a hundred grand was up for Christmas tree subsidies, don't you think?

Enjoy these selected comments cut and pasted from the post at Crooks and Liars.

This guy is an absolute opportunistic idiot. A child trying to please his daddy who will say anything to get ahead.
He is a nasty little wingnut.
McHenry & Putnam make my skin crawl because they're both pasty white, flabby, guys who think they're tough as nails! Ewwwwwwwwwww, they make me want to gag myself with a garden rake.
The money would double retail space available for a gift shop selling products - typically made by former factory workers whose plants have been shuttered

Well at least it's not for a bridge going to nowhere.
I really can't stand McHenry. Picture a College Republican thug with a Congressional seat and you've got him in a nutshell. The perfect little conservative storm trooper, all yelp and shit for brains. I still have found memories of his inane blather that the Dems were to blame for the Mark Foley mess. Or when Barney Frank verbally eviscerated him on the House floor (basically rubbing in his face the fact that the Dems control the House and he's nothing but a powerless yakker). He's always good to mock.
$129,000 of government money for a shop selling Christmas ornaments? Golly, I hope he can help fund the bake-sale to keep homeless busy will be a success too.

The money would double retail space available for a gift shop selling products - typically made by former factory workers whose plants have been shuttered

Well at least it's not for a bridge going to nowhere.
I don't like him on a lot of levels, but this doesn't seem awful to me. Here's my sniff test - if a Democrat was proposing this, would we howl? North Carolina a furniture making country, and a lot of that work is leaving the US. The skills used in furniture making could translate well into making ornaments, which (in case you have bought any in the last few years) are getting to be big ticket items. What the hell - why not?

Again, I think he's a wanker, but this isn't one to hold against him.
The guy is a craven hack on all talk shows, lies to his own constituents and votes against their interests. I'm sure he's got a bright future in the GOP.
If he were a Dem and the Publicans raked him over the coals for this, we would correctly see it as a petty partisan attack, and call them mean-spirited to boot, since this bill does in fact help the disadvantaged. We reduce our credibility by picking at nits.

Also, although it is very hypocritical of the Publicans to go after earmarks in the wake of Abramoff and the K Street Project, the stubborn fact remains that non-transparent earmarks ARE bad for democracy, and as Americans we should oppose poor Democratic governance with as much brio as poor Publican governance.
I think the point is that you have a guy in McHanry who will spew the party line about 'the invisible, free hand of markets' when factory jobs in his district are outsourced to China, but that he's still got to get people to vote for him, so he sets them up in a crafts shop (no doubt earning a fraction of what they formerly did) on the government dole. So much for the invisible free hand. And, of course, the fact that the government money is being used to make Christmas tree ornaments plays very well with the religious right.
I am not sticking up for McHenry. But most politicians on both sides of the aisle are hypocritical slimeballs, because political power is inherently corruptive. Whether it's the Publicans or the Dems that are feeding like pigs from the public trough, it's my money they're spending.

As a taxpayer, the issue of non-transparent earmarks is much more important than the hypocrisy of one Publican congressman. $129K is less than the cost of ONE up-armored Humvee!


micandacam said...

Is hypocrisy in the Republican platform?

Jim Jenkins said...

In the Republican platform? Hypocrisy IS the Republican platform!

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