Here’s one of Roy Blunt recent tweets:
I voted against an amdt to cede one of Congress’s core constitutional duties to Pres Obama & unaccountable bureaucrats bit.ly/wm6Lt4
Care to hazard a guess about what that means? If you’re curious, just follow the link, which leads you to a press release where you’ll learn that Blunt’s congratulating himself on his vote to preserve earmarks.
So why didn’t the Senator just say so? Could it be because earmarks pose a problem for him? Blunt’s for ’em. Lots of the right wingers he relies on are agin ’em. (Here’s a golden-oldie from RedState’s Erik on topic of Blunt and earmarks). Because these are the folks who held their nose and promoted Blunt to the Senate despite his lobbyist-loving, high-spending, big government ways, I’m betting that the double-speak above is meant to help finesse his earmarking proclivities with that important constituency. Consider this passage from his press release:
Directing federal spending is a congressional responsibility that is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and lawmakers do our constituents a disservice by statutorily yielding this power to the White House and to the thousands of nameless, faceless bureaucrats in Washington who are completely unaccountable to the people whose dollars they spend.
The largest Obama earmark was the President’s nearly trillion dollar stimulus bill, which was doled out without congressional input and ultimately failed to create or save the jobs that were promised by the White House. Most recently, we witnessed what happens when President Obama is given unbridled power during the Solyndra debacle – just one piece of the stimulus that proved to be a reprehensible waste of taxpayers’ dollars
Nameless, faceless bureaucrats! Imagine! But that’s just one of the Pavlovian bells and whistles embedded in this seemingly bland piece of apparent boiler-plate; there’s a constitutional something-or-the-other (anything modified by constitutional goes over big with the Tea Partiers), tried and true and, incidentaly, demonstrably false, anti-stimulus rhetoric, and the pretense that the pathetic effort to make noise about the small-peas Solyndra failure represents something more than a GOP desperate for at least one good Obama administration scandal.
To give you an idea about just how canned these references are, and how divorced from reality, consider the almost ritual evocation of the stimulus. If I remember correctly, lots of GOPers were decrying the stimulus as nothing but earmarked pork – while, at the same time, many were trying to get as big a bite of that pork as they could manage. Senator Blunt chooses to ignore this aspect of the stimulus spending. We do learn, however, that because the bulk of the stimulus was allocated by government agencies according to formulas that guarantee a certain degree of accountability, Blunt thinks it was “Obama’s earmark,” which, in spite of his approval of earmarks, he believes to be a bad thing. My mind reels.
The poet Charles Simic, writing about the New Hampshire GOP primary in the New York Review of Books (Feb. 23) (accessible to subscribers only), made a telling observation about how synthetic and empty conservative rhetoric has become:
A local newspaper editor told me that the opinions in the many letters and e-mails he receives have become less identifiable as written by distinct individuals than ever before. From their prose it seems that their minds were apparently made up by someone else. Practically every businessman will tell you the same thing about the economy, he said; practically all the social conservatives will say that what’s wrong with this country is its moral values. The letters to the editor he receives increasingly use identical words and phrases that come from flyers the writers receive in the mail.
One could say much the same thing about the statements of GOP pols like Blunt. From focus groups and strategists to politicians’ mouths, and finally, to Tea Partiers’ ears, it’s all the same. Simic begins his NYR essay with a quote from Samuel Beckett’s Murphy that sums it up nicely:
The fool in league with the knave against himself is a combination that none may withstand.