The Corner

Earmark Vote Reactions

Brian Baker of EndingSpending.com had this to say about the Senate’s 59–40 defeat of the Toomey-McCaskill Amendment to ban earmarks:

I am disappointed that the Senate has failed to pass a permanent earmark ban. We appreciate the efforts by Senators McCaskill and Toomey to end earmarks. The American people are frustrated that their elected officials can’t stop spending their hard-earned tax dollars on boondoggles, such as a bridge to nowhere. With the current earmark moratorium expiring at the end of 2012, if Congress does not end this destructive practice once and for all, the earmark favor factory will re-open for business.

Thirteen Republicans voted against the Toomey ban. One of them was Indiana’s Dick Lugar, who faces a tough primary challenge from conservative state treasurer Richard Mourdock (John Miller’s NR profile can be found here). He drew particular wrath from the Club for Growth:

“Senator Lugar’s vote against a permanent ban on earmarks is typical of a career politician who has been in Washington far too long,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “The Club for Growth PAC has been closely watching Indiana’s Republican U.S. Senate primary. After Senator Lugar showed his continuing commitment to wasteful pork spending today, we are considering doing more than just watching.”

For the record, joining Lugar in the GOP baker’s dozen were Alexander (Tenn.), Blunt (Mo.), Cochran (Miss.), Collins (Maine), Hoeven (N.D.), Hutchison (Texas), Inhofe (Okla.), Murkowski (Alaska), Roberts (Kan.), Sessions (Ala.), Shelby (Ala.), Wicker (Miss.). Democrats who voted for the ban were Bennett (Colo.), Hagan (N.C.), McCaskill (Mo.), Nelson (Fla.), Stabenow (Mich.), Udall (Colo.), and Warner (Va.). Kirk (R., Ill.), who is ill, did not vote.

UPDATE: A Lugar aide writes “So the Obama administration should make all the funding decisions?” and forwards the Senator’s statement defending his vote against the ban, which he says “leaves the public with the impression that Congress is attempting to reduce spending, when in fact it will not. Eliminating earmarks does not save taxpayer dollars. This is a debate that detracts from serious efforts to actually reduce federal spending.”

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More