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Monday, September 27, 2010

Marked For Continuation?

Here's another dose of Wallace V. Boehner; this time on "earmarks".

I'm given to the notion again that Republicans - be they conservative or not - have varying opinions on "earmarks" dependent on where you live in the US and what your political Q score is at the time.

The late Ted Stevens was widely known as "Uncle Ted" for "bringing home the bacon" to Alaska while Sarah Palin chides them at every given opportunity. Conservative mouth-breathers like Michelle Malkin doggedly create narratives around people like the late Jack Murtha for doing precisely what Stevens did but never a peep from her and her gleefully ignorant compatriots about what their Republican brethren have done.

So, this leads me to ask this question - are "earmarks" inherently bad? I think this all boils down to perception versus perspective. As I've stated before, if you lack proper perspective and allow the noise-machine to shape your perceptions, you aren't going to get an accurate picture of what these projects are, why they were put in place to begin with, and why the funding was directed to them.

It's a common conservative meme that any and all "earmarks" proposed by Democrats are part of some "culture of corruption" and are individual signifiers of the greed, malice, and utter lack of respect for the constituencies each Democrat represents. I find this framing more than just a little mellow dramatic and laughable.

The way that I see it, politicians are elected to go to Washington and do good for their districts, those they represent. If there needs to be highway repair, school reform, safety regulations amended or improved for business, or any variety of interests of the people, the person you elect should be able to provide or at least help provide those improvements to your city, county, or state. Perhaps this is an overly simplistic way of looking at it, but if I'm wrong, what are these people even elected for to begin with?

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