Monday, September 15, 2008

She Opposed the Bridge and Much More: Palin vs. Obama/Biden on Earmarks

Read this article by Senator Jim Demint from The Wall Street Journal for an argument that Gov. Palin is far better than Obama or Biden on cutting earmarks. The mainstream media is lining up on the Obama side against Palin. This article argues otherwise.

6 comments:

Sirfab said...

Since facts are stubborn little things, here is a 1:17 video to rebut Sen. Demint's article.

Interestingly, too, Sen. Demint says: "Obama and Biden voted for the $223 million [Bridge To Nowhere] earmark, siding with the old boys' club in the Senate." The old boy's club included, just so you know, Sen. DeMint and 52 of his Republican colleagues. No Republican voted for H.R. 3058. You can find the details of the Senate vote here, if you are interested.

And finally, here's an interesting take from a blogger:

"Senators do not vote for or against individual earmarks. They vote for bills. The original bridge to nowhere earmark was one of more than 6000 earmarks in a transportation bill that passed the Senate 93-1. McCain voted against it. Kudos to him for not wanting to fund transportation in the U.S."

Remember: the problem lies not voting for individual earmarks, which is not done (they, hundreds of them, are bundled in bills): it lies in requesting them. Which is what the video at the top of my comment addresses.

Sirfab said...

Let me repost my original comment, with an essential correction (in italics, for emphasis--I had originally written *for*, which is a mistake).

Since facts are stubborn little things, here is a 1:17 video to rebut Sen. Demint's article.

Interestingly, too, Sen. Demint says: "Obama and Biden voted for the $223 million [Bridge To Nowhere] earmark, siding with the old boys' club in the Senate." The old boy's club included, just so you know, Sen. DeMint and 52 of his Republican colleagues. No Republican voted against H.R. 3058. You can find the details of the Senate vote here, if you are interested.

And finally, here's an interesting take from a blogger:

"Senators do not vote for or against individual earmarks. They vote for bills. The original bridge to nowhere earmark was one of more than 6000 earmarks in a transportation bill that passed the Senate 93-1. McCain voted against it. Kudos to him for not wanting to fund transportation in the U.S."

Remember: the problem lies not in voting for individual earmarks, which is not done (they, hundreds of them, are bundled in bills): it lies in requesting them. Which is what the video at the top of my comment addresses.

Sirfab said...

By the way, Dr. Groothuis: funny typo in the post title: She opposed the bridGe, not the bride. Unless of course she is for a marriage amendment to outlaw marriage altogether :-)

Regards.

Tom said...

I thought that Palin made a good point when Gibson was pressing her on her supposed opposition to earmarks. She had said, as she often does, how much she opposes them and Gibson challenged her by reading a list of some of the earmarks Alaska has received since she's been governor. She then revised her claim that earmarks are bad by saying that what she opposes are earmarks requested and granted behind closed doors (or something like that).

From what I know (which I grant isn't that much) there are at least three different ways earmarks get on spending bills.

1. As the result of pressure from lobbyists.
2. As the result of political deals made by members of congress (I'll vote for your bill on X if you include an earmark for my constituency).
3. As the result of requests from nonlobbyists.

Now it seems to me Palin is right to say that not all earmarks are bad. Requests for funds to help with infrastructure that is needed but that a state can't afford on its own seem fine to me.

So in order to know what I thought of the earmarks supported by Obama and Biden, I'd have to know more than I do and more than Senator Demint tells us (although money for bicycle paths seems like a good idea to me).

My beef with Palin on this is that her record hasn't matched rhetoric.

Jeremy said...

Rejecting even one earmark would give one a better record that Obama.

Sirfab said...

Today is correction day for me, apologies.

McCain did not vote against it, as the blogger I referred to says. He did not vote at all. Perhaps he was ill that day, or perhaps he thought it would be a smart move, since the bill did not need his vote to pass, and he can now say that he did not vote for the bridge to nowhere.

One more thing: The title of this post requires clarification.

"She Opposed the Bride [rather, the Bridge]" should read "She Opposes the Bridge", as in she opposes it now that she is a governor, after she supported it when running for governor. If Palin were Kerry, that would be called a flip-flop.