Reid to Obama on earmarks: Pound sand

posted at 3:35 pm on January 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Harry Reid tells ABC News that Barack Obama’s vow to veto any bill with earmarks was “only for show,” which is more or less the consensus anyway.  After all, Obama never followed through on his earlier threats to veto pork-laden bills, did he?  Reid said that Obama most assuredly will get the opportunity if he desires to whip out his veto pen, saying about earmarks, “Of course they’ll be back”:

In an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Reid launched a vigorous defense of pork, the pet projects that members of Congress insert into bills to benefit their home states.

“I think it’s taking power away from the legislative branch of government and giving it to the executive branch of government,” Reid said of the president’s plan. “The executive branch of government is powerful enough and I think that I know more about what Nevada needs than some bureaucrat down on K Street.”

“So you think the president is wrong about this?” Karl asked.

“Without any question,” Reid replied. “I understand it’s great for an applause line, but it’s really not solving anything to do with the deficit. It’s only for show.”

“So you’re saying that earmarks will be back?” said Karl.

“Of course they’ll be back,” said Reid.

Reid likes to call earmarks “Congressionally directed spending,” but that’s sophistry. If Congress wants to build a bike path in Minnesota, then let someone introduce a bill for a floor vote specific to that intent. If it passes both chambers and the President signs the bill, then no one can complain that it didn’t get thoroughly vetted. The problem with earmarks is that these projects don’t get separate and discrete votes on the merits, but instead get buried in massive appropriations bills for a single up-or-down vote on the whole package.

Not only do earmarks have that problem, but elected officials get so many that no one is inclined to challenge the level of overall spending in the bills in which they have been embedded. It sets up a bribery cycle for which taxpayers end up footing the bill. It’s the grease that allows the wheels of out-of-control spending to turn.

Reid does correctly diagnose Obama’s position on earmarks, though. It’s nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt. At least Reid manages to be more honest about that than the White House, and most (but not all) of the media.


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They have to pass the House, Dingy. You go pound sand, in fact, walk east till yer hat floats.

Akzed on January 26, 2011 at 3:39 PM

The GOP is going to go along with this sooner or later, and that’s it for us. Time to pay the fiddler and the fiddler wants his money.

Bishop on January 26, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Assuming Obama were to actually follow through on this pledge, how would that be taking away power from the legislative branch, constitutionally speaking? The executive has the right to veto any and all legislation…

steebo77 on January 26, 2011 at 3:41 PM

For each spending item we should ask “Does this item justify enslaving our children to work for ChiCom bosses?”

pedestrian on January 26, 2011 at 3:41 PM

BTW, I like the decorative coding at the top of the page, anyone else getting that?

Bishop on January 26, 2011 at 3:41 PM

In the words of Mr. Smith, “GRAFT”…

Gohawgs on January 26, 2011 at 3:44 PM

I’ll say it again. Thanks for nothing, Nevada.

Doughboy on January 26, 2011 at 3:44 PM

If Congress wants to build a bike path in Minnesota, then let someone introduce a bill for a floor vote specific to that intent.

I agree.
And more than likely, the rest of the nation (Congress) will say hey MN, build your OWN effing bikepath!
Too bad these morons, Dem & Repub alike, don’t understand this simple concept.
And for those of you worried about how much time this could take in Congress, this will cut down on the amount of stupid stuff that Congress puts forth for business.
Maybe then these idiots will focus on the crap that Congress has the authority to do in the 1st place.

Badger40 on January 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM

WTF, the most appropriate acronym, self-designated in Freudian terms, by this administration.

Winning The Future, on propagandist slogan at a minute…

Schadenfreude on January 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Reid and Obama no longer friends? Not getting along well since the election?

Skandia Recluse on January 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM

one propagandist slogan per minute, that s/b.

Schadenfreude on January 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

And let me be clear.
Voting on individual proposals will not eliminate states getting things they need, like bridges, highways, etc.
But you know, if MN wants a bike path, or ND wants its citizens to continue living somewhere like the Red River Valley that constantly floods or the devil’s Lake area, which floods & gets dry bcs the glacial topography does not allow for drainage, then these states need to pay for this crap themselves.
Public works projects affecting the NATION should be considered.
The federal govt should not be funding greenbelts, museums, bike paths, etc. in each state.
If states want tog et together & do these things, or on an individual basis, then that is THEIR business.

Badger40 on January 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

If Congress wants to build a bike path in Minnesota, then let someone introduce a bill for a floor vote specific to that intent

This.

LASue on January 26, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Reid finally told the truth. His head probably hurts.

faraway on January 26, 2011 at 3:50 PM

It’s surprising how honest Reid is on this. There once was a time when graft was kept under wraps. Must be close to the end. How on earth could anyone pull the lever for the likes of this guy?

paul1149 on January 26, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Bribes R-Us says leave his bribe money alone… Hah.

tarpon on January 26, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Is “only for show” code for “he’s a f*cking liar”?

diditagain on January 26, 2011 at 3:55 PM

“Without any question,” Reid replied. “I understand it’s great for an applause line, but it’s really not solving anything to do with the deficit. It’s only for show.”

Yea, Obama has been just as full of sh!t on this issue as he has on many of his other “promises”…
…..but I can’t help thinking that this is
setting up Obama to come out looking like the tough centrist that is willing to take on his own base.

He knows dam# well how his democratic leadership does business, so Reid holding this position can be no surprise.

The press has already covered for him on this issue so why even bring it up in his SOTU speech?????

There are ways to get pork pushed through without it receiving the “pork” title(see stimulus), so I think that Obama is doing nothing but playing semantics with the “earmarks” term so that he can come off as going against his base.
…..He will still find a way to waste our tax dollars on his liberal agenda while at the same time bragging about not supporting “earmarks”.

Baxter Greene on January 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

To bad Reid didn’t shout last night “YOU lie”.

Schadenfreude on January 26, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Is “only for show” code for “he’s a f*cking liar”?

diditagain on January 26, 2011 at 3:55 PM

I think it’s rather obvious.
I have always equated lies with saying things for show.
That’s what liars do.
I love how Reid sidesteps calling his boss a liar.

Badger40 on January 26, 2011 at 3:58 PM

How on earth could anyone pull the lever for the likes of this guy?

paul1149 on January 26, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I could have said the same thing for McCain.
Hold your nose.
I, for one, am getting real tired of doing that.
I’ll take the consequences of a 3rd party.
Bcs this crap of voting for the lesser of 2 turds is not working anymore.

Badger40 on January 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

That one line in Obama’s SOTU address sure got old McCain to his feet in a hurry. Now dirty Harry goes and pulls the rug out from under him and Obama.

fourdeucer on January 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Dingy Harry telling us what everyone already knew. Of course Obama was lying. He is incapable of the truth. The only good thing about the speech last night was not seeing the wicked witch from the west in the background bouncing up and down like a bobble-head doll.

volsense on January 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM

I think that I know more about what Nevada needs than some bureaucrat down on K Street.

But I’m supposed to STFU and have my health insurance requirements mandated to me even though I KNOW I know more about my family’s needs than some K Street flunky?

Bite me, Reid, you rat-faced maggot.

CantCureStupid on January 26, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Dingy Harry telling us what everyone already knew. Of course Obama was lying. He is incapable of the truth. volsense on January 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Well, there’s something to be said for the Senate majority leader to call his same party President a liar for public record. There’s that. I’m hopeful for further interaction.

a capella on January 26, 2011 at 4:06 PM

One man’s “cheap publicity stunt” is another man’s bald-faced lie.

Trafalgar on January 26, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Tip

Liberal Dennis Kucinich sues cafeteria over olive pit in sandwich

Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has actually sued the house cafeteria, said an olive caused oral injuries! You can’t make this stuff up.

Nearly Nobody on January 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Bite me, Reid, you rat-faced maggot.

CantCureStupid on January 26, 2011 at 4:01 PM

You really need to stop sugar coating and tell us how you REALLY feel!!

NJ Red on January 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Reid and Obama no longer friends? Not getting along well since the election?

Skandia Recluse on January 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM

There’s no reason to assume they’re not friends. Obama has absolutely no intention of keeping his earmark pledge.

Disingenuousness and misrepresentation come so fast and easy to the Genius of the Teleprompter that I’m not sure he cares all that much when the supporting actors call out his lies.

So why should he be angry at Reid about it?

Whoever thinks Obama truly believes last night’s euphemistic stream of focus-group-tested happy lines, or that Obama possesses the skills to lead this country into accomplishing even a small fraction of the broad laundry list of vague aspirations he recited — I have a bridge to nowhere to sell them.

Edouard on January 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Wouldn’t it save all of us a lot of time if they just tell us which parts of the speech were NOT “Just for Show”?

Lily on January 26, 2011 at 4:21 PM

It’s surprising how honest Reid is on this. There once was a time when graft was kept under wraps. Must be close to the end. How on earth could anyone pull the lever for the likes of this guy?

paul1149 on January 26, 2011 at 3:50 PM

This is certainly not the first time that Reid has made a mockery of Obama acting like he is making some grand,ethical stand for the people:

This is what Obama promises:

Tonight, Barack Obama said, “To close that credibility gap we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve.

“That’s what I came to Washington to do. That’s why – for the first time in history – my Administration posts our White House visitors online. And that’s why we’ve excluded lobbyists from policy-making jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions.”

….and this

One year from now, we have the chance to tell all those corporate lobbyists that the days of them setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race – and I’ve won. I don’t take a dime of their money, and when I am President, they won’t find a job in my White House.

– Barack Obama


….and then Reid rains all over Obama’s posing parade:

Reid invited top lobbyists to join him and his supporters for an inaugural brunch Monday where he told ABC News that he will still do plenty of business with them.

“And there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Reid. “And Obama will be meeting with them too.” When asked to clarify his remarks, given Obama’s promises to change that part of Capitol culture, Reid responded that lobbyists are part and parcel of the job.


…and of course the reality is a complete 180 from what Obama promises:

A White House tightly bound to lobbyists
By: Timothy P. Carney
Senior Examiner Columnist

50 lobbyists in administration: Obama and his underlings have named at least 50 ex-lobbyists to senior administration officials.

…But if you listen to democrats and their allies in the MSM….Obama is JFK/FDR/and Lincoln all rolled into one great big “Hope and Change” idol for them to praise on bended knee.

Just how far from reality is this promise made by Obama when he was getting his daily slobber-fest from the media during his Presidential run.

After the election, the change.gov website was taken down, but the official whitehouse.gov website continues with the theme:

President Obama has consistently made clear that he will strive to lead the most open, transparent, and accountable government in history. Whether it is reigning in the influence of lobbyists in Washington, bringing unprecedented accountability to federal spending, opening doors to engagement with the American public, or shutting down the “revolving door” that carries special interest influence in and out of the government, the highest standards will be sought in every thing the federal government does.

Every single promise made in this statement turned out to be an absolute lie.

How Progressive!!!!!!

Baxter Greene on January 26, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Not holding breath for first veto.

Caststeel on January 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Actually, I believe Obama is very serious about the earmarks.

He wants spending “frozen” at today’s bloated levels for 5 years and he wants Congress to stop telling him how he has to spend it so he can spend it any way he wants.

At this stage we probably DO need specific “earmarks” to prevent the President from spending money on whatever he wants. We need to direct the spending at specific things. Otherwise, Obama is going to find a way to funnel billions into whatever Acorn is called this week.

In other words, without Congressional earmarks, the only thing we get are Presidential earmarks.

crosspatch on January 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Why not tell the truth, if you’re Dingy? The slimeball just got reelected to 6 more years with every one of his faults obvious to everyone in the whole fricking US of A.
Heck ya! Dingy is all for earmarks. He’s never leaving the senate and he knows that earmarks will keep him sitting pretty.
Disgusting.

ORconservative on January 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM

“I bet if you, uh, went to ‘h’ in the dictionary and found ‘hypocrite’.. under that would be people who ask for earmarks but vote against them.” — Harry Reid

OOOH BURN!!

DaveS on January 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM

How sad is it we are so used to the President lying to us that we don’t even give him the benefit of the doubt anymore. Or any politician for that matter? They all say what they know we want to hear, that is a common practice and understood by most voters.

Only in my recent memory have they started saying one thing and then doing the complete opposite, all the while calling us racists for pointing it out.

Mord on January 26, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Harry Reid tells ABC News that Barack Obama’s vow to veto any bill with earmarks was “only for show,”

Reid captured the whole essence of the speech with that one remark…Obama is “only for show”…

right2bright on January 26, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Obama can’t even keep his own party on his message. Smart Power.

search4truth on January 26, 2011 at 4:46 PM

“The executive branch of government is powerful enough and I think that I know more about what Nevada needs than some bureaucrat down on K Street.”

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and everybody pays for it elsewhere. Earmarks for me, not for thee.

If Obama does veto one of Reid’s earmarks, does Reid have 67 votes to override? He has 53 Democrats right now, of whom 23 are up for re-election next year and might be a little gun-shy–does he have more than 14 porky Pubbies to override? Hmmmm…

Steve Z on January 26, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Tip

Liberal Dennis Kucinich sues cafeteria over olive pit in sandwich

Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has actually sued the house cafeteria, said an olive caused oral injuries! You can’t make this stuff up.

Nearly Nobody on January 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Meaning ObamaCare didn’t pay for a chipped tooth? OMG! We need to repeal and replace it for Dennis the Menace!

Bartender, hold the martinis, you don’t want a lawsuit!

Steve Z on January 26, 2011 at 5:22 PM

“I think it’s taking power away from the legislative branch of government and giving it to the executive branch of government,” Reid said of the president’s plan.

Hey, Harry, how about transferring that power back to the States instead? Did that ever occur to you? Is it possible that you could, ya know, NOT spend this money at the Federal level? Has that ever occurred to you?

ss396 on January 26, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Baxter Greene on January 26, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Someone really needs to write a book like that, showing all of his lies & stating the evidence for each one.
My God there would be volumes of material.

Badger40 on January 26, 2011 at 11:30 PM