From Jack Murtha’s lips to God’s ear. Take your pick: Tom Coburn’s snazzy multicolored chart or N.Z. Bear’s bullet points of death. Despite the unusually bipartisan blogospheric coverage of the secret hold last year, despite the numerous unflattering stories since about Democrats not doing enough to trim pork, despite Murtha’s embarrassing threat against Mike Rogers and the subsequent “lost earmark,” despite all the windage about their allegedly exacting ethical standards, despite a public approval rating that’s in the toilet and circling the drain, they felt comfortable enough to take one of their few genuine legislative accomplishments and tear it to pieces. Why? Because this isn’t a “sexy” issue and they know the public won’t pay attention to it, blog and (cursory) media coverage notwithstanding. Same as with the bankruptcy bill last year.
Follow the link to N.Z. Bear and read DeMint’s statement. Mensch that he is, he’s vowed to fight it, but how many allies can he reasonably expect to have even on the Republican side? Is Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens going to hop onboard the Starship Transparency?
I fear we’re well and truly boned:
There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors in the new ethics bill, but upon a close look its obvious that earmark transparency reforms have been eviscerated. Senator Reid has given himself and a few committee chairmen the authority to determine whether congressional earmarks have been properly disclosed to the public. My office has confirmed this with the Senate Parliamentarian. Under this bill, the American people would be forced to trust Senator Reid and Senator Byrd – two of the biggest earmarkers in the Senate – to certify earmark disclosure. This bill allows the fox to guard the henhouse and makes a joke of ethics reform.