Washington doesn’t usually make it easy to pinpoint the moment when things went wrong. So thanks to Rep. Rosa DeLauro for publicly heralding the return of the swamp.
The announcement actually came from a spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, which the Connecticut Democrat oversees. “Chair DeLauro supports Member-directed funding for community projects,” Evan Hollander told HuffPost this week. For those uninitiated in Washington doublespeak, earmarks are back.
A few other English words to describe what’s returning: Pork. Logrolling. Sleaze. Bridges to nowhere. Republicans banned earmarks in February 2011 after the term became synonymous with Congress’s embarrassing habit. The late Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had led a yearslong campaign to expose earmarks as a “gateway drug” to greater spending and corruption. In the face of a tea-party revolt, his colleagues finally chose wisdom.