Robert D. Novak offers a window into the Republicans in Congress, who, in their desperation to get re-elected, feel they must funnel large amounts of taxpayer money to their districts in the form of unnecessary pork-barrel “earmarks.” This, again, is one reason why so many of them despise John McCain, who consistently opposes that kind of spending.
Novak says that an important thing to watch is whether the Republicans will give the seat on the House Appropriations Committee to Jeff Flake of Arizona, a stalwart pork fighter. If they do, that would signal a return to the old Republican ideal of fiscal conservatism. If they don’t, since the other candidates for that slot are pork-barrel spenders, that would signal a commitment to the status quo. Nevermind that the status quo is disillusioning America–and even rank and file Republicans–against the Grand Old Party.
But maybe Jeff Flake, Tom Coburn, and some of these other mostly-young crusaders might represent a new breed of Republicans that will rise from the rubble.