Republicans and the Other White Meat

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.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • organshoes

    This ‘new breed’ is what many of us took the current breed to have been: courageous fiscal/social conservatives, not bent on furthering their own careers nor the power of the federal government, but on doing the people’s business: foremost, by shrinking the notion that federal programs–beyond national security , international diplomacy, and equal justice–presented more opportunities for harm than for good.
    Remember abolishing the Dept. of Education? Where’d that go?
    I fear that, in the vacuum, there is instead a ‘new breed’ of Republican that has a spine of spaghetti, that can’t buck up under media characterizations and Daily Show editing tricks, that’s more invested in being reelected than in any agenda or promises, that only cares about office and image, and, frankly–and sadly–I blame George Bush and compassionate conservatism.
    And look where it’s gotten him, and, more importantly, look where it’s gotten the conservative movement.
    Might I add that Jeff Flake was also a supporter of McCain’s ‘it’s not amnesty’ plan.
    I think the conservative movement is a schizophrenic mess.
    Where’s our Luther, bringing us back to reality and truth?

  • organshoes

    This ‘new breed’ is what many of us took the current breed to have been: courageous fiscal/social conservatives, not bent on furthering their own careers nor the power of the federal government, but on doing the people’s business: foremost, by shrinking the notion that federal programs–beyond national security , international diplomacy, and equal justice–presented more opportunities for harm than for good.
    Remember abolishing the Dept. of Education? Where’d that go?
    I fear that, in the vacuum, there is instead a ‘new breed’ of Republican that has a spine of spaghetti, that can’t buck up under media characterizations and Daily Show editing tricks, that’s more invested in being reelected than in any agenda or promises, that only cares about office and image, and, frankly–and sadly–I blame George Bush and compassionate conservatism.
    And look where it’s gotten him, and, more importantly, look where it’s gotten the conservative movement.
    Might I add that Jeff Flake was also a supporter of McCain’s ‘it’s not amnesty’ plan.
    I think the conservative movement is a schizophrenic mess.
    Where’s our Luther, bringing us back to reality and truth?

  • Pingback: John Mccain » Republicans and the Other White Meat

  • Pingback: John Mccain » Republicans and the Other White Meat

  • Larry

    Check out an interesting analysis — “Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party” — http://twoedgedsword.blogspot.com/2008/01/battle-for-soul-of-republican-primary.html

  • Larry

    Check out an interesting analysis — “Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party” — http://twoedgedsword.blogspot.com/2008/01/battle-for-soul-of-republican-primary.html

  • fw
  • fw
  • kerner

    I know you don’t like McCain on immigration, Organshoes, but give him credit where credit is due. McCain has been a courageous fiscal conservative more consistantly than any remaining Republican candidate. He has repeatedly expressed views alomst exactly the same as what you just said. McCain has repeatedly said that the reason the America became disillusioned with Republican control of Congress was not so much about the war; rather it was because Republicans TALKED fiscal conservatism, but their actions betrayed the principles they expressed. McCain repeatedly criticizes politicians that are bent on furthering their own carreers and the power of the federal government, and this is one big reason he has so many enemies among Republicans who are willing to TALK conservatism while continuing to play this corrupt game as it now exists. McCain’s sincere and strong desire to do something about this serious, perhaps disasterous, problem that rightly concerns you explains a great deal of McCain’s record, even some of his serious mistakes.

  • kerner

    I know you don’t like McCain on immigration, Organshoes, but give him credit where credit is due. McCain has been a courageous fiscal conservative more consistantly than any remaining Republican candidate. He has repeatedly expressed views alomst exactly the same as what you just said. McCain has repeatedly said that the reason the America became disillusioned with Republican control of Congress was not so much about the war; rather it was because Republicans TALKED fiscal conservatism, but their actions betrayed the principles they expressed. McCain repeatedly criticizes politicians that are bent on furthering their own carreers and the power of the federal government, and this is one big reason he has so many enemies among Republicans who are willing to TALK conservatism while continuing to play this corrupt game as it now exists. McCain’s sincere and strong desire to do something about this serious, perhaps disasterous, problem that rightly concerns you explains a great deal of McCain’s record, even some of his serious mistakes.

  • kerner

    Ack. Excuse my typos.

    One more thing. One other thing about McCain is that he certainly does NOT have a spine of spaghetti. He is all to willing to stand firm on what he believes, which, unfortunately, creates a problem when he’s wrong.

  • kerner

    Ack. Excuse my typos.

    One more thing. One other thing about McCain is that he certainly does NOT have a spine of spaghetti. He is all to willing to stand firm on what he believes, which, unfortunately, creates a problem when he’s wrong.

  • Joe

    If you want to find out which Republicans in the house are actually conservatives look at the Republican Study Committee. It is a caucus of conservatives who meet to discuss how they can change policy and their own party.

    http://www.house.gov/hensarling/rsc/index.shtml

  • Joe

    If you want to find out which Republicans in the house are actually conservatives look at the Republican Study Committee. It is a caucus of conservatives who meet to discuss how they can change policy and their own party.

    http://www.house.gov/hensarling/rsc/index.shtml

  • organshoes

    I don’t find McCain at all spaghetti-spined, kerner, though he is a bit thin-skinned, I think. Like me, he bristles at criticism.
    But, personality aside, it’s precisely what he’s done that gets my hackles up, namely, comprehensive immigration reform–which would be the law of the land today, had not citizens phoned and emailed their representatives–and that odious deal with the democrats on judicial appointments: a president’s prerogative, not a senator’s nor a party’s. It’s joining with this very un-loyal opposition–and in ways that benefit the opposition!
    And campaign finance reform: that does demonstrate a weakness towards waging a real political battle for hearts and minds, when citizen groups in opposition to a candidate or his position are restricted by law as to what they can say. That’s pretty spaghetti-spined, really, when you’re already in office and can come up with a law that protects your incumbency. (Adding, woefully, that Bush demonstrated very overdone spaghetti-for-a-spine in signing that law, relying on a Supreme Court that didn’t deliver.) Does anyone really think too much money is what’s poisoned politics? Is anyone any more truthful or believable because free political speech has been abridged? Do campaigns cost any less? What precisely has that helped, except incumbents?
    He’s done as much–in his own name and on his own as this vaunted ‘Maverick’–to alienate conservatives, as any of the big spenders.
    Lord help us! Can we please have a nice T-Bone, instead of all this pasta, and all these bitter herbs?

  • organshoes

    I don’t find McCain at all spaghetti-spined, kerner, though he is a bit thin-skinned, I think. Like me, he bristles at criticism.
    But, personality aside, it’s precisely what he’s done that gets my hackles up, namely, comprehensive immigration reform–which would be the law of the land today, had not citizens phoned and emailed their representatives–and that odious deal with the democrats on judicial appointments: a president’s prerogative, not a senator’s nor a party’s. It’s joining with this very un-loyal opposition–and in ways that benefit the opposition!
    And campaign finance reform: that does demonstrate a weakness towards waging a real political battle for hearts and minds, when citizen groups in opposition to a candidate or his position are restricted by law as to what they can say. That’s pretty spaghetti-spined, really, when you’re already in office and can come up with a law that protects your incumbency. (Adding, woefully, that Bush demonstrated very overdone spaghetti-for-a-spine in signing that law, relying on a Supreme Court that didn’t deliver.) Does anyone really think too much money is what’s poisoned politics? Is anyone any more truthful or believable because free political speech has been abridged? Do campaigns cost any less? What precisely has that helped, except incumbents?
    He’s done as much–in his own name and on his own as this vaunted ‘Maverick’–to alienate conservatives, as any of the big spenders.
    Lord help us! Can we please have a nice T-Bone, instead of all this pasta, and all these bitter herbs?

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Organshoes, I’m confused. On the one hand, you said (@8), “I don’t find McCain at all spaghetti-spined”. On the other hand, you said, “And campaign finance reform: that does demonstrate a weakness. … That’s pretty spaghetti-spined, really.” Which is it?

    Also, as to your question, “Does anyone really think too much money is what’s poisoned politics?” I would answer yes. At least in part. And ask, to the contrary, do you really think that all those people give money to politicians out of the kindness of their hearts, expecting nothing in return, and that it’s the merest coincidence if the donors’ wishes and the politicians actions line up?

    “Is anyone any more truthful or believable because [of McCain-Feingold]?” No, I doubt not.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Organshoes, I’m confused. On the one hand, you said (@8), “I don’t find McCain at all spaghetti-spined”. On the other hand, you said, “And campaign finance reform: that does demonstrate a weakness. … That’s pretty spaghetti-spined, really.” Which is it?

    Also, as to your question, “Does anyone really think too much money is what’s poisoned politics?” I would answer yes. At least in part. And ask, to the contrary, do you really think that all those people give money to politicians out of the kindness of their hearts, expecting nothing in return, and that it’s the merest coincidence if the donors’ wishes and the politicians actions line up?

    “Is anyone any more truthful or believable because [of McCain-Feingold]?” No, I doubt not.

  • fw

    I am thinking that transparency laws are the best we can hope for. The let the press do their job and let the people decide….

    McCain and Obama. conservative and liberal might have found some genuine convergence here…..

  • fw

    I am thinking that transparency laws are the best we can hope for. The let the press do their job and let the people decide….

    McCain and Obama. conservative and liberal might have found some genuine convergence here…..

  • organshoes

    tODD: which is it? Well, it’s both. He’s not a spaghetti-spined pol in running for office or in doing his duties. but the incumbent-protectionism of McCain-Feingold demonstrates a core weakness.
    As for the money: McCain-Feingold isn’t ultimately about the money; it’s not money that’s stifled by this law, but speech. The money only bought the air-time and adspace. McCain-Feingold hasn’t stopped any money, though that’s what its proponents sanctimoniously claim: there’s too much money in politics. No; what they really meant was there was too much money spent in opposition to those already in office. Hence, a bill limiting not how much money they could spend, but what they could spend it on. Namely, speech.
    That’s not the sign of a hero or a brave Navy airman, that he’d squash speech that opposes — or exposes — him at election time. That’s what insecure, power-loving people do.
    It’s an unreasonable position, in my book.

  • organshoes

    tODD: which is it? Well, it’s both. He’s not a spaghetti-spined pol in running for office or in doing his duties. but the incumbent-protectionism of McCain-Feingold demonstrates a core weakness.
    As for the money: McCain-Feingold isn’t ultimately about the money; it’s not money that’s stifled by this law, but speech. The money only bought the air-time and adspace. McCain-Feingold hasn’t stopped any money, though that’s what its proponents sanctimoniously claim: there’s too much money in politics. No; what they really meant was there was too much money spent in opposition to those already in office. Hence, a bill limiting not how much money they could spend, but what they could spend it on. Namely, speech.
    That’s not the sign of a hero or a brave Navy airman, that he’d squash speech that opposes — or exposes — him at election time. That’s what insecure, power-loving people do.
    It’s an unreasonable position, in my book.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Organshoes (@11), that’s actually one of the more cogent criticisms I’ve heard of McCain-Feingold, and now I finally see what conservatives have been going on about stifling “speech”. Thanks — I’ll need to think about that more.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Organshoes (@11), that’s actually one of the more cogent criticisms I’ve heard of McCain-Feingold, and now I finally see what conservatives have been going on about stifling “speech”. Thanks — I’ll need to think about that more.

  • organshoes

    tODD: Here’s a great breakdown of what McCain Feingold ultimately accomplishes. This is a brief musing by Andy McCarthy, former US attorney who prosecuted the ’93 World Trade Center bombers, posted on National Review’s blog, The Corner, concerning a charge by the McCain team that Romney’s been an advocate of timetables in withdrawing from Iraq (a real conservative no-no). Quips McCarthy:
    >I’m starting to think Sen. McCain should not be allowed to mention the other candidates’ names within 30 days before a primary. I mean, he levels an allegation about Romney that’s just flat not true, and if some organization wanted to run an ad calling him on it, they would be in violation of his “reform” of campaign finance regulations. What a racket!<
    See? Romney’s campaign or he himself can counter McCain’s accusation, but an advocacy group–say Mormons for Romney or Swiftboat Vets or NOW–couldn’t do it, because it would have to include McCain’s name. They could place an ad decrying dishonest claims made by candidates in general, but not a specific candidate making a specific charge.
    That’s how it affects speech.
    But the money keeps rollin’ in, and don’t doubt it. Campaigning is no less expensive not strident; still full of fur and feathers.

  • organshoes

    tODD: Here’s a great breakdown of what McCain Feingold ultimately accomplishes. This is a brief musing by Andy McCarthy, former US attorney who prosecuted the ’93 World Trade Center bombers, posted on National Review’s blog, The Corner, concerning a charge by the McCain team that Romney’s been an advocate of timetables in withdrawing from Iraq (a real conservative no-no). Quips McCarthy:
    >I’m starting to think Sen. McCain should not be allowed to mention the other candidates’ names within 30 days before a primary. I mean, he levels an allegation about Romney that’s just flat not true, and if some organization wanted to run an ad calling him on it, they would be in violation of his “reform” of campaign finance regulations. What a racket!<
    See? Romney’s campaign or he himself can counter McCain’s accusation, but an advocacy group–say Mormons for Romney or Swiftboat Vets or NOW–couldn’t do it, because it would have to include McCain’s name. They could place an ad decrying dishonest claims made by candidates in general, but not a specific candidate making a specific charge.
    That’s how it affects speech.
    But the money keeps rollin’ in, and don’t doubt it. Campaigning is no less expensive not strident; still full of fur and feathers.

  • Pingback: Connecting News, Commentaries and Blogs at NineReports.com -

  • Pingback: Connecting News, Commentaries and Blogs at NineReports.com -


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X