Friday, May 18, 2007


Instapundit today linked to a criticism and a defense of the Porkbusters movement. One of the key points of the Porkbusters is that congressional earmarks were a chief reason for the Republican loss of Congress in the 2006 elections. For example, Instapundit notes that:

Which unawareness [of condescension by earmark apologists] is itself evidence of why the GOP lost in 2006. As Coburn notes: "The results of the last election, however, suggest that pork projects really are both bad policy and bad politics. Among the nine Republican appropriators (members who have the greatest ability to bring home the bacon) who were vulnerable in the last election, only three won."
As a conservative, I have to agree with attempts to limit wasteful government spending. But as a conservative who would actually like actual conservative politicians to win elections some day, I find it immensely puzzling that the Porkbusters (like the Libertarian Party in general) are so eager to stab Center/Right-wing Republicans in the back in order to replace them with Left-wing, welfare-statist Democrats.

Certainly part of the Porkbusters' strategy was motivated by the sheer joy of feeling the knife hit artery and bone as it plunged between the G.O.P.'s collective shoulder blades. Why else make a fresh effort to win the 230+ year war on wasteful government spending at exactly the moment when the Republican Congress was shakily vulnerable on the subject? Where were the Porkbusters ten years ago when the Republicans needed them?

But the key motivation seems to be that the Porkbusters are waging a Nancy Pelosi strategy for eliminating pork: demand that the Republican Party meet a series of benchmarks on eliminating pork or else the Porkbusters will withdrawal their support. What Republicans really need from the Porkbusters is an ally that won't be applauding the Democrats when Harry Reid limits political pork spending to be included in his Single-Payer Health Insurance bill. This post-partisanship crap has got to go.


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