John Thune and several other Republicans have been called out for voting for an earmark moratorium while also asking for millions in earmarks in a spending bill.
Salon sees this as indicative of a greater problem Republicans will face. They promise to stand strong on conservative principles until elected, then go to the pork and spend money like it’s no big deal (think W.).
Normally this is okay because they aren’t called out on it. But the right has been energized, and Tea Party groups are going to try and make Republicans live up to their promises, which doesn’t bode well for them (or anyone).
Thune defended his actions, saying he supports the projects in the bill and blaming Democrats for not passing a budget.
Citizens Against Government Waste V.P. David Williams sees Thune’s moves in a worse light: “It’s very odd that they would add earmarks to the bill, vote against it, and probably go back home and brag about them. We find it kind of puzzling that they do that. If they’re against earmarks, don’t add them in the first place.”
Thune was getting a lot of accolades (I’ve even said he’s the scariest dark horse for 2012 speaking with conservative friends), so it will be interesting to see how he handles the situation. He’s already been a part of what some believe is the first 2012 GOP Primary squirmish.
Enjoy the off season of the Red Sox.
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