Agape With Wrath
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Apparently John McCain was operating under a 120-day cooling-off period.
In the four months since the presidential race, the former Republican nominee has been, for the most part, a graceful loser, returning to the Senate to lead the loyal opposition with dignity. But yesterday, he exploded.
“I hope the American people will rise up — rise up!” he exhorted on the Senate floor, chopping the lectern with his hand.
He growled. He roared. He flushed. He sputtered. He glared at colleagues. He hurled angry words, words such as “slap in the face” and “outrageous insult” and “disgraceful” and “theft” and “corruption.”
“If it sounds like I’m angry,” the senator from Arizona explained, “it’s because I am.”
This disclosure hardly seemed necessary. For while McCain’s topic was familiar — he was protesting the inclusion of earmarks in a spending bill — the source of his ire was less notable than its intensity. His pair of speeches on the Senate floor, delivered within minutes of each other, resembled a public experiment in primal-scream therapy.
McCain went after President Obama. “I just went through a campaign, Mr. President, where both candidates promised change in Washington, promised change from the wasteful, disgraceful, corrupting practice of earmark, pork-barrel spending,” he said. Pounding the papers on his desk, he went on: “So what are we doing here? Not only business as usual; but an outrageous insult to the American people.”
Then come back and comment after hitting the comment button below.
Many of us were wondering when the real John McCain would stand up. He has been quiet too long. These earmarks are a real menace to America’s integrity. Why do we need them?
Some argue it’s a way small states get perks such as light rail from LA to Vegas ($6B) — this one merely to sooth Harry Reid’s feelings and to get him re-elected.
What would be wrong with no perks? Most of them are the purview of the states, anyway. I’m a states’ rights man. When Washington starts doing things that states should do, we have a great slippage of power going east. It’s not right. Our founding father’s warned against large federal government. But that’s what the libs in congress want. Let’s fight them tooth and nail on this because we’re right and they’re dead wrong. Balance of powers is necessary to sustain our freedoms.
I say we don’t need ear marks. It isn’t right for people in Alabama and Florida, which don’t have light rail, to fund another state’s ambitions anymore than Nevada should fund Florida’s suggested “Bridge to Nowhere.” Maybe Reid should go to Utah and ask about light rail. Salt Lake County people don’t use their light rail, not much. They’re now wondering why they had to install it — partly at the expense of all of us, we who donated to the Winter Olympics of 2002, partly and greatly at the ongoing expense of Utah taxpayers. Some federal funds may have also been spent.
Ask people in Minneapolis if their light rail is fully utilized. I’ve been there and watched almost empty rail cars go by as I drove to the Airport in a taxi. That was before it went to St. Paul and the Airport. I might have tried it had it been available then. It’s just another “wanna have” expenses or dream child of some politician. It’s not used as they thought originally. Highways are still flooded with cars.
California gamblers will still want to take their own cars from LA to Vegas, if for no other reason than when they want to drive around and do something they’ll have leave and return-when-they-want transportation. I do not believe Las Vegans will support this system once this boondogle goes in. What do you think?
More importantly, what do you think should be done about earmarks? I believe they should be banned, and that was the promise both McCain and Obama made on the campaign trail. Did Obama lie to get elected? Do birds fly?. I also believe in Congretional term limits: two terms or 12 years for senators and 12 years or 6 terms for Representatives. What say YOU?