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Will Roy Blunt Be The Cause Of The End Of Missouri’s Republican Party?

November 17, 2010

Roy Blunt is about to light the fuse to the great implosion of the GOP in Missouri. Yesterday, Dick Morris identified Blunt as one of the old Republican guard who refuses to let go of earmarks. With the Earmark Ban vote looming, Blunt, who promised to be a reformer in his recent campaign victory against Robin Carnahan, just snubbed all his TeaParty and disgruntled Republican supporters by refusing to live up to his pledges. By choosing to blow off the wishes of voters, even before he is sworn in, he just confirmed what most folks knew about him when they pulled the lever for him on November 2.

He knew conservatives had little choice but to throw their support behind him, in contrast to voting for the progressive, liberal Carnahan, but they did so with a caveat. Now that the votes are cast, I guess the caveat doesn’t mean much to him any more. He is safe for six years. What he doesn’t realize, or maybe even care about, is that his former supporters will not be played again. In 2012 Missouri voters are likely to be eager to run Clair McCaskill out of town on a rail, after her flagrant Obama idolization. And when the GOP, who will put up their next great conservative hope (I think it will be Jim Talent) to run against her, the faithful will probably not be so enthused about following another GOP favorite, for fear of ending up with another old guard Republican who cares more about his/her own personal empire than serving the people. Blunt is shooting himself in the foot as well as anyone the Republicans put up in the future. Tsk, tsk. The Republicans didn’t learn their lesson. Looks like the patriots who have risen in the 2010 elections will be doing some house cleaning in 2012 and they may be looking for alternatives to Republicans.

  1. 4commonground permalink
    November 17, 2010 7:52 pm

    It would appear that Roy has a short memory. I am pretty sure the tea party’s last words were “we will be watching.” Or maybe he just didn’t take them seriously. ?????

  2. November 17, 2010 10:26 pm

    The discussion of late about banning “earmarks” has led me to ponder a variety of related issues. Without weighing in on the pro side or the con side, I offer the issues that have occurred to me in the hope of stimulating thought. For the record, I’d like to see Federal Spending and the overall size to the government cut dramatically.

    1. Would a ban on earmarks automatically reduce spending?
    The answer may actually be no. Mostly an earmark is really just an amendment to an existing appropriations bill after the original amount is established. Most are specific allocations of ALREADY appropriated money. A ban on these amendments (even the stupid ones) would in most cases simply leave the funds in the general appropriation bucket which has already been proposed. The funds are then spent by the agency or executive branch. An argument can be made for attacking the overall appropriations instead.

    2. Is a ban on earmarks a good idea?
    The Nov 2 election turned on several key points, but central was spending and Washington listening to the people. In that sense it seems to be an appropriate response to the outrage over ridiculous spending bills. This issue begs the question under item 1. There is also the act of “trading amendments” (earmarks). It is something like “I’ll vote for your stupid amendment if you vote for my stupid amendment”. This is one of the most egregious affronts to good government. Banning a specific form of amendment may only have a limited effect on the process as non-earmark amendments may fill the gap. Closer scrutiny of amendments in general may be more effective. Elimination of “Unanimous Consent” approval of bills in the Senate would also make the amendment process more transparent and allow we the people to see the “stupid ones”.

    3. Does a ban on earmarks simply allow big spenders to act like they did something (McCaskill) while still appropriating way too much money? It seems so at this point.
    The momentum from Nov 2 could be used to effect some sweeping legislation like elimination of a complete department (education?) or an across the board 10% cut in federal spending.

    4. Is a ban on earmarks Constitutional?
    Article 1, section 8 speaks of all bills raising revenue originating in the House, and the proposal or concurrence of amendments (earmarks). Article 1 section 9 speaks of money drawn from the Treasury being only done as a ‘Consequence of Appropriations”.
    I suppose one can argue that an overall appropriations bill stripped of amendments (earmarks) satisfies the Section 9 stipulation, but does a dis-allowance of CERTAIN amendments satisfy and comport with the stipulation of Section 8 which gives both the Senate and House the power of proposing amendments. Still thinking about this one……..

    In any case, I hope the discussion continues, and we eventually attack the root of the problem which is the over-all size of appropriations and government in general. Some serious choices will need to be made in the coming years and it will certainly cause many to scream “not my program….”

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