Friday, August 24, 2007

Pork-Busters Claim Another Friendly Victim

I've long argued that earmarks and "pork barrel" spending are not a fiscal "disease" in and of itself, but the inevitable by-product of Big Government itself. The previous dozen years of Republican rule on Capitol Hill amply made the point that neither party will ever actually reduce the size of that government, because there's no public demand for doing so. The only partisan difference is that one party will grow it slower while funding it from reduced tax rates and the resulting economic boom and the other party will grow it at warp velocities and tax rates right along with it, which will depress the economy and cause the federal debt to explode.

Consequently, there will ALWAYS be "corruption" as it has come, with gross imprecision, to be defined on the Right. Which makes my other argument on this topic, namely, that my compatriots' obsession with "pork-busting," while certainly well-intentioned, is a formula for endless GOP fratricide as no Republican officeholder will ever be able to maintain the level of "purity" that the "pork-busters" demand. And that, in turn, is a formula for destroying any chance of ever maximizing the chances of any measurable progress being made toward the realization of that functionally unattainable goal.

I really don't mind at all saying "I told you so," and here's another big, fat, greasy opportunity:

Former Placer County Republican Party chairman Ken Campbell, a longtime financial backer of Representative John Doolittle, said Friday that he is withdrawing his support of the nine-term Roseville Republican because he has betrayed his conservative roots.

Campbell based his conclusion on a recent Club for Growth report on votes this year on 2008 spending bills to eliminate "wasteful pork projects." Doolittle scored just 2%, the average score for Democrats and well under the Republican average of 43%.

Campbell has been a longtime supporter of Doolittle, with about $10,000 in political contributions to his reelection in the last decade. The most recent contribution was $400 in May.
The Admiral seems thrilled at the prospect of forfeiting another Republican House seat. Of course, Representative Doolittle (ironic name, that) has other problems than just a hankerin' for bacon, as Ed also notes, so his fiscal greasemongering may be the least of his "sins".

Still, I can't help gritting my teeth at Mr. Campbell's overwrought, quasi-moralistic posturing. It sounds aggravatingly similar to Richard Viguerie's rallying cry, a tighty-rightie who has made a career of political fratricide and for whom even Ronald Reagan himself wasn't "pure" enough.

Beats me why apparantly nobody else can recognize that the "pork-busting" dynamic is, by its very nature if not actual design, an intra-Republican civil war that, almost by definition, cannot be "won" until there are no conservatives left in elective office. Because, after all, it's not until we get elected to power that we start "forgetting where we came from" and "betraying our roots". The logic, then, is irrefutable: conservatives can only remain "true" conservatives if we eschew politics altogether. Or, put another way, "We fought Big Government, and Big Government won." And it always will.

There isn't much we can do about that. But even not much will be impossible if we keep devouring our own. It's hilariously ironic that the fate of the "pork-busting" cause is joined at the same hip.