Friday, December 17, 2010

Senator Cornyn and Earmarks

Senator John Cornyn(R-TX) is catching some heat from the far right base of the Republican party. Why? It would seem he is the target of criticism for hearing and understanding the message of the November 2 elections - the public is tired of wasteful government spending in the name of earmarks.

Cornyn signed the earmark moratorium, for a two year period, written by the GOP after the election, for the signal to be sent that the lawmakers heard the message sent by voters. Then the bloated omnibus, laden with billions of dollars in pork spending, was dumped on the Senate to pass in short order. Cornyn objected and went on the record as a 'no' vote when it is brought to the Senate floor.

Wait a minute, say some demanding purity of all politicians, as though any human being is perfect. They as how Cornyn can complain about earmarks when he requested them in the omnibus bill? Cornyn answers critics by stating that the requests were made months ago and his concern military support spending. He says his requests are easily justified but in the current environment, having signed the moratorium pledge, he is honoring it and voting no. Reasonable, if you ask me.

Criticism of Cornyn's decision is bi-partisan, though. Mother Jones includes this bit: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) sent out a blistering email fundraiser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which he heads. In the note, Cornyn decried the 6,600 earmarks totaling $8 billion contained in the bill:

Will you help send a message to Senate Democrats? Go here and tell them that you will not stand for business as usual in Washington. They should not pass this bill and to stop spending money our country doesn't have.

My question to the purists is this: What about the darling of the Tea Party, Senator Jim DeMint? Hasn't he received forgiveness and now showered with kudos for his vigilance on fiscal restraint? How do they measure that next to his own claims of being a recovering earmarker? Or is it just ok for those on the list of good guys and not for those with whom they often disagree?

Cornyn ran into some problems with the Tea Party set as he successfully guided the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2010 election cycle. See, he has this funny idea of being practical and using common sense to win elections. He believes it is better to support a less than perfect GOP candidate almost certain to win the general election than the sure to lose candidate who spouts all the right things for primary voters. In a few instances, this certainly cost GOP seats and it was not the fault of Cornyn.

Most reasonable people think it would have been better to have a less than perfect GOP winner than an Obama supporting Democrat. Now that the smoke has cleared even some of the Tea Party loyal are shaking their heads at the statements since the election by their favored candidates - such as Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle. Live and learn.

Senator Cornyn deserves support of conservatives and Republicans as he goes about putting into place honoring pledges he has made since the election.

And, if case you need some reminding of his success in the 2010 election cycle:
“After winning seven Democrat Senate seats, successfully defending every Republican Senate seat, and dramatically narrowing the fundraising gap with Senate Democrats, the NRSC stands ready to wage a strong 2012 election cycle,” NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said in a statement.

No complaints here.

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