The Washington Post Becomes Conservative
In what has to be the most cynical and dishonest editorial I’ve ever read in their paper, the editors of the Washington Post offer this gem:
Back in 1987, when Mr. Reagan applied his veto to what was generally known at the time as the highway and mass transit bill, he was offended by the 152 earmarks for pet projects favored by members of Congress. But on Wednesday Mr. Bush signed a transportation bill containing no fewer than 6,371 earmarks. Each one of these, as Mr. Reagan understood but Mr. Bush apparently doesn’t, amounts to a conscious decision to waste taxpayers’ dollars. One point of an earmark is to direct money to a project that would not receive money as a result of rational judgments based on cost-benefit analyses.
Mr. Bush, who had threatened to veto wasteful spending bills, chose instead to cave in. He did so despite the fact that in addition to a record number of earmarks the transportation bill came with a price tag that he had once called unacceptable.
Yet it seems to me that George Delano Bush, when defending this disgusting bill as a source of job creation, was doing the ideological bidding of the Democrats who comprise the Washington Post’s editorial staff. For them to pretend to denounce wasteful government spending — Democrats’ bread-and-butter — is totally disingenuous.
The editorial continues:
The nation is at war. It faces large expenses for homeland security. It is about to go through a demographic transition that will strain important entitlement programs. How can this president — an allegedly conservative president — believe that the federal government should spend money on the Red River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Louisiana? Or on the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan? The bill Mr. Bush has signed devotes more than $24 billion to such earmarked projects, continuing a trend in which the use of earmarks has spread steadily each year. Remember, Republicans control the Senate and the House as well as the White House. So somebody remind us: Which is the party of big government?
The answer is that they both are, and I give Democrats credit for at least being honest about their affinity for government waste. But again, the Post should be praising Bush here, for engaging in the type of fiscal irresponsibility Democrats have always embraced.
Further, after almost five years of deriding of the President and his administration for their rhetoric, to suddenly acknowledge that the nation is at war seems much more convenient than honest.