Lost Republicans

I have my differences with John McCain, but he’s right on this one.

SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (Reuters) – Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), back in the state where a bruising primary loss crippled his 2000 White House bid, said on Monday his party had “lost our way” on spending and needed to clean up widespread influence-peddling and lobbying abuses.

The Arizona senator, a potential White House candidate again in 2008, praised President George W. Bush for his judicial nominations and for making what McCain said was steady progress in Iraq.

But he said the federal budget had spiraled out of control under Republican leadership. He called for tighter restrictions on earmarking — the congressional practice of inserting local projects in spending bills — and tighter controls on lobbyists in Washington.

“We have lost our way on fiscal responsibility,” McCain told the dinner of Spartanburg County Republicans in South Carolina, a state that promises to play a crucial early role in the 2008 White House race. “Republicans have got to clean up our act, make these much needed reforms and get back on track.”

Amen.

But beyond even a return to fiscal responsibility and reforming in the wake of rampant corruption, Republicans also need to get back go the agenda Americans put them in office to pursue. I’m talking tax reform, Social Security reform and a strong stance on illegal immigration. For too long Republicans have shifted these issues to the backburner or fled from them at the merest hint of Democrat opposition. This has alienated a lot of the conservative base in this country. Or, at the very least, has made them a little grumpy.

The best remedy for the Abramoff fiasco, as far as Republicans are concerned, will be an energetic return to furthering core conservative issues. They should throw the corrupt Republicans under the bus, quit spending so much money and get back on track to accomplishing the things they promised they would accomplish.

You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com

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  • The problem with McCain is that everything he does eventually turns to sh*t. The McCain Touch, if you will. He is gonna overdo it with this, just like he did with torture and campaign finance, and just make it worse.

    I do wonder how much of the money that gets referred to as ‘pork” is actually money well spent. Sure, some is ridiculous, but some actually turns out to be the right thing.

    Just blindly getting rid of all earmarks is stupid. There should be a better way of vetting each one, and not letting them be shoved in by staffers at the last second.

  • taz

    McCain is a man of his word; he hasn’t brought any pork to Arizona & should be ranked as one of the worst Senators in history for that record!
    AAArrrrgggg.

  • Let’s not be afraid to say it…the outbreak of ‘scandals’ in Congress is simply another brilliant plot by Rove, hatched to make Bush look good in comparison. A genius.

  • kbiel

    I do wonder how much of the money that gets referred to as ‘pork” is actually money well spent.

    Here’s a hint: Any federal tax dollar that is spent on some project that could not possibly fit under the enumerated powers of the federal government is not well spent. That is why we have state and local governments in this federal system. If Wisconsin wants a cheese museum, let them tax Wisconsin residents (or visitors through hotel taxes) to pay for it. There is absolutely no reason why I, as a resident of Texas, should have to pay for a cheese museum in Wisconsin or a car museum in Michigan or a bridge to an airport because the residents of Alaska were decided to build that airport on an island. Nor should any U.S. citizen, residing outside the state of Texas, have to pay for our Texas Ranger museum (the law enforcement agency, not the baseball team).

    It saddens me that so few high school graduates do not understand federalism and how the constitution enumerated the powers granted to the federal government and reserved the rest to the various states.

  • jp2

    “I have my differences with John McCain, but he’s right on this one.”

    Uhh yeah. Would have been more helpful if you had realized this 5 years ago though. But hey, party before country.

  • JohnAnnArbor

    Would have been more helpful if you had realized this 5 years ago though. But hey, party before country.

    Um, some of us thought he wasn’t a good candidate, since he thinks that restricting free speech (“campaign finance reform”) is a good idea, and lashes out whenever anyone points out that his ideas just drive campaign spending FURTHER from public scrutiny.

  • Faith+1

    For most of the stuff I agree. The lobbying stuff I don’t. Not the concept but the method. Rather than trying to levy controls (which every attempt so far has failed miserably) just make the lobbying process open and transparent.

    If you try and stop it you just get them going underground more and getting around the law in hard to trace processes. It also arguable infringes on the 1st Amendment. I say make lobbying completly open and maybe the light shining on them will make the cockroaches leave.

  • B's Freak

    The problem with John “Keating” McCain is that he doesn’t have a clue how to actually clean the system up because he’s as responsible for it as anyone else. The real solution for the corruption in Washington is not more arcane rules designed to protect incumbents, it’s limiting the power of government. That’s why the founding fathers set up a system of limited government. Of course none of these a-holes is going to argue for taking away their own power so nothihng truly will be accomplished.

  • ed

    Hmmm.

    I’m supposed to applaud McCain? This is a guy who jumps on any bandwagon available. If someone were to convince him tomorrow that the coming thing is to wear underpants on his head, there he would be on the morning newscasts with a pair of Fruit of the Looms on his noggin.

    McCain is a shameless publicity hound. A worthless political hack. A complete incompetent two-faced double-talking forked-tongue bastard.

    If it’s a choice between a Democrat and McCain, I’ll vote Democrat.

  • mesablue

    Whoah ed!

    What if it’s Hillary against McCain?

  • ed

    Hmmm.

    What if it’s Hillary against McCain?

    The only difference between them is in their internal plumbing and that Hillary probably has bigger balls.

  • jc

    I think gerrymandering is a big reason that congress has become so corrupt and out-of-touch. I miss living in Wally Herger’s district. He always voted the way the small-town conservatives who sent him to Washington would have: on conservative principles. And he fought for local issues that really mattered. He fought for the water the farmers needed from Klamoth lake (Remember that? Fish vs. farmers given land for their World War II service? It made national news.) Even if you disagree with him on that issue the fact is that he fought for his constituents and not for his own ambitions to be President or whatever.

    Now that place I used to live in has been gerrymandered to another Republican aptly named Doolittle. And I live in a town gerrymandered between Doolittle and some Napa Valley Democrat whose biggest accomplishment ever, according to his website, is being the head of the wine caucus. I’m in the Democrat’s district but on the other side of town I would be in Doolittle’s district.

  • ed

    Hmmm.

    You can blame SCOTUS for today’s gerrymandering nonsense. They were the ones to implement the requirement for race based gerrymandering. After that gerrymandering to protect incumbancies is just a short step.

    Every single race based law has been nothing but an absolute utter disaster both for the country and the people it’s targeted.