In the Earmark Game, Obama Beats McCain, $740 Million To Nothing

Can you define “hypocrite”?

According to Merriam-Webster:

1  : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2  : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

With that in mind, let us tune in to Barack Obama’s attack against John McCain today:

“Don’t be fooled,” Obama told the crowd surrounding him in a large barn. “John McCain’s party, with the help of John McCain, has been in charge” for nearly eight years.

“I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she’s change, and that’s great,” Obama said. “She’s a skillful politician. But, you know, when you’ve been taking all these earmarks when it’s convenient, and then suddenly you’re the champion anti-earmark person, that’s not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can’t just make stuff up.”

First of all, if words REALLY mean something, maybe we should consider some of the words that are directly linked to Barack Obama.

But that aside, let us consider Obama’s earmark record.  According to The Hill:

Obama has released all the earmark requests he offered since being elected to the Senate in 2004, which totaled roughly $740 million over three years.

That same article concludes with this wonderful sentence:

Last year, Obama took in $91 million while McCain earned nothing because he did not request any projects, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Here is a list of Obama’s earmarks, in his own “But it was all for worthy causes” words.

I wrote an article about Sarah Palin and earmark spending.  To put it is a single sentence, Sarah Palin is a Governor who reduced her state’s earmarks by 63%, nearly 2/3rds, since taking office.  Earmarks continue to be high in Alaska (for reasons the article describes), but they are only one third as high as they used to be thanks to Gov. Palin.  To portray her “taking all these earmarks” when she has cut earmark spending like no other governor, is beneath the level of cheap.  She has done everything she reasonably could do – and much more than any other governor – to cut a vicious cycle of pork that has characterized Alaska for decades.  She has often found herself on the other side of her own party in the process.  And if she can do it in Alaska, she can do it anywhere.

What’s wrong with earmarks? The very idea of earmarks represents everything that’s wrong with Washington insider politics.  They are requested and awarded purely on the basis of special interests.  They are inherently tainted with fraud, waste, abuse, and quid pro quo political patronage.  They are tacked on to other, legitimate issues without review and are funded entirely by deficit spending.

John McCain has always opposed them; Sarah Palin has a documented history of fighting them tooth and nail in her own state, and has been painstakingly winning the battle.  Meanwhile, the guy who has benefited from $740 million dollars is talking smack while studiously ignoring the log in his own eye.

Barack Obama – the same guy who asked for $740 million dollars as a politician in one office, has asked for zero dollars since announcing his candidacy for another office.  Maybe you see that as a radical conversion; I view it as radical pandering.

In that same campaign appearance described above, Obama said:

“I mean, come on, they must think you’re stupid,” Obama said as the crowd laughed and cheered.

But who really thinks who’s stupid here?

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