It used to be pretty easy to tell who was Republican and who was Democrat by listening to what they had to say about domestic policy. There used to be foundational philosophies that served as the glue that held political parties together. This is no longer the case.
At one point in time, if you heard someone talk about government being too big, that was your Republican. If you heard someone talking about how the government must come up with solutions to solve the problems that face average Americans, there was your Democrat.
At this point in time there is very little difference between what most Republicans have to say about spending and what Democrats have to say. Both groups, with obvious individual exceptions of course, are primarily beholden to a philosophy that calls for big government solutions to problems brought about by nearly any circumstance. It doesn't hurt to have some federal dollars to lavish on the locals when it comes time for reelection.
Republicans have joined the Democrats in the belief that spending is the elixir on which the public must be sustained, or perhaps the reverse is more true, spending on the public is the elixir on which a long and prosperous political career must be sustained.
When we met adolescents in high school with this attitude we observed that they were buying their friends and had unnaturally low self esteem. I'm not so sure that this is not true about the vast majority of today's Republican politicians who have sold their souls for popularity and prestige.
Writing in RealClearPolitics, Robert Novak reports that Republicans aren't all that excited about a one year moratorium on earmarks. Which, I think, pretty much completes the loop.
A recent secret survey of the House Republican minority by the party's whip organization showed a two-to-one margin opposed to imposing a moratorium on earmarks.Is one lousy year too much time to ask for Republicans to push themselves away from feeding trough, even though every one of them knows that it is not good fiscal policy? These people are so addicted to the narcotics of power and self-importance that all they are worried about today is being able to win their next election so the binge can continue.
House Republican John Boehner, who personally sponsors no earmarks, has indicated the party's position should be based on what GOP House members want. That led to the whip check.
Reformers had contemplated calling for a vote on earmarks by a closed-door session of the House Republican Conference, assuming it would be difficult for many members to vote no. But the lopsided outcome of the whip check dissuaded reformers from requesting a vote.