Earmarks, Baby, Earmarks.

Jack Shafer has the best evaluation I’ve seen of the Sarah Palin/Charlie Gibson show (a weekend fill-in for the Sarah Palin/John McCain show, albeit with a slightly more alert male component).

Buried in all the stuff about Palin and her evasions (can we just stipulate that this what she does at this point and get back to the election proper?), I was struck by this (all emphasis mine):

As columnist Robert Samuelson wrote in the Washington Post last month, “In 2008, earmarks numbered 11,610 and cost $17.2 billion, estimates Citizens Against Government Waste. That’s less than 1 percent of federal spending.” To paraphrase Eugene McCarthy, it isn’t the fat in the budget we should worry about, it’s the lean. If “mavericks” like McCain and Palin were serious about cutting the deficit and the budget and really believed in smaller government they’d stop talking about earmarks and efficiencies and promise to eliminate entire programs.

Why isn’t someone on the Democratic side sending out these talking points and why aren’t prominent Dems out there every day slamming McCain’s lies and half-assed policies and tying him, not only to Bush (it has been suggested that people have written off the Worst. President. Ever. to the point where mentioning his name actually shuts down the synapses) but to the Republican brand?

I don’t understand.

And, yes, my pledge to try and get away from All Politics All The Time was a miserable failure. I can live with it.


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