8.11.06

PUBLIC CHOICE TRUMPS IDEOLOGY, EVERY TIME. There's a common theme in many a post-mortem by the losing side in Tuesday's election. Mark Tapscott states it most bluntly:
When Republicans worry more about staying in government than about limiting government, they get thrown out of government. That's the lesson of Nov. 7, 2006.
Here's Betsy Newmark, back from the CNN wine-tasting party in Washington.
But the Republicans were arrogant in the way that they seemed to jump into the pork barrel with both feet and proudly proclaim their mastery of the procedures to bring home the bacon. They boasted about their connections on K Street. I ahve a video on interest groups that I show my class that Hedrick Smith had made in the mid 1990s about how the Washington power game works. And on that video, he's got Tom DeLay and John Boehner boasting on their deals with lobbyists to push through bills to benefit their contributors. That's arrogance: first to make those deals and then brag to a reporter on camera about doing it.
Here's an anonymous post at The Economist's new weblog (note to traffic department: update link list.)
Libertarians are a generally Republican-leaning constituency, but over the last few years, their discontent has grown plain. It isn't just the war, which some libertarians supported, but the corruption and insider dealing, and particularly the massive expansion of spending. Mr Bush's much-vaunted prescription drug benefit for seniors, they fume, has opened up another gaping hole in America's fiscal situation, while the only issue that really seemed to energise congress was passing special laws to keep a brain-damaged woman on life support.
Presumptive Speaker Pelosi promised raised ethical standards in the House. If memory serves, the Pachs ran against the insider culture of a Democratic axis on K Street in 1994. The Democrats had forty years to practice advance auctions of stolen goods prior to 1994, and the temptation to do the same is still present.

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