Although bribery already is a crime and lobbying is constitutionally protected (the First Amendment right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances"), a few institutional reforms milder than term limits might be useful. But none will be more than marginally important, absent the philosophical renewal of conservatism. To which end, whom should Republicans elect?
Roy Blunt of Missouri, the man who was selected, not elected, to replace DeLay, is a champion of earmarks as a form of constituent service. If, as one member says, "the problem is not just DeLay but 'DeLay Inc.' " Blunt is not the solution. So far -- the field may expand -- the choice for majority leader is between Blunt and John Boehner of Ohio. A salient fact: In 15 years in the House, Boehner has never put an earmark in an appropriations or transportation bill.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
John Boehner of Ohio
Respublica likes him and George Will wrote today that the root of the problem is lobbying for earmarks on pork-barrel projects which Boehner's never done,