From The Wall Street Journal:
Earmarks, or spending items tucked into legislation by individual lawmakers, had long been defended by leading Republican and Democratic lawmakers. The development came as Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, reversed his longstanding support for the practice and said the public would no longer accept it.
Many conservatives who won in the recent election have attacked earmarks as a symbol of congressional favoritism and horse-trading. Earmarks were attacked in campaign commercials and have figured largely in the widespread public disgust with congressional spending.
Asked if there was any move afoot among Senate Democrats to ban earmarks, departing Sen. Ted Kaufmann (D., Del.) laughed and said, “Not that I know of.”
While I applaud the GOP for finally getting it, I also call on voters, the Tea Party, and the media to hold their feet to the fire. Spending is way out of control, and a vast majority of the public are behind reducing the deficit. It then shouldn’t bee too politically costly for politicians to jump on this bandwagon.
Supporters of shrinking the size of the state – such as myself – should also be encouraged. However, reason and pragmatism must be kept close. The 2012 election will look awfully grim for Republicans if they renege on this promise.