President Criticizes Bishop’s Earmark

POTUS mocked the peanut earmark Sanford Bishop got put in the War supplemental.

“I like peanuts just as much as the next guy,” the president said Saturday, “but I believe the security of our troops should come before the security of our peanut crop.”

Bishop responded

It’s not pork,“ Bishop said Wednesday from his Columbus office. ”It’s no different from any other supplemental appropriation bill that has been passed in the last six years under the Republican Congress.

“Every dime, every dollar, every penny he asked for is included in that bill,” Bishop said. “What the president does not like is he is being asked to be accountable. We’ve been writing blank checks for four years.”

Actually Congressman, what we don’t like is you had to be bribed to vote for the bill.

34 comments

  1. Federalist says:

    “Bribe” is a serious accusation, can you prove that he is not acting in the interests of his constituents?

  2. Demonbeck says:

    See how important the security of your peanuts are this fall when you are enjoying some boiled goobers with a cold one while watching football on Saturday.

    Now imagine how you’d feel if you cracked open a shell and Al Qaeda popped out.

  3. Federalist says:

    He is absolutely correct. For the past 4 years, the GOP, in Congress and the White House, have been constructing an Imperial Presidency. No more “pork” is in this bill than any other appropriations package.

  4. Chris says:

    Sadly, after the way the GOP spent like drunken sailors from 2000-2006, we really don’t have much room to talk.

    Its still sad he had to be bribed to fund our troops.

  5. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Yes, Federalist, bribed. In Charlie Rangel’s own words.

    Pork projects were inserted late in the process to bribe people who would not have supported this supplemental to vote for it after all. It worked — barely.

  6. Chris says:

    Federalist – no its bribing. The fact that most people equate it with politics is why we can’t find better people to run for office (the fine elected officials who read Peach Pundit excluded of course).

  7. StevePerkins says:

    I’m the last person on earth to defend pork-barrel spending… but I’m also the first person to harp on hyperbole and bad use of language (see “islamofascists”).

    A “bribe” is where someone give money to YOU, for YOUR OWN purposes. For example, you might hide it in your freezer while the FBI has you under surveillance. Negotiating pork for your district is where the public treasury allocates money to YOUR DISTRICT, for THE PUBLIC’S (or at least some special interest in the public’s) purposes.

    I’m no fan of subsidized agriculture, whether it’s being driven by a Democrat like Bishop or a Republican like Chambliss. However, calling this kind of thing a “bribe” is just ridiculous.

  8. Federalist says:

    These subsidies create jobs too, or atleast secure their existence…are you against job creation Chris Farris?

  9. lawgal says:

    If it’s not the government’s job to create jobs, why do Presidents and mambers of Congress boast about how many jobs they created?

  10. StevePerkins says:

    Other than jobs directly within the government itself, or jobs created by government contracts, I don’t know of ANY job in history that was “created by the the government”. Congress and the President don’t boast about jobs they create… they boast about how many jobs happened to be created while they happened to be in office. Job creation ebbs and flows based on business cycles, monetary policy, and the degree to which Congress and the President leave things alone.

  11. “Its still sad he had to be bribed to fund our troops.”

    Be careful what you wish for. If Bush vetoes this bill, will he then not be “funding our troops”. Because if a vote for this bill is a vote to fund our troops, wouldn’t vetoing it be not funding them?

    Just curious to see what kind of intellectual standards we can set up going forward.

  12. bowersville says:

    The starting point for an intellectual standard is for Congress to send a clean supplemental bill for the troops, or cut off funding.

    Bishop’s crock is a sell out of the military for what? Peanuts?

  13. Jason Pye says:

    Please show me in the Constitution where it is the responsibility of the federal government to use taxpayer monies to fund peanut storage or subsidize companies (large or small).

    Steve Perkins and Chris Farris are dead on here.

  14. Chris says:

    Jason,

    I hope you meant “dead on correct”.

    “I’m not dead.”
    ” ‘Ere, he says he’s not dead.”
    “Yes he is.”
    “I’m not.”
    “Well, he will be soon, he’s very ill.”
    “I’m getting better.”
    ” No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment. “

  15. Doug Deal says:

    Steve,

    Regarding the use of the word bribe, Jeff E is correct, and you are just redefining the work to state a preference about it’s usage.

    Open a dictionary and you will find the very first definition as

    1. money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person, esp. in that person’s performance as an athlete, public official, etc.: The motorist offered the arresting officer a bribe to let him go.

    Pork is definitely “valuable consideration”. It gives the politician something of value to use as a means of getting votes back home. It also corrupts the behavior of the politician by encouraging him to vote for something he would have ordinarily voted against.

    Whether or not it meets the definition of an illegal bribe is another matter.

    As for everything else, you are right on.

  16. If a Congressman had something inserted into a bill that he otherwise wouldn’t have done because someone paid him money that would be a bribe. Supporting one thing in an appropriations bill to get another thing in there is just politics.

    As for the rest of the bill, the public wants an end to the war. Congress is trying to get the ball rolling. You guys can argue about whether or not you think Congress should be able to, but if Bush vetoes and keeps things going as usual Hillary Clinton will just end it in February 2009 anyway. Take your pick.

  17. joe says:

    Okay, read the Time magazine report on the Army (Drudge has the link), then tell me again why this peanut pork is so important. The President was right.

  18. Icarus says:

    Screw Time Magazine, re-read Demonbeck’s post:

    “Now imagine how you’d feel if you cracked open a shell and Al Qaeda popped out.”

  19. StevePerkins says:

    Doug, you can quote from dictionaries until the cows come home. If voting for a bill after having some pork thrown your district’s way is a “bribe”, then bribery drove the passage of almost every piece of legislation in the past hundred years of U.S. history.

    I trust that you’ll be true to your principles and not flip-flop on your definition of “bribe” the next time a Republican legislator votes for a bill in exchange for pork (don’t wander off, we’ll probably be able to test this within a week from now).

  20. Ronin says:

    Everyone talks like the Democrats invented this. Where was the outrage when it was being done by Republicans. The hypocrisy of both sides amazes me.

  21. Ronin says:

    Hmm, I’d venture to say there were a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the management of that little thing called the Iraq war.

    And I agree that some pork on (like Ted Stephen’s? Bridge to Nowhere) were regarded as egregious by more than the Democrat partisans. But it was still widely defended by Republican partisans as a respectable effort by the Senator from Alaska representing his constituents.

    For that matter, did it make the front page of Peach Pundit? (Serious question … I don’t think I was reading it back then.) And did it receive the same level of outrage as Bishop’s comments?

    Furthermore, why didn’t Bush and other Republicans speak out against spending money on the Bridge instead of National Security or tax breaks or whatever.

    Look, I’m defending either side. I’m saying both parties are run by a bunch of bums. I’m just saying I find the outrage disingenuous.

  22. Jason Pye says:

    It’s Peach Pundit…not Caribou Pundit or Frozen Tundra Pundit.

    Sanford Bishop represents a Georgia Congressional Georgia district.

  23. Ronin says:

    Fair point. I still think the the comment applies in principal.

    And besides, I’m sure the comment/discussion had moved past the original Bishop comment and onto the principals behind it.

    Also, if I were to go digging, would I find any budget item added as quid pro quo by any of the Georgia Republican Congressional during the last period of GOP reign? If so, would I find a corresponding story on Peach Pundit then?

    Isn’t Gingrey the one the fiscally conservative folks don’t like? I’m sure we could find something on him. 🙂 I at least remember that he didn’t score too well when voting for those Flake amendemnts regarding the identification of earmark/pork bills.

  24. Jason Pye says:

    Also, if I were to go digging, would I find any budget item added as quid pro quo by any of the Georgia Republican Congressional during the last period of GOP reign? If so, would I find a corresponding story on Peach Pundit then?

    Maybe not on Peach Pundit, but I know I post a lot on government spending on my personal blog and I remember criticizing Westmoreland, who voted for all but one of the Flake Amendments, over some earmarks that the Henry County Board of Commissioners had been asking for.

    I’m no fan of Gingery, but for reasons other than the Flake Amendments.

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