When is an earmark not an earmark? Apparently when the president chooses to redefine the term so that he can live up to a promise that his colleagues in Congress aren’t about to let him keep.
Traditionally the definition of an earmark (AKA pork spending) has been any item included in a bill which is specifically designed to benefit a constituency or supporter of one of the bill’s authors or sponsors. President Obama unequivocally promised that there would be no earmarks in the stimulus bill, so when it emerged from the Senate 500 pages longer and full of funding for pet projects to satisfy every Democrat interest group and every powerful Senator’s home district or big contributor, there was only one solution. Show the true meaning of “change” in the Obama lexicon and change the definition of an earmark.
When asked at his press conference how a bill filled with hundreds of pages devoted to billions of dollars of spending on unnecessary pork projects which create no jobs and will not stimulate the economy, could be described as being without earmarks, President Obama responded by redefining the term. He said “I describe earmarks as the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review.” So if the pet project was in the bill already as it was being read and voted on by the Senate, then it is inherently not an earmark, because it has been reviewed. Functionally it’s still identical to any other pork project, but having been reviewed it no longer counts. Come on, pull the other one.
This kind of self-serving willingness to redefine things to suit his interests seems to be a pattern with President Obama and many of his supporters. They have already successfully branded what is essentially a spending bill as a stimulus bill, even though there’s precious little actual stimulus in it. They are attempting to redefine censorship as fairness. They have labeled large scale welfare payments in the spending bill as tax cuts even when they go to people who pay no taxes at all. They’re calling tyranny of the majority bipartisanship. We’re only a few weeks in. The list will grow like Pinocchio’s nose.
Anthony Burgess and George Orwell would be proud. They’re inventing a new language for a new era. They’re redefining the world by reshaping the vocabulary used to describe it. It’s all doublethink and bolshy chepooka and straight out of Saul Alinsky’s handbook, but one thing is crystal clear. The new definition of change is hypocrisy.