- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Say what you will about Missouri’s Sen.-elect Roy Blunt. He heard the electorate’s verdict on congressional earmarks and he doesn’t care. The man with a backbone says through a representative that he’s not backing the ban and he “will fight for Missouri’s fair share.”

Some of those Republican senators who say they’re in favor of eliminating earmarks are reserving the right to be for earmarks as soon as they are done voting against them.

Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander calls ending earmarks merely a “timeout” and says, “I will respect this moratorium, although in an emergency case I reserve the right to ask Congress and the president to approve measures of urgent importance to Tennesseans.”

Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss says that “there are times when crises arise or issues come forth of such importance to Georgia, such as the Port of Savannah … that I reserve the right to ask Congress and the president to approve funding.”

Orin G. Hatch of Utah says, “I have always said I have an obligation as your senator to make sure that our state, our communities and our people get back the hard-earned tax dollars we contribute to the federal Treasury. That’s only fair and right, and is something I will not stop fighting for.”

There’s a name for such words - weasel. And as long as the Republican Party has a strident weasel caucus that insists on being both for and against home-state pork, the GOP is in danger of losing what may be its last shot at regaining the public’s trust.

Let’s hope the new blood on the way will be enough to overwhelm the spineless Old Guard.

David Mastio is deputy editorial page editor of The Washington Times.