TLP: Wonder How He Feels About Term Limits
Sometimes, politics is so car-crash good you almost can't believe it. And I'm not even talking about the prospect of Newt Gingrich dragging decades of messy baggage along the presidential campaign trail or about Mike Huckabee bitching about Hollywood bastards and not Alaskan bastards.
You almost feel bad for a tender little congressional freshman who fails this hard this fast. Almost.
AP via HuffPost:
First-term Republican Rep. Tim Scott of Charleston, S.C., says he's looking for "any way in the world" to get federal money to expand his hometown's aging harbor. It's the one way he won't pursue that's making some South Carolinians angry.This is what you get when you jump into the game not knowing that it is a fucking game. The boys across the border in Georgia – Republican Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson – were smart enough to pencil in an exception for the Savannah port project when they signed the no-earmarks pledge. Does that mean it's not a pledge? Does it fucking matter when Savannah's port business has a chance and Charleston's doesn't?
Scott, like his state's famously conservative senator, Jim DeMint, is among a new breed of tea party-backed conservatives who have sworn off "earmarks" – the pet projects that lawmakers can write into spending bills for their districts. He won't ask for one, won't support one, doesn't even want to talk about it.
His opposition to earmarks helped get him elected last year in a conservative state where slashing government spending is a political battle cry. But he's finding that saying no can be tricky business for members of Congress, who are traditionally rewarded for bringing federal projects home.
The Charleston Harbor in particular – a critical economic engine in a poor state – is testing his resolve, just as local demands for highways, dams and other needs are challenging the anti-spending rhetoric from campaign trails across the country.
"I'm looking for any way in the world to fund it legally, ethically and morally," Scott said when asked about the project recently. "We've got to find a different way."
The chances of doing so are slim. President Barack Obama left the project out of his proposed budget last month while funding a handful of competing harbor projects elsewhere, including a fierce rival about 100 miles south in Savannah, Ga.
Maybe the head of the Savannah Tea Party can explain it to Scott. "We want less government spending and want to stop spending more than we're taking in," Jeanne Seaver told AP. "But this creates jobs. It's not considered wasteful spending to me. It's going to create business. If it's an earmark, it's an earmark," she added. "I would support it 100 percent."
And then serve Scott a cold glass of Southern sweet tea as they watch the ships along the Savannah waterfront. My guess is it'll taste pretty fucking bitter.