Something for Everybody: What Could Be Wrong?

The spectacle of the pork-laden farm bill sailing through both houses of Congress with veto-proof majorities is disgusting enough if you imagine that its supporters are simply political hacks doing what they think is necessary to stay in power. They are, of course, but they don't necessarily see it that way. Since politicians would not be politicians if they did not believe the public interest coincided with their own ambitions, they have a remarkable ability to see blatant pandering, logrolling, and vote buying as not only necessary but noble. Hence Barack Obama's bizarre claim that passing the favor-filled farm bill is a way of standing up to "the special interests." Or consider the response from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, to President Bush's veto threat:

Obviously, I have been very disappointed in the comments coming out of the White House. But we do have a strong vote in both the House and the Senate, and I think that shows you that in a complex piece of legislation like this, and it truly is because it touches so many different areas of so many different aspects of agriculture and food production, as well as nutrition and conservation and energy, that there is something in this bill for every member of the House and every member of the Senate.

If Congress passed legislation giving each representative and senator $1 million in taxpayer's money to spend as he saw fit, there would also be something in the bill for every member of the House and every member of the Senate. By Chambliss' logic, raiding the public treasury in this way would be clearly fair and justified. The scary thing is, I don't think he's faking it. He really is indignant about Bush's veto threat, because he really does believe that serving the public interest is a matter of doing favors for lots and lots of special interests.

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  • Other Matt||

    If Congress passed legislation giving each representative and senator $1 million in taxpayer's money to spend as he saw fit, there would also be something in the bill for every member of the House and every member of the Senate.

    And it would, in the end, be a hell of a lot cheaper for all of us.

  • Bingo||

    Luckily both parties have nominated someone that "works across the aisle" so we can look forward to more legislation like this in the future. Bipartisan politics at work!

  • Episiarch||

    What really astounds here is that a veto-proof majority is not just doing favors for special interests, they are fucking the whole country. We will have higher food prices, continued movement into a total loser of an energy solution (ethanol), and the sugar tariffs ensure continued proliferation of HFCS in our foods and sodas (had to add that for Dave). And they compliment themselves on how bi-partisan it all is.

    "All of us in Congress have settled our differences and agreed to screw you--together."

    ARRGGHHHH

  • ||

    McCain would almost certainly veto this. He opposed ethanol subsidies in Iowa, even during the primary. Good for him!

    So it's too bad that he's a war hawk and also he's ready to crucify liberty and prosperity on the cross of his belief in anthropogenic warming.

  • ||

    All three presidential candidates didn't bother to actually vote on this. Un-fucking-believable.

    I am proud to say that NH is one of only two Senate delegations in the nation to send a big "Fuck You" to the money grubbing farm lobby (hooray RI!).

    And only two Senate Democrats voted against this abominable piece of shit.

    Obama or McCain? Outrageous spending with a slow drawdown or outrageous spending with a never-ending war? Man, when is Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor vision going to come true?

  • ||

    there is something in this bill for every member of the House and every member of the Senate.

    Isn't this engraved above the entrance to the Capitol?

  • ||

    What Jacob said! To wit:

    Since politicians would not be politicians if they did not believe the public interest coincided with their own ambitions, they have a remarkable ability to see blatant pandering, logrolling, and vote buying as not only necessary but noble.

  • NeonCat||

    As a citizen of Georgia, I am continually ashamed that my fellow citizens elected the two idiots who are our senators. But at least they believe in God and standing up fer 'Murika.

    I've never gotten anything from them but a form letter thanking me for my concerns.

    And what the hell kind of name is Saxby, anyway?!?

  • ||

    Sure hope the tobacco farmers get their share. It is for the children, isn't it?

  • BakedPenguin||

    What was the old joke about about welfare Cadillacs? Welfare John Deere combines are worse.

  • Alan||

    By Chambliss' logic, raiding the public treasury in this way would be clearly fair and justified. The scary thing is, I don't he's faking it . He really is indignant about Bush's veto threat...

    "I don't [think] he's faking it"
    "I don't [know if] he's faking it"
    "I don't [give a s*** if] he's faking it"

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...what the hell kind of name is Saxby, anyway?!?



    Don't be too harsh on him, NeonCat. His parents must have hated him a lot to give him that name.

  • Salvius||

    And what the hell kind of name is Saxby, anyway?!?

    Sounds to me like a good name for a Victorian-era and/or steampunk adventurer.

    Saxby Chambliss in: Airships Over Sudan!

  • Jim Gannon||

    If you see the "Support the Farm Bill" ad at the top of this page (not everyone will), please click on it. Tom Harken (D, Iowa, farm bill supporter) will be charged for every click.

  • Taktix&#174||

    If you see the "Support the Farm Bill" ad at the top of this page (not everyone will), please click on it. Tom Harken (D, Iowa, farm bill supporter) will be charged for every click.

    Careful, I'm sure we're already paying for it.

  • ||

    Jacob:

    Hence Barack Obama's bizarre claim that passing the favor-filled farm bill is a way of standing up to "the special interests

    I'm getting nauseous.

    Why does the guy who's our ticket out of this war have to be so hideous in the economic area?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Why does the guy who's our ticket out of this war have to be so hideous in the economic area?



    Well he is from Illinois, aka America's Corn Hole...

  • John Rhoads||

    I find it sad that the only times congress has shown any willingness to stand up to President Bush have been the few times that he's actually right. Unfortunately, I don't think it's a coincidence.

  • LarryA||

    There's finally a clear choice in the election.

    "I'll vote for your social programs if you keep my war going."

    v.

    "I'll keep your war going if you vote for my social programs."

  • thoreau||

    I'd actually go for a bill that required a massive super-majority for all expenditures but still allowed vetoes, with no possibility of over-ride....except for a special slush fund of $1 million/Representative and $1 million/Senator. It would actually be cheaper for us all, but would still enable them to satisfy the demands of political expediency.

  • ||

    Well, you know, I keep hearing about the manure on hog farms being bad, but as near as I can tell this bipartisanSHIT is way more harmful.

    Stinks worse, too.

  • jtuf||

    Obama, keeping people who eat from influencing DC. Given that the LP might nominate a half-hearted libertarian this year, I've resigned myself to voting for the lesser of 3 evils this November.

  • Kolohe||

    As a citizen of Georgia, I am continually ashamed that my fellow citizens elected the two idiots who are our senators.

    As a former resident of Georgia I would say that's why it's called '*representative* democracy.' ;)

  • neil||

    So is this the part where the Democrats fulfill their campaign promise to stand up to entrenched special interests?

    Or was that "bend over for" ...

  • ||

    neil,

    It's where they ask the taxpayers to bend over.

  • ||

    No special interests benefit from this bill!

    The only people who get anything are starving children and Ma and Pa Kettle.

    Take that, Exxon!

  • leTerrassier||

    'Bipartisan politics' = 'one party state'
    Or did I miss the part where we're supposedly a 'democracy'?

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