Wednesday, January 03, 2007

John Hawkins has named Tom Coburn his Conservative of the Year for Coburn's "relentless campaign against wasteful spending in the Senate"...

While I applaud Coburn for his efforts, if what Coburn did last year beat out everything and everyone else, then 2006 was indeed a pretty horrendous year for conservatives.

Sure, Coburn got on his high horse and railed against spending and whipped up some fan club support from otherwise sane bloggers... but did he actually accomplish anything of substance? Unfortunately, the answer is NO. Discretionary spending isn't going to go down. The rate of increase in discretionary spending isn't likely to go down... and if it does, it will do so for reasons having nothing to do with Senator Coburn's efforts. OK, the earmark process may have a bit more transparency to it, but, as I've argued, those who think that will result in fewer earmarks are deluding themselves as Congress loves to get credit for 'bringing home the bacon'.

The sad fact is that conservatives have pretty much nothing to be happy about from 2006. No tax cuts. No cutting back of onerous government regulations. No major advances in the war against terrorists (i.e., profiling of likely terror candidates). No strides in the battle against illegal aliens. No stepped up enforcement of our borders. No telling the UN and our supposed allies to shove it. No easing of restrictive ROEs that leave our troops unnecessarily vulnerable to attack. And the Congressional GOP leadership squandered what little power it had by doing such monumentally stupid things like attacking the FBI for raiding the office of a corrupt (and Democrat) Congressman, refusing to please the base, and failing to go after Foley at the first opportunity.

About the only thing that conservatives have to celebrate is that a number of states passed bans on same-sex marriages and Michigan voters chose to ban discriminatory affirmative action.

And that's about it. Pretty sad.